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亏损领导:det365首页增长对艺术组织财务健康影响的思考

来自《det365首页》的资助人
2001年9月
By 艾德里安·埃利斯

转发的 艺术读者中的资助人

Last month I was signed up by a colleague to give a lecture to a class of graduate students at 纽约 University studying arts management, 他们都打算从事文化机构的管理人员和行政人员的职业, 他们中的大多数人已经有了一些直线管理的经验. 我的课被安排在金融选修课上.

他们是, 正如我预先被警告过的那样, bright and engaged and I thought I would play the Ancient Mariner and use the opportunity to drive home some fundamental and hard-learned truth that, 如果它的传递足够令人难忘, 也许能在我的听众职业生涯中有所作为. 我的“见解”是非营利文化组织本质上是亏损的. 这是如此令人惊叹的不言自明, 我建议, that we forget that its implications permeate every aspect of the financial dynamics and culture of arts organizations.

There is an inescapable tension in the short term between pursuit of mission (and the programs that support an organization's mission) and maintaining financial viability. 所有动态, 使命驱动的非营利组织生活在金钱和使命之间的紧张关系所创造的力场中. 这个力场越强大,扩展编程的欲望就越大. And given that there is usually a large gap between an organization's mission and the part of that mission met by current programs, 成长的欲望通常是非常强烈的.

然而, 增长通常无法由留存盈余提供资金——原因很简单,因为通常没有留存盈余! 因此,增长需要外部资金支持. But debt-funded growth requires repayment of both interest and eventually principal and therefore assumes either that the investment will generate a positive rate of return or, 通常, 它将吸引慈善基金来支付这些还款成本. 股权投资, 本身, 不是非营利组织的选择吗, although they may have opportunities either to create for-profit subsidiaries or strategic alliances with for-profit organizations that provide vehicles for investors. 但股权投资也以正的资本回报率为前提.

The primary source of funding for growth is therefore either contributed income or income from reserves and endowments that have themselves been created through contributed income. 然而, unless nonprofit arts organizations can articulate – and funders embrace – the idea that growth requires investment, 增长的全部成本,而非边际成本,需要由这些贡献收入来源来支付, the impact of growth is generally to stretch organizational and financial capacity more and more thinly…leading to systemic under-funding of such areas as facilities maintenance, 资助的折旧, 营运资本, 员工的发展, 有竞争力的薪水, 或者培训——所有这些都是支持项目所必需的.

det365首页往往对这个简单的逻辑视而不见的原因是非常深刻的. 一个是, 作为一个整体, 非营利部门在很大程度上依赖技能, 能量, 以及其执行和非执行领导层的热情. 这种对领导人的依赖往往是可怕的——可怕到让人产生一种纯粹是能量的信念, 意志的力量, 耐力, 而热情能克服一切障碍, 而在那里它不, 失败的根源在于个人在领导方面的失败. The idea that an inappropriate capital structure can somehow subvert an organization's ability to meet its objectives can seem overly deterministic, 宿命论的甚至.

另一个原因是, 作为一个整体, 该部门往往侧重于组织能力建设,而不是财政能力建设. 这个行业需要两者兼得. 没有多少的关注, 说, 战略营销, is going to make things come right if your organization is so fundamentally short of 营运资本 that you cannot lift your head above the problems of next week's payroll. 事实上, inadequate 营运资本 is probably more corrosive to organizational effectiveness in the nonprofit sector than any other single factor. 这意味着短期计划排挤了长期计划,现金流因素主导了计划, 由于债权人管理层占用了时间, 钱, 情感储备是长期规划所需要的.

The ability to take informed risks – essential to the realization of the mission of most nonprofit cultural organizations – is similarly compromised, with the result that either conservative programming dominates (what is less risky and most likely to generate cash) or each artistic risk involves the concomitant financial risk of “betting the house” on a successful outcome, 有利于所有人的头发变白和溃疡.

Raising contributed income in parallel with program growth and sufficient to fund the full difference between income and expenditure is extremely tough. 更容易支付的成本是直接的项目成本——更明显, 更有吸引力, 更明显的使命达到. 固定成本往往会被打乱, 谈下来, 和递延, 尤其是因为组织希望向潜在的资助者展示自己的效率最大化, 至少在纸面上, 直接成本与间接成本之比.

这需要有坚定的领导力——以长远的眼光看待组织, 对组织的成本基础有很好的了解, 并致力于制度稳定——确保项目的增长不受影响, 随着时间的推移, sap的组织. 没有知识, 根据你的知识采取行动的意志, 以及一个成熟的或接受性的融资社区, 文化组织将â€out'随着其节目的增长, 资产负债表将会变弱, 短期现金流问题将成为长期愿景的主导.

因为这个原因, 许多文化组织对善意的人来说有些失望, 主管, 他们招募的是高度积极的人. The impetus to programmatic growth – spurred both by the ever present gap between program and mission and by sheer entrepreneurial drive – tends to leave institutions increasingly hard-pressed, under-managed, 人手不足, “de-skilled,“生病住, 他们的视野缩短了, 一般来说.

以便有效地扩展编程, 因此,非营利性文化组织必须扩大他们的财政能力,而不是随便, 而是以特定的方式支持他们的编程雄心. Any given expansion in activity can be funded in a variety of ways (through different combinations of contributed and earned income and debt), 这将对组织的资本结构(营运资本)提出不同的要求, 例如, 或者组织的储备金, 信用额度, 或长期债务工具). “自发的”非计划增长很少对组织的资本结构有积极的影响. 方案编制方面的计划增长需要财政资源的计划增长.

什么, 纽约大学的学生问道, 面对这些相当悲观和确定性的观察,det365首页能现实地做些什么呢? 我的建议是:

  • Encourage your organizations to look at the impact on their balance sheets as well as on their cash flow when considering programmed expansion;
  • Encourage them to analyze and articulate the full cost rather than the marginal cost of program growth and to generate cost information in a format that allows this to be done and communicated effectively to the outside world;
  • Encourage them to think about and articulate the requirements for institutional growth in parallel with program growth;
  • 鼓励他们将资本结构和投资目标作为战略规划过程的一部分;
  • Encourage them to remember that the reason they are nonprofit organizations is not just because they are mission driven. 这不仅仅是因为他们的使命受到了社会的重视. 这也因为追求使命是一个不言自明的无利可图的活动.

对单个艺术组织来说是正确的,对整个艺术部门来说是正确的. 随着非营利文化部门自身的扩张, 如果没有留存利润(或者, 更恰当的, 盈余)来为增长提供资金, 它要么需要按比例增加贡献收入, 或者开发辅助收入的新来源, 或者争取更多的财政让步. 最后两种方法的范围是有限的. 另一种选择是系统性的, 和进步, financial weakening of the sector over the longer term as growth in resources fails to keep pace with the aggregate need for them across the expanding sector.

最终,毕业生新兵对此无能为力. 艺术领袖能够也应该抵制用意志力战胜资本的诱惑. But a responsibility also lies with the funding bodies that have a long-term commitment to the sector and its long term health – grantmakers in the arts. 长期资助者可能是确保计划性增长的最佳人选, 在什么情况下,它会受到资助生态系统的暗中(通常是明确地)鼓励, is also adequately funded; that the corrosive temptation to fund only the marginal costs of programming is resisted; and that those funders engaged by specific programs but with a less profound commitment to the sector are encouraged to understand that programs by themselves do not a culture make; and that what might appear to be efficient funding in the short term not be allowed to weaken the sector in the longer term.

The thinking that informed this article has been stimulated by work he is undertaking with the Nonprofit Facilities Fund, 纽约, det365首页资本化的综合方法.

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