Compleat Leader: Finance and Accounting

 

Numbers tell stories. Finance and accounting activities define priorities. Beyond balancing assets and liabilities, cash and investments, capital projects and fundraising, organizations must understand the larger economy in which they sit.

 

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Must Reads

resources compiled by National Arts Strategies and the Getty Leadership Institute

Must Reads resources on financial implications

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Planning in a Cold Climate

By Adrian Ellis

In this session I offered diagnoses and a tentative prognosis for cultural institutions in general and museums in particular in the current economic environment. I focused on three broad dimensions: (1) the underlying financial realities and basic economics of museums that we ignore at our peril...; (2) the larger social and political trends that are affecting the nonprofit sector...; and (3) the relationship between the current economic cycle and the museum building boom. The interaction of these three broad sets of factors makes for a fairly cold climate, although different institutions will be affected differently and will have different capacities for coping...   Full text (245 Kb).

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Myths, Philanthropy, and Culture: New Data and Trends

By James Allen Smith

What Do Economics Have to Do with Culture? In 1823 William Hazlitt waxed eloquent as he described a recently opened London gallery: “A fine gallery of pictures is a sort of illustration of Berkeley's Theory of Matter and Spirit. It is like a palace of thought—another universe, built of air, of shadows, of colors.” A visit to a fine museum, an outstanding performing arts center, a worthy historic site or building can indeed transport us to an ethereal universe, but those of us who work in these places or serve as trustees know that they are not constructed of air, shadows, and colors. Today, I want to talk about matter, substance, in stark black and white, perhaps adding some touches of red for deficits; that is to say, that I want to talk about the money and resources upon which we construct and maintain our palaces, mansions, even our humblest abodes, of thought...   Full text (245 Kb).

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The San Francisco Symphony Case

By William F. Meehan III, Molly McNamee and Deena Soulon

Harvard Business Online abstract and ordering information
(Link takes you to publisher's website.)

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The Recession: museum growth has to be made sustainable

By David Gordon

Link to original article in The Art Newspaper, November 2009

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Financial Ratio Analysis Comes to Nonprofits

By Kent John Chabotar

Full text
(Link takes you to publisher's website.)

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