Formerly known as the Arts Advancement Initiative, AIM seeks to strengthen nearly three hundred small- and midsize organizations in six cities — Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco — with unrestricted general operating support grants. Organizations invited to participate in the initiative will be required to secure matching funds, reach 100 percent board participation in fundraising, and submit up-to-date information on their efforts to the Cultural Data Project, an online financial management tool that enables arts organizations across the country to track trends and benchmark their progress. In addition, Bloomberg Philanthropies will partner with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland to develop curricula and conduct trainings designed to engage participating organizations in activities that strengthen their long-term health.
The initiative was piloted from 2011 to 21013 in New York City, where it supported two hundred and forty-five organizations. Of those, 79 percent reported success in reaching new audiences through targeted marketing campaigns and social media; 95 percent said they improved board engagement by adding new members and/or increasing board giving; and 88 percent reported leveraging their grants to secure new contributions from donors.
"Nonprofit arts groups do so much to help cities thrive, but they often face major funding challenges. Effective management and fundraising practices are absolutely critical for arts organizations, especially those with small budgets," said Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael R. Bloomberg. "These grants will help arts groups make the most of their resources, reach more people, and have an even bigger impact on their communities."