COVID legislation. New Funding Models.

Happy New Year and thanks for subscribing to these updates. I found two postings that looked like they would be useful to fold into classes as the spring semester starts. First up are guides published by the National Council of Nonprofits and Theatre Communications Group focused on the recently approved COVID legislation. I also found an opinion piece that raises interesting questions about the future of fundraising while also promoting consulting services.

COVID Relief and the NFP and Arts Sector

The National Council of Nonprofits created an easy to follow table that describes issues being addressed and summarizes what the legislation accomplished. TCG also published information about the bill along with a link to the Performing Arts Alliance website. These sites include more detailed information about the impact of the bill on arts organizations.

The SOS or Save Our Stages part of the bill provided a modest $10 million for arts venues and cultural institutions. Several other sections in the COVID relief legislation reference a percent threshold of revenue loss in order for an organization to be eligible to apply for funding. It will be interesting to read follow-up reports about how effective the legislation was in addressing the myriad of problems caused by the virus-related shutdowns and the recession. Most news reports indicate that the funding amounts allocated in the bill were below the need level.

New Models of Cultural Funding

Melissa Cowley Wolf’s opinion piece in artnet news on the funding crisis is timely considering what a struggle the last nine months has been for arts organizations. The claims that are made and the recommendations offered allow students to explore and ponder the philanthropic mindset and the next generation of philanthropists. Do the upcoming generations have “entirely different views about philanthropy?” How is the “lens of social justice” shaping how donors support arts and cultural organizations? How do we democratize “pathways to wealth creation” and reform capitalism to change power structures? These are big questions, indeed.

I provided links to the Arts Funders Forum and to Wolf’s consulting firm website so you and your students can gain additional perspective about the context in which this “existential crisis” is occurring. If nothing else, the information at these links could be used in an assignment designed to sharpen critical thinking skills about how to best go about developing future generations of donors.

Thanks again for your continued interest in Management and the Arts.

Bill Byrnes


Nonprofit Provisions in COVID Relief Legislation

December 21, 2020

The National Council of Nonprofits created a  helpful guide to the COVID legislation approved in late December. Go to the link below and scroll down to Resources for funding and click on Analysis of year-end COVID relief bill (Dec. 21, 2020)

About Us Link:

At Last! COVID-19 Relief Approved in Year-End Funding Bill

By Laurie Baskin, TCG – December 22

Click on the “detailed overview here” link to access the Performing Arts Alliance website.

Link to the legislation, all 5993 pages:


Arts Funding Is Facing an Existential Crisis. To Survive, Cultural Organizations Must Change How They Frame Themselves to the Public

The director of the Arts Funders Forum offers advice for an industry facing a new generation of donors increasingly disinterested in culture.

Melissa Cowley Wolf, December 8, 2020, Artnet news

Arts funding was in crisis well before 2020. But the events of this year have proven we can’t wait any longer to reimagine our models for a more sustainable future.

In the years leading up to 2020, overall charitable giving had been increasing, but support for the arts was not. With $30 trillion expected to be transferred over the next 30 years in the United States alone, we are in the midst of the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in human history. But the generation inheriting this wealth has entirely different views about philanthropy than its predecessors. Link to opinion piece:

Arts Funders Forum (AFF) is shaping the future of cultural philanthropy. Designed to increase private funding for arts and culture in the United States, AFF is an advocacy, media, convening, and research platform for engaged philanthropists and funders, artists, experts, and influencers who come together to develop new models of impact-driven financial support for the cultural sector.

MCW Projects – MCW Projects is a consulting firm dedicated to expanding the next generation of cultural philanthropists, advocates, and audiences. MCW Projects helps organizations re-tool and re-invent their narratives to promote their relevance. We implement new methods of engagement to recruit and retain new audiences and cultivate the next generation of donors.

M+D – We are a global advisory that helps sophisticated organizations tell important stories, convene high-powered audiences, create awareness, build new business, drive growth, find strategic partners, and promote thought leadership.