customized economic impact study service
Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading provider of studies that measure the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences.
What Is an Economic Impact Study?
Any time money changes hands there is a measurable economic impact. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations are employers, producers, and consumers. Their spending is far-reaching: they pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services, and acquire assets within their community. In addition, unlike most industries, nonprofit arts and culture organizations leverage a significant amount of event-related spending by their audiences. For example, when patrons attend a cultural event they may pay to park their car, purchase dinner at a restaurant, shop in nearby stores, eat dessert after the show, and stay the night in a hotel (or pay a babysitter upon their return home). This spending generates dependable, sustainable commerce for local businesses.
Our proprietary research Arts & Economic Prosperity ™ research methodology enables our partners to measure—in a reliable and affordable manner—the impact of all this spending on four key areas of your economy:
- The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs supported within your community
- The amount of household income (i.e., wages and salaries) paid to residents
- The amount of revenue generated for local (city and county) government
- The amount of revenue generated for your state government
Why is a Customized Economic Impact Study Right for My Community?
Because no community is the same, there is no one-size-fits-all method of studying the economic impact of the arts. As an advocacy tool, there is little more powerful than rigorous, deep, and personalized data—the kind of data that convinced California's Speaker of the House John Perez to direct $2 million from the State Assembly Operating Budget to the California Arts Council. The kind of data that prompted the San Diego, CA city council to unanimously approve a "Penny for the Arts" plan, which could generate an additional $18 million for the arts in San Diego. And the kind of data that persuaded the New Hampshire State Legislature to increase the appropriation for the NH State Council on the Arts instead of abolishing it.
We are able to study the impact of any organization or geographic region, including:
- Individual organizations, facilities, performances, or events
- Arts districts
- Cities, counties, or multi-county regions
- Entire states
What do I need to bring to the table?
We'll need your commitment to completing the data collection requirements. The more time you are willing to dedicate to collecting as much information as you possibly can, the deeper and more powerful the results will be. You take the pulse of your community—and we'll take it from there. With a small cost-sharing participation fee, you will gain access to a personalized representative at Americans for the Arts to walk you through the process, and you will never have to worry that you are not completing something correctly or that you've misunderstood any numbers. Your understanding of and connection to your own community is our most powerful asset in creating these personalized reports.
But I'm a/an...
Then you're right for this study! We have worked with everyone from individuals all the way up to statewide agencies, and we have the capacity to work with you whatever your size and capacity. That includes:
- Individual facilities (e.g., performing arts centers, museums, and theaters)
- Arts councils, arts commissions, and departments of cultural affairs
- Economic development, community development, and planning agencies
- State arts agencies and statewide advocacy organizations
- Private foundations and community foundations
To give you an idea of the kinds of results you can expect, please take a look below at the report that most closely matches your community's needs:
Sample Final Reports
What makes a report from Americans for the Arts different?
With more than 400 successfully completed customized economic impact studies under our belt over the last ten years alone, Americans for the Arts brings incomparable depth of experience and a wealth of data. With our studies, you will gain direct access to a wide network of others who have completed studies with us, and you can be sure that your results are rigorously tested with our advanced and authoritative model.
- You can compare your findings to the findings for the 182 communities that participated in our most recent national study, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV.
- Our studies employ a highly regarded input-output analysis that is the basis for two Nobel Prizes in economics (our economist will customize an econometric model specifically for your community).
- The findings from our studies are the most frequently cited statistics used to demonstrate the impact of the arts on our local, state, and national economies.
How much will a Customized Study cost?
Americans for the Arts is proud to partially subsidize these customized studies using the Ruth Lilly Fund for Americans for the Arts and working through our Institute for Community Development and the Arts, with the goal of providing all U.S. communities with affordable access to economic impact research about the nonprofit arts industry. When compared to for-profit consultants using similar methodology, we charge three to four times less, and endeavor at all times to bring this resource to as many people as possible.
We understand the burdens of time and resources that are a part of everyday life for arts organizations and others that deal directly with them, and we know that every dollar counts. These customized studies are an invaluable asset to your advocacy efforts, and are a significant investment in the future of the arts in your community. This tool is an upfront cost that we hope will more than pay for itself down the road.
|Type of Region to be Studied||Study Participation Fee|
|Individual cultural organization, facility, or event||$3,500|
|Entire community (e.g., city, county, multi-region):|
|• Population fewer than 100,000||
|• Population of 100,000 or more||$8,500|
|Entire state||Starting at $15,000|
Ready to learn more?
First, take a look at our Project Resources:
- Economic Impact Fact Sheet and Sample Timeline
- Sample Project Contract
- Sample Audience Expenditure Survey
- Sample Organizational Expenditure Survey
Now, we want to hear from you!
To get answers to your questions—and to request a draft contract for your organization—contact Senior Director of Research Services Ben Davidson by phone at 202.371.2830, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Already participated in this program? We want to hear from you, too! Please email or call us to let us know how your experience was, and how we can continue to support you in your important advocacy efforts.
Don't miss this valuable opportunity to work with experts one-on-one to create your personalized casemaking tool for the arts in your community!
Think economic impact studies might not be for you, but still interested in value-added casemaking tools based on rigorous research? Visit our Web-Based Survey page, which will tell you everything you need to know about the completely customized, fully managed research services we offer.