'Lessons Learned About Change Capital in the Arts'

'Lessons Learned About Change Capital in the Arts'

Flexible, multiyear "change capital" can help an organization increase its revenue in the long run only if the organization's immediate capital needs are met, an evaluation of a $15 million initiative administered by the Nonprofit Finance Fund with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation finds. According to the report, Lessons Learned About Change Capital in the Arts: Reflections on a Four-Year Evaluation of Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Leading for the Future Initiative (14 pages, PDF), some of the performing arts organizations that received $1 million over five years to invest in "business model transformations" faced unexpected capital needs and were not ready to undertake a long-term change strategy — suggesting a sector-wide need for education about capital and capitalization practices. Conducted by the consulting firm WolfBrown, the evaluation also found that some grantees were able to invest simultaneously in several efforts and later focus on the most promising ones, and that more training around conceptualizing, tracking, and refining performance indicators is needed.