About Strategic Planning, Fundraising, and Program Evaluation

Click on the following guides, written specifically 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.


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.


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.

Grantwriting Tips

These tips will enhance your skills at planning and writing effectively about your organization and projects:

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 Proposals
Tried and true ways to clarify your descriptions and strengthen your case for support.


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.

A Guide for Analyzing Qualitative Data Using MS Access.
Instructs arts organizations to use this widely available software on their own computer to analyze evaluation findings. (Requires intermediate to advanced proficiency in MS-Access.) This systematic approach to gathering and analyzing qualitative information provides defensive documentation that is based on stories of success.
Request a Free Copy.

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.

Future Guides
Check back periodically to find new Guides. Or, let us know what you think and we'll contact you as we post new items.