'Capacity Building and Resilience'

'Capacity Building and Resilience'

While money is an important factor in helping small and midsize arts groups thrive, for many organizations the quality of the leadership team is even more important, a new report from finds. Based on interviews with board members, staff, and artists from eight of the thirty-nine organizations that participated in the initiative between 1999 and 2014, the report, (17 pages, PDF), found that organizations could be led from any position within a leadership team; that artists themselves could be powerful drivers of organizational change and development; and that frequent environmental scans of the people, places, ideas, and trends that influence their work helped participating organizations expand their audience base and increase their income. Among other things, the report calls on grantmakers to adopt a "lean in" approach to their grantees and consider additional investments in organizations that are struggling with leadership transitions or other disruptions; promote asset-based philanthropy that focuses on "building" rather than "fixing"; and eschew project-based grants in favor of grants that strengthen the whole organization.