Non-profit organizations are only as donor-worthy as the strength of their missions and the focus of their programs -- both have to be compelling, of high quality, serving a defined need, and measurable in their outcomes. This requires an organizational commitment to building and enhancing internal capacity as well as to being responsive to members and other stakeholders, as well as to the community (including oversight/regulatory agencies and funders).
The competition for dollars and audience is great, and getting greater. There are more than 2000 arts organizations in New York State. Think of all the nonprofits in your community or region -- schools, hospitals, religious organizations, museums, libraries, social service organizations. Each one has a mission, a need, and to greater or lesser degrees, each is seeking funding.
Now think of all the fundraising material you personally receive each week or month. What appeals came in the mail or over the telephone last week? How many of them came from local or regional arts, cultural or educational organizations?
How can your organization compete, and even flourish, in this type of environment? Funding opportunities are more easily identified, and partnerships for funding more readily or appropriately created, when you know and understand the environment in which you operate and the niche your organization fills.
Photo: Visitors at the Guggenheim Museum, NYC