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Laura Frank
Indiana Arts Commission

Steve Hinnefeld
IU University Communications

Adriene Davis
Center on Philanthropy

Last modified: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indiana's first arts and cultural organization assessment report unveiled

June 29, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) and the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) announced today that the Nonprofit Capacity Assessment for Indiana's Arts and Culture Organizations report, a first of its kind, has been completed and is now available for review.

Kirsten Grønbjerg

Kirsten Grønbjerg

Print-Quality Photo

The report can be downloaded from the Indiana University website at and on the IAC website at

In 2008, the IAC enlisted SPEA researchers to implement a survey to better understand the capacity building and technical assistance needs of Indiana arts and culture organizations.

"In order to address the growing number of capacity building and technical assistance requests the Arts Commission receives, we needed to collect information directly from our constituents," said Lewis C. Ricci, executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission. "We surveyed approximately 1,800 organizations that have sought funding from the IAC or our regional arts partners since 2003."

The original sample included both nonprofit and public/governmental organizations that provide arts and cultural activities, but excluded individual artists and for-profit organizations. Approximately 385 organizations completed the survey in full or in part.

Lewis Ricci

Lewis Ricci

SPEA Project Director Kirsten A. Grønbjerg says that financial resources pose the most challenges, followed by networking and advocacy, marketing, programs and planning, information technology, human resources, and operations and governance. Detailed analysis shows that across-the-board challenges are most severe for organizations whose entire mission is dedicated to arts and culture, those that rely extensively on volunteers, and/or those with board vacancies.

"Based on our analysis of what respondents view as the most helpful types of assistance, we identified four priorities for the Indiana Arts Commission: funding assistance, peer learning, collaborative activities with other arts and culture organizations, and technical assistance support," said Grønbjerg, who also holds the Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

The IAC has begun to address these needs with two seminars: "Fundraising and Constituent Building in the Current Economy," presented in Lafayette on June 3-4 by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University; and "Leading at the Speed of Change," presented in Bloomington on June 25-26 by Minneapolis-based ArtsLab. More information can be found at

Technical assistance seminars will be planned by the Arts Commission on a yearly basis to continue to address the priorities that have come out of the assessment.

About the Indiana Arts Commission

On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life. The Arts Commission encourages the presence of the arts in communities of all sizes while promoting artistic quality and expression.

About the Center on Philanthropy

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, a part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), is a leading academic center dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and improving its practice worldwide through research, teaching, training and public affairs programs in philanthropy, fundraising, and management of nonprofit organizations.

About the School of Public and Environmental Affairs

The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs is a world leader in public affairs and environmental sciences and is the largest school of public affairs in the United States. In the most recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Six of its specialty programs are ranked in the top 10 listings, including nonprofit management, ranked No. 1.