Helping funders and arts organizations realize their vision since 1996.



The following guides about Strategic Planning, Fundraising, and Program Evaluation are written for artists and arts organizations, to increase your skills and understanding in these crucial areas that affect funding and management. They are designed to orient new staff, refresh the memory of more seasoned arts professionals, or distribute as training materials to board members.

Suzanne and Callahan Consulting for the Arts [craft] large-scale and complex research studies that are immediately usable, understandable and relevant to our field. She prioritizes our vision and our input throughout the entire process, swiftly transforming our goals into action, and her experience and insights made our conceived project richer and more impactful than we had hoped.

—Krista Bradley, Director of Programs and Resources, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP)


The Art of Strategic Planning: Creating a Roadmap for Success, by Suzanne Callahan with Denise Cavanaugh. An overview of the major components of strategic planning, including Cavanaugh’s Planning to Plan process.


These tips will enhance your skills at planning and writing effectively about your organization and projects.  See also Fundraising, below. 

Prospect Research: Taking the Time to Increase Your Success Rate
An explanation of why it’s important to conduct research before applying for funding, as well as what information to look for and where to find it.

The Challenge of Language Ambiguities: The Three “Mis’s”
How to critique your own language to avoid jargon and misunderstanding.

Tips for Writing Effective Grant Proposals
Tried and true ways to clarify your descriptions and strengthen your case for support.


Singing Our Praises: Case Studies in the Art of Evaluation
This book demystifies evaluation by highlighting examples of how arts presenters have used it to learn about their success. Honored by the American Evaluation Association, Singing Our Praises received the AEA’s sole national award for a publication in 2005.
Learn more about the book.
Download a summary of the book. (14 KB PDF)
Download the Press Release on the AEA 2005 Publication Award. (89 KB PDF)
Purchase the book.

The Art of Evaluation: Transforming the Research Process into a Creative Journey
A series of three articles on conducting evaluations that are both useful to organizations and also fulfill funding requirements. Originally published in the Dance/USA Journal in Spring of 1999.
Read Part 1: An Overview of the Evaluation Process.

Evaluation Glossary
See also Evaluation Glossary for Funders. Explains the terminology used in research and funding programs.

Evaluation Guides for Arts and Social Impact

Designed for artists and administrators who are using the arts as a mechanism to foster social change, these guides are based on our direct experience with arts clients working in areas such as genocide, mental illness, after school arts education, arts in healthcare, and residencies for college students.


Individual Giving: The Largest, But Often Overlooked Source of Support, by Suzanne Callahan with Fisher Howe. This guide to major gifts details donors’ motivations to give, and the strategies behind asking for money.

The Five Dirty Secrets of Capital Campaigns, by Steve Manzi. In his humorous article, Manzi explains the critical elements involved in embarking on and completing campaigns, most of which happen before the campaign actually starts.

The Tenets of a Fundraising Philosophy, by William Sturtevant. An overview of the philosophy that fundraisers should adopt when embarking on the process of raising funds. Excerpted from his book The Artful Journey: Cultivating and Soliciting the Major Gift, one of the best we’ve seen on the topic.

Top Ten Dos and Don’ts for Direct Mail. These tried-and-true tips, adapted for arts organizations, produce direct mail and e-solicitations that stand out, get read, and lead to gifts.