Mission and Values


Callahan Consulting for the Arts, LLC was founded in 1996 to help arts organizations realize their vision through planning, fundraising, evaluation, and philanthropic counsel.


A Creative Approach to Consulting. We believe in Sir Ken Robinson of the Getty Foundation's premise that what makes a business succeed is creative people "who can make good decisions in times of uncertainty, who can adapt to new opportunities and respond creatively to change." At all levels of our work, we facilitate our client's ability to do exactly that. We are a less visible, but often vital, part of their creative process and success; we help make it possible for artists to create, funders to support, and audiences to experience the arts.

Spirit of Generosity. The relationships we have with clients, funders and the arts field go far beyond a contract. They are rooted in and informed by decades of service as funders, panelists, colleagues, and artists.

Learning Culture. At every phase of consulting, we strive to impart the skills, insight and knowledge that will support our clients after their contract is over. We work proactively to remain current on trends and developments in our areas of expertise. This means continued training, research, and collaboration with peer consultants.

A True Partnership. As Peter Block explains in Flawless Consulting, the most successful consultancies are 50-50, and involve open communication, agreed-upon goals, and shared responsibilities. Sometimes this means urging clients to reexamine their expectations, and sometimes it means giving a referral to a different kind of consultant. Regardless, making the best match is key.

Measured Growth. Our firm intentionally remains lean in order to stay closely connected with clients and personally focused on all projects.

Ethics. We believe in, and practice, ethical principals that keep the arts field honest, accountable and transparent. As professional evaluators, we adhere to the standards set out by the American Evaluation Association. And as Certified Fundraising Executives and funders ourselves, we abide by the standards of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Both address issues of confidentiality, anonymity, and use of funds.