Critical Steps Toward Capital Health in the Cultural Sector

Rebecca Thomas and Holly Sidford


   Critical Steps Toward Capital Health in the Cultural Sector (61 Kb)

This practical guide, authored by Rebecca Thomas of Nonprofit Finance Fund and Holly Sidford of Helicon Collaborative, offers cultural organizations and their supporters a set of action-oriented tips for strengthening capitalization in ways essential to artistic and organizational resiliency. These principles were developed by NFF over more than three decades of partnership with both organizations and grantmakers. They promote improved decision-making by cultural nonprofits of all disciplines and sizes, and by the funders who support them. When applied thoughtfully, in concert with strong financial planning and management, they offer the most direct route to building financially healthy organizations that can adapt to their changing circumstances.

It summarizes these steps for funders:

  • Encouraging integrated planning that links program, operations and finances to strategy,
  • Rewarding rather than penalizing surpluses,
  • Funding projects and programs at full costs,
  • Seeding reserves for liquidity, risk-taking and change, and
  • Engaging in dialogue with your staff, grantees and peer funders about capitalization principles.