Grantmakers in the Arts defines capitalization as “the accumulation of the resources an organization needs to fulfill its mission over time,” specifically regarding financial health. Capital is money saved in order to respond to challenges and opportunities. Capital is different from revenue (which is immediately spent), and from assets like endowments or facilities (which are not available as liquid cash that can pay expenses). It has been the norm for the nonprofit arts sector to be poorly capitalized, an issue which disproportionately affects organizations of color. In response, GIA embarked on the National Capitalization Project (NCP) in 2010. Since its launch, GIA has provided resources, conferences sessions, publications, and workshops on nonprofit capitalization. GIA’s Conversations on Capitalization and Community are specialized workshops, held separately for funders and nonprofit grantees, focusing on what each group can do to support the financial health of nonprofit arts and culture organizations. GIA has also updated the workshop to reflect the financial impacts of the pandemic and to reflect a racial equity lens. These workshops are available either in-person or online by contacting

January 10, 2018 by Monica

The National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University has released a report detailing financial health of arts organizations in the US. The report examines organizational bottom lines using data collected from over 4,800 organizations between 2013 and 2016. Overall, the report shows that it has become increasingly difficult for arts and cultural organizations to break even, a trend that is particularly alarming given the current period of economic growth in the US.

November 21, 2017 by Monica

A recent report from Propel Nonprofits examines the financial health culturally specific organizations in Minnesota. The organization uses the term culturally specific to refer to “nonprofits led by people of color and rooted in historically marginalized communities.” From President & CEO Kate Barr:

October 24, 2017 by Monica

A recent article in American Theatre describes an effort by mid-sized arts institutions in Atlanta to collectively address common fundraising challenges:

September 19, 2017 by Monica

Rebecca Thomas recently published a blog post outlining "Six Steps for Sustainability Planning."

July 6, 2017 by Monica

An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review discusses how grantmaking policies affect the financial stability of nonprofits, as researched by Michael Etzel, a partner at Bridgespan, a nonprofit consultancy, and Hilary Pennington, a vice president at the Ford Foundation. The duo developed a grantmaking pyramid which "reframes how funders and grantees think about building organizations," emphasizing the need for "foundational" support at the base of the pyramid. This strategy is now being utilized by the Ford Foundation to examine their grantmaking portfolio.

July 7, 2017 by Monica

An article in the Philanthropy News Digest discusses the results of two recent reports from The Kresge Foundation and Point Forward:

April 12, 2017 by Monica

The Nonprofit Quarterly has published an in-depth article on nonprofit financial capital, covering various types of capital, how nonprofits obtain capital, and various methods for monitoring and financial reporting.

March 9, 2017 by giarts-ts-admin

Two years ago, I had breakfast with a colleague — very nice guy who has helped build the social, or “impact,” investing sector. I shared my ideas about how to connect impact investing with the arts.

To him, investing in the arts meant buying a Picasso or a Van Gogh, collecting art objects. He agreed there was a market for fine art. But impact investing in the arts? He was dead against it.

February 7, 2017 by Monica

From the blog of Rebecca Thomas, who delivers GIA’s Conversations on Capitalization and Community workshops, a new post provides an overview of risk capital and how it can be used by arts organizations: