Ford Foundation New Directions/New Donors (ND/ND)(2000-2005)
NFF provided support services to the New Directions/New Donors for the Arts program for the Ford Foundation. Ford's $42.5 million effort included $40 million in one-time challenge grants to 28 exemplary arts institutions drawn from across the arts disciplines and located in cities nationwide. The grants were designed to help organizations develop the financial foundation to sustain their programmatic initiatives, increase support from individuals, and enhance board leadership.
As part of the initiative, NFF convened the 28 organizations at annual meetings and developed advisory resources on capitalization, endowment governance and management, and donor development.
- Academy of American Poets
- Alabama Shakespeare Festival
- Alvin Ailey American Dance
- Ballet Memphis
- Brooklyn Academy of Music
- Center for Puppetry Arts
- Film Forum
- Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
- Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
- Houston Grand Opera
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Japanese American National Museum
- Jazz at Lincoln Center
- Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
- Loft Literary Center
- Mint Museum of Art
- National Museum of the American Indian
- New Jersey Performing Arts Center
- Opera Theatre St. Louis
- Prince Music Theatre
- San Francisco Ballet
- Site Santa Fe
- St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
- Steppenwolf Theatre Company
- Sundance Festival
- Western Folklife Center
Business of the Arts Case Studies
NFF's series of case studies, The Business of the Arts spotlighted spotlighted our observations about the effect of capital structure on nonprofits and the relationship of capital structure to program and capacity building. The monographs also focused on the experiences of ND/ND participants in developing individual donor campaigns. Case studies in this series include:
- Rising in Stages: How Steppenwolf Excelled, First on the Boards, Then in the Boardroom, and Ultimately on the Balance Sheet
The Steppenwolf Theater Company grew from an 88-seat facility in a suburban church basement to become a nationally acclaimed theater. This monograph explores how Steppenwolf achieved success through the continual balancing and rebalancing of business operations, capital investment, and artistic innovation. It’s the “gold standard” story of nonprofit growth over 25 years.
- Building a Museum Without Walls: Native Worldviews Reshape Mission
By returning sacred objects from its collection to tribal communities, the National Museum of the American Indian is redefining museum practices around the management of culturally sensitive materials. Explore how museum/tribal cooperation has contributed to the continuity of American Indian culture and community.
- Creating Work That Matters: Memphis Choreographs to the Soul of a City
Ballet Memphis is a pioneer of the regional ballet movement, which has become an essential and dynamic element of the dance ecosystem. Find out how it became a thriving company within a community that had not historically supported ballet. Witness how it continues to evolve artistically while remaining relevant to the community.
- Culture on the Range: Attracting Audiences–and Dollars–to one of America’s Most Remote Places
Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada has developed a national following through its annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. How did the Center draw on the popularity of this event to attract supporters from around the country to sustain its overall programming? Explore how the Center has successfully navigated the sometimes rocky road of cultivating donors and members who may only pass through its doors once each year.
- Close-up and Personal: Building a Home and a Community for Independent and Classic Cinema
New York’s Film Forum had raised more than half of a $4 million endowment, substantially from a handful of very large contributors passionately devoted to film and to Film Forum. Broadening that circle of donors was among the key challenges faced by the organization in 2002. Examine the film house’s accomplishments and the choices that lay ahead.
- Every Person, Every Group, Every Interest: A Fundraising Strategy that Draws its Inspiration from a 400-Year Old Mystical Vision
In 2002, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center was in the midst of a capital campaign, raising support from individual contributors at every income level. The fundraising drive revolved around a religious icon that embodied the spirit of the campaign and of the institution. See how the Center’s leaders worked to make their vision a reality.
- The People Are the Message: A Museum Where Contributors Are Part of the Collection
During two fundraising campaigns, the Japanese American National Museum raised tens of millions of dollars from families and individuals who are neither wealthy nor accustomed to making large donations. Read the story of how and why the Museum succeeded.