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Getting Beyond Breakeven 2.0: Exploring the Opportunities and the Limits of Making Investments Toward Change

Monday, October 13, 9:50am – 10:50am


Organized and moderated by Olive Mosier, Director, Arts Funding, William Penn Foundation.

Presented by Susan Nelson, Principal, TDC.

In 2009, TDC published Getting Beyond Breakeven, a study commissioned by the William Penn Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, which reviewed the capitalization needs and challenges of arts and culture organizations in Philadelphia. The study found weak financial health despite strong financial literacy and identified two potential reasons for this disconnect: strategic plans ungrounded in market knowledge and a chaotic market for philanthropic dollars that does not always encourage behavior that leads to financial health. Five years later, TDC has conducted a follow-up study that identifies trends in the arts ecosystem, including the contribution that funder activity made to increasing the competitive nature of the local marketplace. TDC challenges commonly held assumptions about how organizations can conceive of improving their financial position and illuminates organizational factors that determine success.