Community arts education providers rely on funding from multiple sources to sustain services and maintain financial stability. Earned income usually accounts for more than half of annual operating revenues, according to the National Guild’s 2007–2008 Field Survey Report. Contributed income from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies makes up 12 to 26 percent of revenue for independent organizations; the percentage is smaller in divisional programs. Print this page
The balance of income types differs from one organization to another and may vary with changes in the economy, public interest, and organizational direction. A provider that serves disadvantaged communities may depend more on contributed income so that it can offer free or low-cost programs and services. A provider in a large metropolitan area with many funding opportunities will generate more income from grants than a provider in a rural area. And organizations with staff to manage well-developed parent networks may have more success with annual giving campaigns. The income sources you choose will be based on mission, audience, and staff and volunteer capacity, as well as on resource availability.
Developing resources involves just about everyone: board members, the executive director, staff, and volunteers. Fundraising is primarily about building relationships with generous individuals and compatible foundations, corporations, and government agencies. It also depends on knowing which strategies and tools work best for you.