Lessons Learned about Change Capital in the Arts

Reflections on a four-year evaluation of Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Leading for the Future initiative

Alan S. Brown and Arthur F. Nacht

December 2014, 14 pages. Nonprofit Finance Fund, 70 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018. (212) 868-6710. http://nonprofitfinancefund.org/

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This report takes stock of a four-year evaluation of Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence (LFF), an experimental $15 million funding initiative administered by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). The purpose of this analysis is to reflect critically on what was learned from the initiative for the benefit of funders, individual philanthropists and others with an interest in the theory and practice of capitalization as applied to nonprofit arts organizations.

The LFF initiative was unique in its exclusive focus on change capital – substantial, flexible, multi-year capital intended to transform how an organization operates and delivers its programs, with the long-term goal of increasing reliable revenue, net of costs. By definition, change capital aims to strengthen an organization’s financial position.

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