Don’t Be a Company with a Mission; Be a Mission with a Company

cart-before-the-horse

I’ve been reading a number of articles discussing arts charity marketing as a whole-company tool, not a ticket-sales tool.  Here’s one from TRG.

I was disappointed by Advancement Northwest’s Major Gifts Symposium keynote speakers’ idea of including donors within a charity’s mission.

I have been met with resistance from key artistic and production personnel who have been taught that “we do the art and everything else is a necessary evil.” (Actual quote.)

It’s just human nature for stakeholders to overvalue their contribution. Board members do it. Employees. Volunteers. Audience. Artists. Donors.

Here’s the thing: arts nonprofits that are created to solve a societal problem don’t have these issues.  These issues fester when the company is created prior to creating (and rationalizing) a mission.

Create your company as an answer and horses and carts will sort themselves out.

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