September 12, 2011
In 2008 TCC Group was retained by the Oregon Arts Commission (OAC) to help determine the need and desire for capacity-building assistance among its grantee organizations across the state, and to conduct an assessment of those grantees' organizational capacity using TCC's Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT). One hundred and ten grantees were invited to take the CCAT, and 70 organizations ultimately did so. Beginning in June 2009, TCC Group worked with OAC to design and implement the Sustaining Oregon's Arts capacity-building initiative, which provided workshops, webinars, an annual convening, and a peer exchange that organizations could voluntarily participate in free of charge. The Initiative's kickoff convening for arts nonprofits across Oregon took place on October 1, 2009. The keynote speaker at that convening, Holly Sidford, President of Helicon Collaborative, spoke about the dramatic changes taking place in nonprofit organizations' operating environments: Increasingly, nonprofit cultural institutions represent only one "cultural" or "creative" option among many, and – for increasing numbers of people – not the most compelling one … the explosion of cultural options beyond the nonprofit model, and people's growing appetite to participate in, rather than passively "consume" the arts, are the two most important strategic issues facing nonprofit cultural organizations today. And they represent our greatest sources of possibility. Members of the nonprofit arts sector ignore these trends at their peril. The offerings of the Sustaining Oregon's Arts Initiative over the course of 2009 – 2011 helped nonprofit arts organizations to strengthen organizational capacity and adapt to the "paradigm shift," as Sidford referred to it, facing the sector. As the Initiative came to its conclusion in June 2011, OAC asked TCC to administer the CCAT to identify if any changes in organizational capacity among its grantees had taken place during the course of the initiative. This report presents the findings of the 2011 administration of the CCAT, comparing the results to those of 2008. The report also presents the findings of an analysis of organizational budget data gathered from the CCAT as well as from funding requests submitted to OAC in May 2011.