The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development is a funder collaborative created to help strengthen the management and operations of small arts and cultural organizations in Chicago and Cook County.
Grants are available for arts and cultural organizations with operating expenses between $50,000 and $800,000.
Challenge: Use the organization’s 10th anniversary to make new friends, reaching beyond dance-centric supporters
Solution: Survey current and potential supporters to deepen knowledge and understanding of the former and explore opportunities in the latter; develop a strategy to implement data-informed messaging and materials to target growth markets.
AWF Support: $16,500 to explore hypotheses about who new supporters might be and develop messages and strategies to reach them to:
Challenge: Increase capacity and resilience in an artist-lead organization
Solution: Work with a consultant to take stock of where we are and create strategic plan that builds on organizational strengths
AWF Support: A $13,000 grant from the Arts Work Fund to undertake a strategic planning process to:
Artists Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions Project
Challenge: Develop a plan to stabilize internal growth and look toward long-term sustainability—three years into a transition to a permanent home
Solution: Work with a consultant to produce an organizational assessment report and a multi-year organizational development plan.
AWF Support: $10,800 to conduct an organizational assessment and develop a three-year organizational plan to support the company’s vision to:
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Challenge: Establish a staffing structure for increased productivity and maximize the potential and deepen investment from their current board
Solution: SkyArt hired an external consultant to lead the board through a change process. The process resulted in the institution of a board “Champion” model. The consultant also assessed staff roles and recommended improvements to the organizational structure.
AWF Support: $13,000 grant to begin to prepare itself for a $2 million capital campaign to:
We believe that Chicago's arts and culture organizations are vibrant and capable; that organizational capacity supports artistic strength; and that capacity building is an ongoing process; capacity needs change as the organization changes.