Top Ten Free Web Resources for
Arts & Culture Leaders

Summer is here! Time for outdoor concerts, arts festivals, summer stock, and Arts Consulting Group’s list of the top ten free web resources for arts and culture leaders! Here are ACG’s recommendations to bookmark for your travel and leisure reading.

1. Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts continues to provide invaluable creative resources and information on top issues affecting the arts today. Its new Arts + Social Impact Explorer is an online tool that illuminates the important ways the arts intersect with the day-to-day lives of Americans. Explore topics such as education, culture and heritage, social justice, and health and wellness.

2. BoardSource

BoardSource is the leading organization focused on inspiring and supporting excellence in nonprofit governance and board and staff leadership. Its Fundamental Topics of Board Service & Resource Library provides an extensive list of downloadable resources, topic papers, and publications that pertain to fundamental aspects of nonprofit board service. These topics include the board-staff partnership, oversight and accountability, fundraising, advocacy and ambassadorship, and board composition and recruitment.

3. Canada Council for the Arts

As Canada’s public arts funder, Canada Council for the Arts champions and invests in artistic excellence through its grants, services, prizes, and payments to Canadian artists and arts organizations. Its Research Library provides an abundance of useful research from the past 20 years. Arts and culture leaders can filter through a variety of subjects, including audiences and access, statistical insights on the arts, arts management, indigenous reports, and arts funding. In May 2018, The Research, Evaluation and Performance Measurement Section of the Canada Council for the Arts began working with the Université du Québec à Montréal and a team of university researchers to carry out a study that aims to document the Deaf and disability arts practices in Canada. This research will contribute to a better understanding of issues surrounding Deaf and disability arts, collaborations between Deaf and disability arts sectors and art sectors more broadly, and practices that allow for the recognition, support, and promotion of Deaf and disability artists.

4. Candid

Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forced this year to form Candid. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people with the resources they need to change the world. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world. By merging their databases, these two resources can now present more uniformity and context in its nonprofit information. Visitors can filter, analyze, and download data on 2.7 million nonprofits in the United States, search 140,000 funders and 14 million grants to find funding, confirm a nonprofit’s eligibility for grants and contributions, and explore funding landscapes on critical global issues.

5. Free Management Library

Since 1995 Free Management Library has offered indispensable board governance resources, including fact sheets, forms, sample policies, board manuals, and other helpful tools. A collaborative effort by several entities, this website continues to be the best online source of free information, covering nearly every aspect of effective management and nonprofit operations. Select from a wide variety of topics such as career advancement, cultivating desired culture, organizational change, and more.

6. National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is a professional association of the nation’s 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, NASAA champions public support for the arts in America, working with state arts agencies to advance the arts as an essential ingredient in the well-being and prosperity of individuals, families, and communities. In addition to advocating for the policy interests of state arts agencies, NASAA is an authoritative resource for information about state arts agencies and public funding for the arts. NASAA’s research and member education programs drive excellence and spark innovation. Research topics in areas such as funding, arts education, federal reporting, grant making, and creative economy supply relevant statistics, information on best practices, and guidance on collecting and using data.

7. Nonprofit Tech for Good

Nonprofit Tech for Good is a leading technology resource for nonprofit professionals, providing valuable, easy-to-understand information, news, and resources related to nonprofit technology, online communication, and mobile and social fundraising. Download Nonprofit Tech for Good’s free 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, the only annual research project dedicated to studying global web and email communications, online fundraising tools, social media, mobile technology, data management, and security software. This is the sister report to the Global Trends in Giving Report, which shows the impact of technology, gender, generation, and ideology upon giving worldwide. The 2019 editions will be available in September.

8. Performing Arts Alliance

Providing excellent advocacy tools for arts and cultural organizations and individuals, the Performing Arts Alliance is the national policy advocate, leadership forum, and learning network for nonprofit performing arts organizations, artists, and allies. Its website includes detailed recommendations on arts policy and current updates on pending arts legislation. Its Arts Advocacy Issue Center offers overviews and analyses on topics ranging from federal funding for arts education to international artist visa processing. Additionally, its Take Action Now! button provides a quick and easy way to take a stand for a current policy affecting the arts industry.

9. SMU DataArts

Launched in 2012, Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) was the leading provider of evidence-based insights on the nonprofit arts and cultural industry. In 2018 NCAR merged with DataArts, the respected Philadelphia-based resource for in-depth information about nonprofit arts, culture, and humanities organizations in the United States. The newly formed SMU DataArts provides analytic reports, training and support, and cultural data networks. Examines the results of more than 2,000 organizations’ fundraising efforts across 11 different arts and cultural sectors throughout the United States, The Fundraising Report highlights trends for over the four-year period from 2014 to 2017. This newly released report offers valuable insights and useful tools to help arts and cultural leaders tell their story, overcome challenges, and increase impact.

10. Volunteer Match

For more than 20 years, VolunteerMatch has been an effective source for recruiting highly qualified volunteers. The website pairs passionate and committed people to nonprofit organizations, placing them when and where they are needed. VolunteerMatch is packed with helpful advice for governance leaders and volunteer managers. Its Learning Center offers webinars on advanced topics such as developing a strategic plan for volunteer engagement and managing difficult volunteer transitions. The organization has paired more than 15 million people to more 120,000 organizations. Arts and culture leaders can register as a VolunteerMatch Member to find volunteers for their organization’s cause.

Additional Resources

Sign up to receive Arts Insights, ACG’s free publication featuring articles on a variety of topics ranging from effective board summits to fundraising strategies. Visit ACG’s website to review past issues.

 Contact ACG for more information on how we can help your organization with interim management,
executive search, revenue enhancement, strategic planning & community engagement,
and facilities & program planning services for the arts and culture industry.

(888) 234.4236

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

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