Stop. Think about this for a second... Take a moment to read through all the various thoughts, opinions, and articles about nonprofits and you'll find abundant encouragement to grow your audience, grow your funding, and grow your capacity. It is right that we spend time considering all we have and all we've done. At least for a moment... I think about that experience all nonprofit leaders face when a new board member asks an obvious question that has been tackled in the past.
Four Tips for Understanding and Responding to
Communications Challenges in our Modern World "THEY NEVER TOLD ME!" Most parents have heard this at some time during their parenting career. The incredulous looks, the shocked expression, and the defensive argument all combine to explain why an assignment was missed or a deadline was past. Let me start out by declaring I'm not, in any way, indicating the behaviors I see in young people are bad or wrong...they are just different.
In order to survive and thrive, the Arts must not be viewed by consumers as something only experienced at the end of the work day/week when there is extra time and money. Arts organizations need to use their innate creativity to find ways of strengthening connection and relevance to every day community life. At the same time as younger donors are clearly looking to support causes, many in the Arts are still caught up in the old justification; the best reason they can offer t
The piece by Melody Kramer in Poynter yesterday is directed at journalists and uses the changes some museums are incorporating into their operating processes as encouragement for our news providers to attract audiences by trying new paths for engagement. With so many industries challenged by slipping attention and sliding audience numbers, we have to ask, "What, exactly, is broken?" The answer may be that it's not broken, but our society is changing and along with it, our abi
Is it just me or are we in WAY too many meetings? The CEO of a well-known multi-million dollar company that sells products and services to museums and cultural destinations (he/she only gave me the quote if I promised anonymity) once quipped about nonprofits... "Nonprofit professionals seem to think the importance of a decision is directly proportional to the number of people involved." I'm not sure how many times over the years I've walked into a conference room to discuss
In order to survive and thrive, the Arts must not be viewed by consumers as something only experienced at the end of the work day/week when there is extra time and money. Not Like it Was Participation in arts events, as a whole, has seen a steady, slow decline from the highs during the 1990s. The NEA's study from 2002-2012 shows a decline of about 8% in attendance at art museums and galleries and non-musical theatre showed a decline of over 12%. The current debate (that's b
Forget resolutions. During the Amazon Prime live stream of the Rose Parade, Will Ferrell as "Cord Hosenbeck" and Molly Shannon as "Tish Cattigan" acting as parade "hosts", parodied New Year's Resolutions with a bit about their own goals. They started out by reviewing their last year's (2017) resolutions and commenting on "how they did". They either failed miserably or were "working on it". Then, they declared their resolutions for 2018 and, guess what, they were the exact s
This is still real. While, obviously, technology has not killed museums, I think that the tech advances are increasing so rapidly that we cannot be sure what lies ahead in just the next 5-10 years. Here's a piece I wrote back in 1996. Some of the observations I made 21 years ago are already already quite dated because our world and society march forward. I do know this: Talking to my 18 year old daughter's boyfriend about music, I'd asked him if he wanted to try some pretty
“What do the arts need?”. A complex question, to be sure, but one that does not require a complex answer. The arts comprise what is best in our society. The contributions of art, architecture, music, theatre, dance, and literature, a collection of expression that has grown to include movies, design, fashion, humanities, photography, illustration, crafts, and many other specific classifications, are monumental in the fabric of our society. From the discoveries of early man we