Strategic partnerships between funders & arts orgs: same small grants, more hoop jumping


There were many thoughtful comments to last week's post, including provocative reflections on the power imbalance between funders and grantees and speculation as to whether restructuring the relationship as a ‘partnership’ might be feasible or desirable. In recent years, a ‘strategic partnership’ approach (commonly used by venture philanthropists seeking to, for example, fund nonprofits to make and distribute mosquito nets in the Third World), has been embraced by some arts funders. But is this a positive development for arts groups? Most … [Read more...]

Arts & Culture Sector 2011: Striving for Systegic Survibrustainadaptinnovaccountabeffectipreneurism


In 2005, when I was working at Mellon, a fellow funder suggested that the funding community needed to stop using words like ‘strategy’. She lamented, “Funders got arts organizations to start using [such] business words years ago, but nothing has changed. They are not in better shape.” (Evidently, it takes more than using business jargon in funding guidelines and proposals for arts organizations to improve their finances.) Around that same time I correctly predicted that ‘innovation’ would emerge as the next funder mot-du-jour. Funnily … [Read more...]