Monday, January 5, 2015

In late December, Americans for the Arts released two reports that showcase the enduring strength and impact of United Arts Funds and Business Volunteers for the Arts® programs around the country. These programs focus on encouraging partnerships with the private sector through a mix of activities. Both reports are based on the findings of surveys that were conducted to gather information on the activities of each group during fiscal year 2013, as well as to track overarching trends through the years during which the surveys have been conducted.

Business Volunteers for the Arts® National Report for Fiscal Year 2013
Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) is a national skills-based management consulting program operated by a network of organizations across the country under the leadership and coordination of Americans for the Arts. The majority of BVAs are operated as programs of local arts agencies, and are a wonderful business-focused complement to mission-related programs that cater to local nonprofit arts communities. Ten out of the 14 currently operating BVAs responded to the survey, and showed that a small group can have a powerful impact in their local communities. Although the number of BVA programs has decreased since the creation of the network in 1975, the data from this year’s report shows that there is still the need for this type of work, and that it can greatly benefit the arts sector where it is available.

Through the 10 responding programs, 115 businesses provided 445 volunteers for 199 projects with 378 arts and cultural organizations. The collective 8,512 hours spent volunteering translates to a value of over $1million. This is a less than $80,000 decrease in value from last year, although the number of volunteers decreased by nearly half since last year. Even with a smaller number of volunteers, the BVA program has the same power to influence and strengthen local arts organizations. Imagine what we could do with even more BVAs around the country! To learn more about the impact of the BVA field, read the Business Volunteers for the Arts® National Report for Fiscal Year 2013 Fact Sheet. If you’re interested in learning more about the BVA program and how it might fit into your community, please visit the BVA page of our website.

United Arts Funds Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2013
The annual United Arts Fund Statistical Report tracks the 2013 fiscal year campaign revenue collected by 48 of the nation's 53 currently operating united arts funds (UAF), and showcases the enduring strength of the field. United Arts Funds, located all over the country, raise money from local businesses, foundations, and individuals to provide ongoing operating support to local arts institutions. In 2013, participating United Arts Funds collectively raised $99.5 million, an increase of $3 million from 2012. The responding UAFs raised an average of $2.07 million in revenue during 2013.Corporate giving accounted for 37.9 percent of all campaign revenues reported by the participating UAFs. For more information on the health of the UAF field, read the United Arts Funds Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2013 Fact Sheet. If you think your community might benefit from a United Arts Fund, you can read more about them here.

Interested in starting a United Arts Funds or Business Volunteers for the Arts® program? Contact Private Sector Initiatives Coordinator, Jordan Shue.