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B Michael M. Kaisand Brett E an
THE CyCLEPLANNINg FOR SUCCESS IN THE ART
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Introd ction: W at Is T e C c e? 4
Artistic P anning 5
Programmatic and Instit tiona Marketing 8
B i ding and Engaging t e Fami 12Incrementa F ndraising 14
Contro ing Cost, Reinvesting, B i ding Capacit 16
Conc sion 18
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4/20| INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS THE CyCLE?
Time and a ain, we nd this pattern at work insuccess ul, health arts or anizations: Their pro rammin is bold, mission-driven,
and balanced; The market that pro rammin , and the
institution behind it, a ressivel ; The resultin visibilit produces a swell o
interest and enthusiasm amon a amil o ticket-bu ers, students, board members,donors, unders, and volunteers;
The make it eas and enjo able or that amilto et more involvedto contribute mone ,time, or connections; and
The reinvest revenue produced b thatamil in even more bold pro rammin that,
marketed well, entices an ever-lar er, morediverse, enerous, and connected amil .
When this c cle repeats ear a ter ear, allpartiessta , board, and amil sense the arepart o a winnin enterprise and, committed tothe or anizations continued success, row more
enerous and productive. These or anizationsrow incrementall , donor b donor, and slowl
build and maintain artistic and nancial health.
In our work at the DeVos Institute o ArtsMana ement at the Kenned Center, we seethis c cle in success ul or anizations o all sizes,urban and rural, in the United States and abroad.
We see it not onl in per ormin and presentinor anizations, but also in museums, arts schools,service or anizations, historical societies, publiclibraries, universit pro ramseven advocacor anizations, botanical ardens, and zoos.
In act, an not- or-pro t or anization that mustundraise to support its work can bene t rom
But this c cle is more than a theor o how tobuild and maintain health. It is also a practicalmana ement tool that de nes relationships amonartistic, executive, and board leadership. Each parthas speci c responsibilities in a unctionin c cle;each depends on the others to succeed.
At the heart o this theor is a total dedicationto lon -term plannin . Without su cient time to
und and market bold, trans ormative art, our artwill su er, our audiences and donors will sta nate,and our seasons willat bestplateau in scaleand ambition.
The remainder o this booklet discusses eachaspect o this c cleplannin reat art (or pro rammin ), marketin , buildin a amil ,
undraisin , reinvestmentand common pit allsin each area.
In the end, this c cle presents a lo ical rameworkor how to build stron , sustainable enterprises
one step at a time.
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WHAT IS THE CyCLE?
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An or anizations healthindeed, its survivalrelies on the qualit , ima ination, anddistinctiveness o its pro rammin . I we ailto produce superior pro rams, educationalopportunities, and productions, we cannotsa that we are success ul or that we deservesupport. It is likel that, be ore lon , our donorsand ticket-bu ers will come to a ree.
What conditions are required to create trultrans ormational pro rams that stretch our capacit to its hilt? What must we have inplace to produceat the qualit and scale wedesirethat cit wide estival, risk commission,visionar service, or landmark exhibition that
orces audiences to pa attention, excites currentsupporters, and attracts new ones?
First, and undamentall , trans ormativepro rammin requires care ul, lon -termplannin . The most excitin , adventuresomeprojectswhich o ten rel on new unders,collaborators, and outreach to build supportand demandare simpl too expensive and toocomplicated to rush.
For this reason, we recommend plannin major pro rams three to ve ears in advance.For some, especiall smaller or anizations, thisprocess ma seem dauntin , unnecessar , or
even impossible. But, or us, it is undamentalto buildin sustainable or anizations. This isespeciall true or rowin companies thatwant to si ni cantl increase the scale o their o erin s. Without the time to create, undraise,and market increasin l ambitious art, their seasons will sta rou hl the same size, qualit ,and character season a ter season. Withoutadditional manpower and resources to build a
more sophisticated o erin or new and lar er audiences, rowin companies will, at best,plateau and hold on; at worst, a ter severalinterchan eable seasons, their donors will loseinterest and be in to spend their time andmone elsewhere.
Lon -term artistic plannin is the simple processo puttin dreams down on paper. Because itenvisions work takin place ears in advance, itdoes not necessaril depend on the current sizeo our bud et, sta , or board. It does not needto happen durin business hours or on a specialretreat. It does not require anc technolo . Allthis process requires is a sheet o paper, a pencil(with an eraser), time, and ima ination.
We believe that: Plannin increases o r c ances of sec ring
t e f nding req ired for t e big idea. Meetin a undraisin tar et that exceedscurrent capacit takes time. It is scar enou hto pro ram darin work. It is cripplin to doso without su cient time to undraise or it.Without su cient plannin , our seasons andour art sta rou hl the same size ear a ter
ear. Plannin ahead also strengt ens t e
donor re ations ip; it is ar more practicaland enticin to o er a menu o potential
investments takin place over the course o several ears than to tr to shoehorn eachdonor into the next, most ur ent project.
The lar e, experimental project req iresmarketing and ed cationa efforts to identi ,en a e, and solicit current and new audiences;these e orts take time to conceive, bud et,and implement.
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6/20| ARTISTIC PLANNINg
Plannin en ances impact and visibi it . Withtime, we can or anize auxiliar e orts such as
master classes, lectures, and special events,and develop the alliances o ten necessar toproduce lar er projects b levera in sharedresources, visibilit , and audiences.
In some arts industries, such as opera andorchestral music, one must contract the besttalent ears in advance; the stars et bookedup earl . Service and advocac or anizationsthat rel on collaboration amon multiple
stakeholders must bud et time to buildnecessar alliances and research. The most
sou ht-a ter pla wri hts, composers, andchoreo raphers can require ears to respondto a commission. Without su cient plannin ,we simp forfeit access to t e best art.
While artists are remarkabl e cient, thecreative process is rarel neat. Advanceplannin provides time to deve op,c a enge, edit, and restart the messinessrequired to create reat art.
EXAMPlE ARTISTIC PlAN FOR A REGIONAl ThEATERyear/Season 1 year/Season 2 year/Season 3 year/Season 4 year/Season 5
New production o pla A
Annual productionor Series
Collaboration withinstitution A
Work-in-pro ress series incollaboration withX radio station
In-school work inX number o school districts
New production o pla B
Annual productionor Series
Festival eaturinmultiple works bpla wri ht A
Commission o emer in pla wri htX
Expand in-schoolwork to Xarea o town inpartnership with yor anization
New production o pla D with livemusic composedb X
Annual productionwith uest artist Bin excitin space X
Co-commissiono dreampla wri ht with Xinternational estival
New pla s rom Xcountr estival inpartnership with there ional communit
Virtual learnin hubadded to Web siteto provide access toour repertoire and
those o X and ycollaborators
New production o pla E with livemusic per ormed bX and dance b y
New annualproduction tocelebrate our Xanniversar
Festival incollaboration withX, y, and Zinstitutions onour theme o Ato celebrate our anniversar
Anniversarretrospective o 10 pla s wevepremiered over last X ears
Festival o ounpla wri hts tocelebrate X earso our work in the
New production o pla C with videodesi n b X artist
Annual productionwith uest artist A
Collaboration withinstitution A toproduce a newproduction o X
Work-in-pro ressseries sta ed bdirector X
Master class serieseaturin X, y,
and Z celebritartists workin withour schoolchildren
This sample template is just one o any number o ways to organize a fve-year plan. (There is nothing sacred about this system, but it is simple and e ective.) In each Year/Season column, we write down program names (when we havethem), as well as ideas or key collaborations, educational programming, estivals, commissions, artists, etc. As the seasons progress, so do the complexity and scale o our o erings. This sample includes examples in every slot, but an e ectivefve-year plan need only indicate major programming as ar out as possible.
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An e ective, lon -term artistic plan does notneed to list ever pro ram in ever ear. Itshould, however, de ne major pro rammin
spikes: excitin , bold, trans ormationalwork that requires additional undraisin andmarketin capacit to support. Other, smaller pro rams can all in later.
This plan canand willchan e. For presenters,a last-minute, must-have opportunit can replacean an -season pro ram. (Funds raised or anaborted project can o tenwith proper carebediverted to another.) Experimental producersand artists who create their best work in the
moment can nonetheless plan ke partnerships,en a ements, tours, educational work, andanniversar celebrations well in advance.All that is required or e ective plannin isa sensible combination o orethou ht andentrepreneurialism.
But this kind o plannin cannot be rushed. Tooo ten, we are so consumed b deliverin this
ears (hastil planned) pro rams that we ail toplan or the next. In desperation, we resort tomimickin what has worked or others or whathas worked be ore to simpl ll a slot (theholida show, the amil attraction, etc.). In doinso, we abdicate our role as cultural leaders andresi n ourselves to ollowin the taste o our audiences and peers.
The best pro rammerseven those who appear to desi n extraordinar seasons, ear a ter ear,without much e ortare workin ever da toidenti and secure the most excitin artists,premieres, and collaborations. The are dreamin
ears in advance; securin a pipeline o the mostattractive talent; enticin donors and sta withvisions o the uture; modi in when necessar ;and developin auxiliar content to extend theimpact and visibilit o their most importantprojects.
In doin so, the maximize their chanceso producin hi hl competitive, diverse,trans ormative seasons ear a ter ear. The
abilit to surprise and ener ize audiences on are ular basis becomes all the more importantas our industries proli erate with talented peersand cheap, electronic alternatives. While virtualper ormances cannot o er the same experienceas a live event, or man particularl oun eraudiences, the are close enou h substitutes
or our work.
At the same time, this competitive diversithas made it much more di cult to achieve and
maintain visibilit . We have to ht harder, ando er more, to maintain interest. Couple this withreduced undin rom ewer institutional sourcesand more places or individuals to spend lessdiscretionar income, and the or anization that
ails to surprise and excite its audiences on are ular basis will ade rom the radar. Its amil ,and its resources, will dwindle. And it will be le twith even less to reinvest in the next ear.
This is wh , particularl durin recessionarperiods (when competition intensi es), darin ,bi idea pro rams are so critical. Theoperate like a mental reset button, orcinour audiences to pa attention (a ain), keepinour work top-o -mind amidst a crowded eld.(Importantl , bi idea pro rams do not need tobe bi bud et pro rams. But the do have to bevibrant, exceptional, and surprisin .)
It is eas to claim that lon -term plannin isimpossible or capacit -strapped or anizations.It is equall eas to sa that it must be done. But
one act is clear: plannin o ers the hi hest oddsthat a major project will happen, will happenwell, and that it will produce the excitement,enthusiasm, and resources required to repeatthat success ear a ter ear.
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To produce increasin l adventurous andmeanin ul art that asks our audiences to ollowusespeciall alon that trans ormational, less
amiliar pathwe must be prepared to competea ressivel or their attention and lo alt .
This is the role o marketin , which we approachrom two directions.
First, programmatic marketing consists o the tools and strate ies we use to build anaudience or our work, to sell tickets, educationalpro rams, lectures, exhibitions, etc. It uses bothtraditional meansprint, radio, and televisionmedia; direct mail; telemarketin ; communitpartnerships; special incentives; discounts;networksand electronic, viral, social, andmobile media. These are our ads, e-blasts,brochures, radio spots, social media, onlinee orts, etc.
E ective pro rammatic marketin develops alon -term, multipoint relationship with the bu er.It asks us to identi tar et audiences and tailor astron messa e; promote that messa e throu happropriate channels to create demand; price
services competitivel ; drive demand to pointo sale; contextualize and educate around theservice; ensure qualit o the experience itsel ;and la the ramework or uture lo alt .
This practice requires that we thorou hlresearch each pro ram to determine whether its potential bu ers are amon our existin ,core audience or whether mar inal or newprospects will need to be tar eted as part o aspecial campai n.
Certain pro rams that eature reco nizable,popular repertor or stars The Nutcracker ,Picasso, an annual con erence, etc.do notrequire expensive, expansive campai ns.These pro rams require what we think o asinformationa marketin e orts: a pro ramname, location, photo, date, and phone number should be su cient to incite a sale.
The more dauntin , trans ormational projectwith which our audiences have less amiliaritand com ortrequires what we think o asa missionar marketin e ort. An unknowninternational attraction, a world premiere,an experimental artist, a new service: thesepro rams require that we make a special e ortto conve to potential bu ers what is uniqueand valuable about the proposed experience.This t pe o marketin requires that we planand bud et or additional research, outreach,and communit en a ement in order to buildan appropriate earned revenue base or theattraction.
Understandin where alon this spectrum eachattraction sits is central to developin e cientpro rammatic marketin campai ns.
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| PROgRAMMATIC AND INSTITUTIONAL MARKETINg
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9/20PROgRAMMATIC AND INSTITUTIONAL MARKETIN
The second, less amiliar approach to producinvisibilit or our work is what we re er to asinstit tiona marketin . Rather than sell aspeci c show or pro ram, these e orts buildawareness and enthusiasm or w at and w o we are as an institution. The ocus on creatinso much excitement and ma netism around our work that ticket-bu ers and donors activel wantto be part o w at we are irrespective o their attraction to an sin le pro ram or o erin .
This e ort reco nizes that audiences and donorshave limitless options as to where to spend their leisure time and mone and competes to keepones institution and its o erin s top-o -mind inthis crowded marketplace. Simpl put, this e ortaims to make the people and institution behindones art more amous and irresistible.
Institutional marketin uses all institutionalassetswhether ph sical (buildin s, costumes,collections, etc.), human (internal or external), or experiential (artistic process, dinner at a specialhome, backsta e tour, etc.)to so ten potentialbu ers (audiences, members, donors, board
members, collaborators, presenters or exhibitors,volunteers, even sta ) to the extent that the arelikel to bu or support our work without a hardsell.
Like pro rammatic marketin , this takes time,ri or, and dedicated capacit . But because itrelies on the ima inative utilization o existinassets, bi ideas, or the creative characterizationo work we plan to do an wa , it should beinexpensive or even ree to execute. It is
important to remember that, because excitementand awareness are critical to success ulundraisin , an investment in institutional
marketin is a direct investment in our e ort toraise mone .
What does institutional marketin look like inpractice? Bold, surprisin , trans ormationalprogramming
is in itsel our primar , and best, orm o institutional marketin . Major estivals,innovative pro rams, provocative collaborations,and unique or hi h-pro le artistic talent allspike excitement and enthusiasmthehallmark o success ul institutional marketin .O course, success ul pro rams also sell tickets.But importantl , the produce a sense o our or anizations as allurin , excitin , unique, andimpossible to i nore.
Creative, well-produced anno ncements o uture workeven two or three ears ahead
o timesu est a vital, robust, ener ized
or anization. (This is particularl important or or anizations in a turnaround.) A live seasonannouncement attended b donors, sta ,press, and partners builds excitement and asense o belon in . The public celebrationo a new strate ic plan, renderin o a uturehome, or collaborative partnership can beequall e ective.
Ensurin that press a avorable preview,review, or other mentionreaches kedecision-makers and likel bu ers is essential
institutional marketin . We are o ten elated(or traumatized) b reviews that no one elsesees. (Or i the do, the or et about themimmediatel ; we o ten assume we are muchmore amous than we actuall are.) great presssu ests a vital or anizationbut onl i onesbu ers actuall read it.
A xi iar activities that celebrate the individualsor process behind our pro rams, and extend theimpact and visibilit o our art, can be equalle ective. Master classes with celebrit uests(ever one can reach someone more amousthan the are); special events to welcome anew artistic director; lectures, backsta e tours,competitions, exhibitions, open rehearsals, onlineexposs; open houses, nei hborhood strolls, or exhibitions eaturin new members o a serviceor anizationall are relativel inexpensive,e ective institutional marketin tactics.
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PROgRAMMATIC AND INSTITUTIONAL MARKETINg
leaders ip ideas that alvanize the activit o multiple collaborators are especiall e ectiveat buildin visibilit , while limitin investmento time or other resources. For instance, thecompan that or anizes others to pro ram onits theme (e. . a cit wide estival celebratinthe art o a speci c countr , era, or anniversar )creates an arm o activit that points back tothe leadership o the or anization behind theidea. This t pe o institutional marketin makesus appear much lar er than we actuall are.
All o the above have increased impact andtraction when timed with an historical moment,
lobal cultural event, or social movement thathas captured the reater public ima ination,e. . anniversaries o artists or nations,
inau urations, the Ol mpics, an environmentalor humanitarian concern, etc.
Like all orms o marketin , institutionalmarketin is onl e ective i repeated a ain anda ain. For this reason, we nd that the mostsuccess ul or anizations build a calendar o re ular activit inte rated with their pro ramcalendarsto or anize these e orts.
Like artistic plannin , all that is required or thisprocess is ima ination, a piece o paper, a pencil,and time. The executive director (who is the chie architect o this campai n) must toil as ri orouslon this plan as the artistic director does on hisor hers.
EXAMPlE INSTITuTIONAl MARKETING PlAN
Smaller organizations should aim or approximately our institutional marketing initiatives each year. Mid-size and largeorganizations should aim or approximately one institutional marketing initiative each month.
Instit tiona Marketing Initiative
A g st
New production and special event/ ala; press push; circulate resultin covera e to ame chan ers
Online competition or walk-on role in upcomin production
Cit wide estival based on our pro rammin (leadership idea)
Free per ormance in a collaborators space or their donors, audience, and amil
Announce a new commission with the artist present; ame chan er event a terwards
Premiere o provocative collaboration; press push; circulate resultin covera e to ame chan ers
Live announcement o upcomin season (as a roup with other or anizations?)
Hold a part to release the new strate ic plan; send a cop to all ame chan ers and unders
Launch a master class series eaturin master artists in conversation with students
Open an exhibition at a nei hborin cultural center or museum
Ever ones at the beach, no one is readin the papertake a break!
Reall take a break! No one cares what happens in Au ust! Plan or next ear!
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In order to create su cient visibilit , lar eor anizations need at least one major institutional marketin advance each month. For smaller or anizations, three or our spikes per
ear will make a meanin ul di erence.
There are two audiences or this e ort. The rstis the eneral publicpotential ticket-bu ers,students, visitors, etc. A success ul eneralcampai n results in increased earned incomeb incitin a lar e volume o small transactions(ticket purchases or other paid transactions).
The second audience or this campai n is our current and potential amil membersparticularlour major donors, pro ram o cers, board
members, and primar partners. Because theserelationships are central to our undraisin e ort,mana ers must make a special e ort to ensure thatinstitutional marketin reaches this core roup.
Especiall in capacit -strapped or anizations,mana ers must be ocused about where,between these two audiences, the ocus. Inmost smaller or anizations, mana ers do nothave the time or resource to direct an institutionalmarketin campai n at a vast, unknown audience
in hope that these e orts will lead to a mass o unsolicited, spontaneous donations. In act, mostor anizations onl need to tar et 100 to 300 (andthere is no ma ic to this number) ke individualswho, with the stroke o a pen or a sin le decision,can chan e its uture. It is critical that each o these ame chan ers is priv to as man o these spikes as possible.
For this reason, institutional marketin is evenmore important or small or rural or anizationsthan or their lar er, more accessible counterparts.The have less capacit or pro rammaticmarketin and need to create more visibilitwith less resources. An a ressive institutionalmarketin campai n can propel even a small,out-o -the-wa or anization to the ore ront o the local, re ional, or national consciousness and
dramaticall expand the pool o potential ticket-bu ers and donors. But, more importantl or
undraisin purposes, their ener ized amilies arelikel to become more enerous and willin tocompel their riends into action.
There are multiple other bene ts o an e ectiveinstitutional marketin campai n: It should lessen pro rammatic marketin
expenseespeciall in the case o missionarcampai ns. I audiences are inclined to ollowus because the believe in what we are,institutionall , it is more likel the will bu asubscription or an entire season or attenda risk premiereprior to reviews or wordo mouthbecause the trust our brand o
artistic leadership. This baseline o supportshould embolden our artistic decision-makin .
It can brin an ailin board back to li e.Underproductive boards are usuall alsounderwhelmed, or even embarrassed, b theart or nancial situation o the or anization. Abad review or balance sheet has iven thempause; the have rown hesitant to involvetheir riends in a lackluster, nanciall insecuree ort. An e ective institutional marketincampai n can reset this mentalit , as we renew
these ame chan ers ener and enthusiasmin an or anization the eel is movin in theri ht direction.
Institutional marketin saves time. For thecapacit -strapped executive director o a smallor anization (with little or no marketin sta ),a success ul visibilit campai n can motivatemultiple ame chan ers at once. For the bustrustee, a ocused institutional marketincampai n provides the basis o pride, visibilit ,and public con dence necessar to swi tl andsuccess ull en a e others.
But, most importantl , audiences and donors thatare excited b who we are, undamentall , willbe much more inclined to contribute enerousl .In this wa , e ective institutional marketinbecomes the cornerstone o undraisin success.
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I pro rammin is bold and marketina ressive, the number o people who want tosupport the c cle-driven or anizationthrou hpatrona e, time, and contributions rowsor anicall .
This amil s purchasin power provides a health
base o earned income; its enerosit anchorsand stren thens the undraisin e ort. Mana edwith care, this amil rows one b one, weekb week, month b month, season b seasonincrementall increasin revenue and capacitover time.
For this reason, amil is more than a politepseudon m or donor or bu er. It is astrate or incremental, sustainable rowth.
Well-in ormed amilies are an indispensablemarketin tool. Mana ers who understandthe power o an educated amil develop apattera rotatin menu o uture projects,initiatives, and eventsto excite and ocusthese critical pla ers. (Artistic and institutionalmarketin plans populate this campai n.)This rollin talkin points memo turns
amil members into enthusiastic, e ectiveambassadors. Excitement re ned b patter isindispensable social media.
The heart o a enerous amil and amana ers most important undraisin toolisa jo ous, en a ed, and excited board. For this reason, amil -centered mana ers ensurethat servin on their boards is productive and
un. The reco nize that trustees are not onluncompensated volunteers who are expected to
contribute, but that an communit o ers themm riad or anizations in which to per orm this
enerous role. There ore, the compete hard or the lo alt and attention o these precious amilmembers. I our meetin sone environmentunder our controlare droll and procedural, weput ourselves at an unnecessar disadvanta e. A
brie per ormance, special uest, or discussiono a new artistic venture oes a lon wa towardremindin them wh the sacri ce time andresource on our behal .
Board members primar reward is a eelin o importance to the success o an or anizationthe revere. Too o ten, capacit -strappedmana ers come to re ard The Board as anhomo enous whole with uni orm interests andassets. In realit , each individual has their ownmotivation or involvement; each seeks a uniqueblend o experiences rom their exchan e withthe or anization. The mana er who understandsthis works hard to connect each member with aspeci c, mission-driven project that refects their interests and priorities. (This demands a multi ear port olio o projects, both artistic and institutional,seekin support.)
These mana ers then work to provide eachmember with a real stake in their projects success.The member is iven reasonable jurisdiction innon-artistic matters; the report on project statusat each meetin ; the are supported in their e ortto en a e their riends and associates; and, atcompletion, the are publicl ali ned with theprojects success. This produces a vital sense o belon in , ownership, and pride in the li e o theor anization. This is the de nition o en a ement.
2 | BUILDINg AND ENgAgINg THE FAMILy
ENgAgINg THE FAMILy
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On the contrar , discoura ed board membersdepressed b moribund meetin s, a lackluster production, a scar led er, rushed campai ns, or unresponsive sta nd no shorta e o reasonsto disen a e. The best counter to a dispirited,unproductive board is a renewed commitmentto plannin and a robust institutional marketincampai n. This union will o a lon wa towardresettin perspective and la in the roundwork
or reen a ement.
Famil -centered mana ers understand thatmulti aceted, multitalented members o tenhave more than one i t to ive. Unproductivemembers are sometimes bored members;a ter ears o bein asked to per orm onl one
roleplan alas, review contracts, or authorizebud etsthe have simpl tired o their relationship with the or anization. B en a inanother o their intereststo help brid e a newinstitutional alliance, evaluate a pro ram, or participate on a strate ic plannin committee, or instancethe e ective mana er opens another door into the li e o the or anization. Askinboard members to fex a di erent muscle toadvance the or anization urthers the chances o reen a ement.
E ective mana ers take equal care to marketa sense o belon in and importance amonvolunteers. A corps o ener ized, trained volunteerscan make the di erence between a projectthat breaks even and one that does not; proud,equipped volunteers can ensure a positive patronexperience in areas that sta capacit cannot reach.This is especiall the case toda , as more and moreinstitutions en a e unpaid volunteers (or interns) to
ll roles previousl per ormed b sta .
Lastl , success ul mana ers do not overlookthe role that subscribers, members, and ticket-bu ers pla in an evolvin , diversi ed amil .Well-marketed, excitin art increases the pool o ener ized participants at per ormances, events,and auxiliar activities. In the short-term, thisparticipation provides important earned income.goodwill produced b a positive experience
orms the basis o uture, more enerousrelationships. The e cient mana er sees ineach ticket-bu er a potential subscriber; in eachsubscriber, a potential member; in each member,a uture donor.
E ective mana ers make a special e ort toexcite these valuable amil members with
institutional marketin ; incentivize increasedinvolvement (as volunteers or contributors);encoura e them to et their riends involved;present ample opportunities or them to sel -identi at hi her levels o en a ement; andmake ivin eas . (It is bewilderin how truldi cult it is to et involved and sta involvedwith certain or anizations.)
An in ormed, jo ous, rewarded amil is likel tobe productive, ambassadorial, and enerous.
Mana ers who per ect the business o creatinand promotin jo amon this roup o supporters are rewarded as the capitalhumanand nancialaround their mission continues toswell. In c cle-driven or anizations, joy itsel is astrategy .
BUILDINg AND ENgAgINg THE FAMILy
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14/204 | INCREMENTAL FUNDRAISINg
E ective undraisin simpl pairs each amilmember with a lo ical, nancial action in supporto the or anizations mission.
Sustainable or anizations dedicate themselvesto buildin amilies incrementall one at a time,volunteer b volunteer, donor b donor, trusteeb trusteein s nc with their pro rammaticambition. The plan lar e, dauntin projects wellin advance; the identi and cultivate new amilmembers to support the expanded vision alona easible, i ambitious, time rame. This t pe o incremental rowth limits the risk and ear thatresult when scale outstrips capacit . This t pe o
rowth is the de nition o sustainabilit .
Armed with lon -term artistic plans, e cientundraisers en a e each prospect in open
dialo ue about which projects interest her or him the most. Rather than make an ur ent plea
or support o the next, most need pro ram,
the come to each potential donor prepared tolisten, not coerce. The mana er with a menuo options or investment maximizes the chanceo ndin the ri ht, even logical , opportunit
or each donor and, once that interest has beenidenti ed, simpl asks: How can we et ouinvolved in this pro ram?
On the other hand, undraisin b brute orcewhere rushed mana ers and trustees pressure
riends to support an under unded pro ram in
which the prospect has little interestis rarelproductive or sustainable. (Nor is it much un.)
Mana ers who understand the power o c clical,incremental undraisin levera e the power o institutional marketin and time their ask tocoincide with peaks in enthusiasm created b
reat art and excitin auxiliar pro rammin .The understand that people ive to causes b
which the eel ener ized and excited and workhard to maintain that environment.
E ective undraisers make it eas or donors toparticipate at a level that eels ri ht and cra tbene tsboth tan ible and intan ibleattiered levels to reco nize escalatin sta es o
ivin . Their bene ts are inexpensive and eas toproduce. (For instance, one attractive bene t thatcosts nothin to o er is the privile e to purchasetickets to popular attractions in advance.)Mana ers who promise expensive, labor-intensiveperks the cannot deliver will nd that donorsaccustomed to reater levels o customer servicewill disappear rom their rosters.
E ective undraisers also reco nize thatdonor interests var . The use pro rammaticand institutional marketin assets to buildopportunities that appeal to multiple donor mentalities: Our avorite donors identi with our mission,
programs, and art and want to see ussucceed, simpl because the believe in whatwe do. These donors seek opportunitiesto en a e with the process and peoplebehind our pro rams: our artistic directors,curators, artists, students, and collaborators;our rehearsals, master classes, seasonannouncements, readin s, creative meetin s,and per ormances.
Others seek access , throu h us, to otherwise
unattainable people, experiences, places, or objects. E ective mana ers constantl replenishan inventor o assets to which donors can ainaccess throu h support o their or anizations.These include their board members, power brokers, experts, or celebrities; specialcollections, archives, or per ormance ephemera;unique spaces (theirs or others), boardmembers homes, backsta e, etc.
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Other donors want excitin socia interaction aplace to o a ain and a ain, to see the samepeople in a com ortable environment, to
nd companionship, or to develop personalor pro essional interests. Or anizations withph sical spaces and re ular pro rammin arebest equipped to service this mentalit . But,even a tourin dance compan can partner witha cultural center in its hometown to providean on oin and mutuall bene cial series o workshops, master classes, salons, and other activities that accomplish this purpose.
Still others wish to a liate with or anizations o presti e, de ned b the caliber, qualit , visibilit ,and scale o the pro rams, people, and talentthe attract. These donors seek personal stat s
throu h reco nition amon roups o peers withwhom the share social or pro essional interests.
Once a i t is secured, e ective undraisersquickl turn to stewardship. The ensure thattheir or anizations properl reco nize the i t,
ul ll promises made durin cultivation, andreturn the donor to an enjo able c cle o artisticand marketin e orts. This be ins the process o renewin the i t: o pro ressivel en a in andin ormin the donor, and ultimatel identi in
the next ood t.
No matter how lar e the or anization or itscapacit , however, the pressure to renew andexpand ones amil never subsides. This isbecause, undamentall , the ap between thecost o per ormin ones mission and whatbu ers are willin to pa to experience it rowswider each ear.
While the cost o doin business in the artsincreases earl , our productivit the timeand human resource required to et the jobdonesta s rou hl the same. In point: MahlersS mphon No. 5 still takes just about 70 minutesand 103 musicians to per orm, the same as whenit premiered in 1904, even thou h the cost o emplo in those musicians and producin thework has increased exponentiall .
For ears, overnments and corporations helpedclose this ap. While overnment and corporate
ivin o cers remain important members inman amilies, or all but a ew these sourcesare now mar inal. Even where the remain,mana ers know their uture is unpredictable andpresents no basis or sustainable rowth.
Nor does reliance on oundations, whose ivinocus and capacit is subject to requent and
dramatic chan e. When an econom su ers, sodo the endowments that determine their ivin .Lo al pro ram o cers chan e jobs. givinpriorities chan e. And once an or anizationhas approached all institutions that und itst pe o activit , there is nowhere else to turn.
While mana ers must work hard to cultivate andretain these infuential amil members, or allbut the oun est or anizations, support rom
oundations presents little room or rowth.
Consequentl , arts mana ers must be creativeand constant about buildin a diverse amil o individual supporters who expand their ranks ear a ter ear. While it is true that in most communitiesthere are a ew, hi hl -visible, sou ht-a ter donors, there are literall hundreds or thousands
more within ran e o an enthusiastic amilbacked b an e ective institutional marketincampai n. Too man or anizations depend ontoo ew donors and su er disproportionatelwhen even one loses the interest or abilit to
ive. On the other hand, those that build robust,diverse amilies can com ortabl , i re rettabl ,sa ood-b e to an individual i he or she can nolon er ive (or becomes a nuisance).
The mana er who plans art well in advance,markets a ressivel especiall amon ke
ame chan ersand cultivates jo and easeamon amil will enjo incremental, or anic,sustainable rowth ear a ter ear.
At ear-end, rather than crisis, the success ulmana er aces another critical decision: how andwhere to reinvest.
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16/206 | CONTROLLINg COST, REINVESTINg, BUILDINg CAPACITy
O course, creatin reat art and marketin ita ressivel will not alone ensure sustainedsuccess. One must also control cost, reinvestwisel , and build capacit in s nc with the scaleo ones ambition.
All reat artists are insatiable dreamers (as are allreat mana ers). Our nature is to produce more,
bi er, better art, ear a ter ear. And this is as itshould be.
But, or this reason, nearl ever or anizationrows to the point where it is nanciall
uncom ortable. A new $50,000 rant rareltranslates into a nancial reprieve; more o ten, itmeans a new $50,000 (or $75,000 or $100,000)
pro ram that requires even more undin andcapacit to continue ear a ter ear. (A relatedphenomenon belies the endowment antas :rather than turnin that rst distribution intoa rain -da und or cash bu er, the dreamer-artist-mana er complex t picall expandspro rammin expense b exactl the sameincrement.) The next ear, the battle or abalanced bud et be ins anew.
There ore, the responsible mana er mustdi erentiate between our nature as dreamersand our job to dream sustainabl . Artistic plansmust be tied to realistic marketin plans thatestimate the earned income potential o eachventure. Artistic directors, executives, andboards must accept the nancial implications o each artistic decision. Or anizational capacitto absorb ailure must parallel artistic risk. (Wesu est bud etin or one or two ailures each
ear.) Fundraisin oals must close the apbetween earned income and cost projections.
Throu hout each season, e ective mana ersre ularl correct or aberrations rom thisplan. Mid-course cuts to backsta e andadministrative bud ets must account or alackluster appeal, underper ormin campai n, or poor sales run.
We all know that arts mana ers are ruthlessle cient and that ew or anizations in distress
ace an expense-side problem. (More o ten,the have ailed to develop adequate income.)It is in our nature to relentlessl control cost,activel ne otiate with vendors, and reward
parsimonious sta who nd creative wa s to savewithout harmin the art. But it bears repeatinthat, especiall in capacit -strapped, rowinor anizations, there is no room to waste a sin ledollar, hour, opportunit , or iota o oodwill. I one can accomplish a task or less and doesnt,one reduces the resources available to supportprojects that help achieve ones mission.
All mana ers must per ect this balance o dreamin bi , curtailin cost, maximizin sales,and capitalizin on amilial oodwill.
Finall , most success ul, rowin or anizationswill require additional manpower to matchthe increasin scale o their work. Strate iccapacit -buildin as part o the reinvestmentprocess should ocus rst on increasin revenue-producin potential. Or anizations stru lin topa or existin , success ul pro rammin rarel
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17/20CONTROLLINg COST, REINVESTINg , BUILDINg CAPACITy
ThE (ANNOTATED) CyClE
need additional pro rammin manpower morethan the need more fexible, ample capacitto promote that pro rammin amon potentialbu ers and donors. While the production o
reat art must remain the overarchin priorit ,be ore an or anization can dramaticall expandthe scope or scale o that art, it must increasethe nancial mar in on its current success so thatnew, more ambitious art can be made, marketed,and capitalized with equal qualit and success.
Addin sta is rarel nanciall com ortablein the short-term, especiall or earl -career or anizations. However, a lon -term shorta eo pro essional sta can drain even the mostambitious, hardscrabble artistic entrepreneur.
There orelackin a dedicated rant or buildin sta capacit a balance must bestruck between rel in so heavil on so ew thatthe operation ails to deliver on its mission andtakin an unsustainable plun e.
An incremental approach to buildin sta capacit in line with commensurate increasesin amil , resources, and pro rammin will addmanpower in sta es. A part-time rant writerarmed with a lon -term artistic plan; a dedicated,ambassadorial board; and a robust, creative,and cost-e ective institutional marketin planwill quickl pa or himsel . Be ore lon , he isworkin ull-time and or anizational attentioncan turn to part-time marketin assistance
ocused on convertin mar inal bu ers intore ular ticket-bu ers and subscribers.In the end, this enhanced capacit to producea mar in on success ul art stren thens theoperation on all ronts. Disciplined, incremental
rowth in capacit a ter artistic obli ations have
been ul lledis a natural evolution o c clicalsuccess.
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18/208 | CONCLUSION
This modelthe c clepresents a theor ,ounded in observation and practice, o how
to build an or anization into a sustainableinstitution, donor b donor, da b da , seasonb season. At its heart is a dedication to, anddependence upon, lon -term plannin .
We understand that this will not come easil or allor anizations. For man , the process o be inninto plan multiple seasons in advance will itsel bea multiseason e ort. It will take time to transition
rom a six-month plan to one that extends a ear or two in advance. In some cases, it ma takeseveral seasons be ore an or anization developsthe capacit to produce a true ve- ear plan.
Because plannin requires an investment o timeand ener , some will ar ue that the process is,in itsel , an unwelcome drain on limited capacit .Skeptics cite an industr rau ht with constantchan e and ar ue that lon -term plannin is
neither practical nor expedient. But to these criticswe respect ull respond: i we do not plan, wecannot row. Our business is just too complex, tooexpensive, and too dependent on others to createthe best art, with the best outcomes, in a rush.
And when we talk about buildin capacit thisis where that process starts. The or anizationthat ails to plan is the or anization that oes onsu erin the most rom ati ue, poor morale,disen a ement, and chaos. (Sadl , even
or anizations that produce reat art are notexempt rom this rule.) On the other hand, theor anization that starts to think out 18, 24, 36months urther in advance ives itsel theluxury o timerequired to build toward bi er artincludin the time to hire, train, and pa or thatextra sta member to et it done well.
We do not hide the act that this kind o planninma require a meanin ul chan e in habit and
priorit . It takes dedication and ocus to dedicatetime to ocus on plannin , especiall withvendors knockin at the door, sta out sick, nalreports due, the openin next week, and so on.
But we also believe that this process o planninour art, marketin , and undraisin urther and
urther in advance must start be ore an or anizationcan trul be in upon the path to institutionalization.It must become, in a ver real sense, a wa o li e
or the or anization and the people who run it.
In the end, this c cleincludin its process o containin cost, buildin capacit , and reinvestinwisel is our best bu er a ainst the latent criseswaitin patientl at our door. We all know toowell that our industries are volatile, that mostor anizations are a sin le bad season, or sin leunsuccess ul production, awa rom crisis. Theseprinciples are desi ned to protect the artisticprocessand the people who make that process
possible rom the ear and instabilit that depleteour ranks and dilute the potenc o our work.
But, dont take our word or it. Take another close look at the cultural or anizations in our cit lar e and smallthat are thrivin : that arethe talk o the town, row ear a ter ear, andseem to constantl surprise with their in enuit ,st le, qualit , and race. We will wa er thateach one o them re ularl produces bold,excitin , trans ormational art; that the market
that art, and the institution behind it, creativeland consistentl ; that the number o peoplesurroundin them, wantin them to succeed,expands da b da ; and that, when it comestime to spend the resources produced b that
amil , the sta ocused on their mission and putit toward even more reat art.
That jo ous picture is the c cle in action.
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Mic ae M. Kaiser is President o the John F. Kenned Center or the Per ormin Arts. He has expanded the educationaland artistic pro rammin or the nations center or the per ormin arts and has overseen a major renovation e ort o most o the Centers theaters. Dubbed the Turnaround Kin or his work at numerous institutions, includin the Ro alOpera House (London), American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Aile American Dance Theater, and the Kansas Cit Ballet, Michaelhas earned international renown or his expertise in arts mana ement. He advises per ormin arts or anizations aroundthe world, workin with arts leaders in nearl 70 countries. Upon joinin the Kenned Center in 2001, Michael created theKenned Center Arts Mana ement Institute, renamed the DeVos Institute o Arts Mana ement at the Kenned Center a ter a $22.5 million commitment rom Dick and Bets DeVos, which aims to train the current and next eneration o arts leaders. The Institute eatures a variet o initiatives and pro rams, includin an online education orum or artsadministrators at artsmana er.or , where pro essionals and students in the eld can share experiences, seek emplo ment,and post opportunities. He ounded Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative in Februar 2009, and embarked on a50-state tour to spread his arts expertise across the United States.
Brett Egan is Director o the DeVos Institute o Arts Mana ement at the Kenned Center. In this capacit , E an leads theInstitutes team o consultants and teachers in two national capacit buildin pro rams as part o the Ford FoundationsSpace or Change initiative; re ional capacit buildin pro rams in seven American cities; international arts mana ement
ellowships or 37 participants rom 28 countries; a nine-month ellowship or mid-career North American arts executives;international arts mana ement s mposia; and lon -term consultancies with or anizations, a encies, and municipalities inthe United States and abroad.
For more in ormation about the DeVos Institute o Arts Mana ement at the Kenned Center,please visit:
Cop ri ht 2011 The John F. Kenned Center or the Per ormin ArtsAll ri hts reserved. No part o this book ma be reproduced, transmitted or stored in an in ormation retrieval s stem in an orm or
b an means, electronic, mechanical, photocop in , recordin or otherwise, without written permission rom the publisher.
Published bThe John F. Kenned Center or the Per ormin Arts
2700 F Street, NWWashin ton, DC 20566