The scope of NCAR’s work is possible because of the national partners who have provided access to different types of information, worked side by side with us in the creation of strategic vision, as well as in the development of our indices and online dashboard.
The Cultural Data Project (CDP) is a powerful, online management system designed to strengthen the arts and cultural sector. It contains organization-level fiscal, employment, donor, and attendance data on more than 14,000 arts and cultural organizations in 12 states and the District of Columbia. The CDP database enables arts and cultural organizations to enter their own financial, programmatic and operational data into a standardized online form, and then use the CDP to produce a variety of reports designed to help increase management capacity, identify strengths and challenges and inform decision-making. The CDP enables participating arts organizations to track trends and benchmark their progress through sophisticated reporting features, empowers researchers and advocates with information to make the case for arts and culture, and equips funders with data to plan and evaluate grant-making activities more effectively.
The NEA Office of Research & Analysis has produced landmark research reports that have provoked national debate on issues surrounding the arts and arts education. Among these is the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, the nation’s largest and most representative periodic study of adult participation in arts events and activities, conducted by the NEA in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. Five times since 1982, the survey has asked U.S. adults 18 and older about their patterns of arts participation over a 12-month period. They are granting us access to the raw data from this Survey (2012 data will be available later this year). They survey 18,000 American households about their arts participation. As the largest annual national funder of the arts in the United States, the NEA is also providing NCAR with data on their grant awards since 2008, including grants to state and local arts agencies and to arts organizations.
The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) is the national clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States, whose mission is to develop and disseminate high quality data on nonprofit organizations and their activities for use in research on the relationships between the nonprofit sector, government, the commercial sector, and the broader civil society. NCCS is providing IRS data 990’s on 40,000+ arts organizations to NCAR. Data from the Census Bureau will provide a look at factors such as population numbers and household incomes that can affect arts attendance.
New York-based Theatre Communications Group (TCG), whose mission is to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre, will also contribute organizational-level data gathered from its annual fiscal and attendance surveys of over 400+ theatres across the country.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) provided nine weeks of pro-bono consulting to assist NCAR in establishing a vision, mission, scope, governance and structure. The work resulted in a strategic plan for NCAR’s first three to five years, and BCG continues to support our efforts through representation on our Advisory Board.
Indices and Dashboard Creation Partners
TRG Arts is a national consulting firm that provides arts, culture and entertainment clients with guidance and solutions to grow patrons and sustainable revenue. The firm maintains household-level, arts consumption behavior data for more than 25 million households patronizing over 1,200 arts organizations in 20 markets. TRG harnesses the power of data to help increase patronage and revenue for arts and cultural organizations throughout North America. TRG is a leading provider of custom analytics and benchmarking for arts organizations, eliminating guesswork in audience development by illuminating untapped audiences and opportunities for greater efficiency. In addition, TRG will consult with NCAR to offer insights into how consumers invest their time and money in the arts. From its client work and management of 19 data network programs across the U.S., TRG regularly studies arts consumer behavior and publishes its analyses online and at industry conferences.
IBM will create and donate the NCAR’s online interactive “dashboard” enabling arts organizations to access the center’s data. IBM will spend approximately 18 months developing and customizing the dashboard, which is expected to be ready for use in late 2014.
Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is a national leader in nonprofit, philanthropic and social enterprise finance. NFF provides loan financing, access to capital and direct advisory services that build the capacity and the financial health of mission-driven organizations. NFF has been working with the NCAR to develop the financial measures used in the dashboard and the annual state-of-the-arts report.
Visionary Founding Donors
More than a dozen visionary foundations and individual arts patrons have also supported NCAR with financial investments, including the Communities Foundation of Texas, M. R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation, Jennifer and Peter Altabef, Marilyn Augur, Molly Byrne, Bess and Ted Enloe, Melissa and Trevor Fetter, Carol and Don Glendenning, Jeanne R. Johnson, Nancy Nasher, Nancy Perot, Bonnie Pitman, Caren Prothro and Donna Wilhelm.