2017 GIA Conference
Detroit, MI   October 28–31
Legacy and Leadership

Capitalizing Small Cultural Organizations in Pittsburgh

A Pilot Funding Collaborative

Sunday, October 29, 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Organized by Janet Sarbaugh, Vice President, Creativity, The Heinz Endowments.

Moderated by Rebecca Thomas, Principal, Rebecca Thomas & Associates. Presented by Heather McElwee, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Glass Center; and Kate Sphar, Senior Program Officer, McCune Foundation.

In 2013, a group of funders and cultural organizations in Pittsburgh attended Grantmakers in the Arts’ Conversations on Capitalization workshop. The dialogue sparked research and conversation about the inadequate access to resources faced by small to mid-sized cultural organizations in the region. In response, a group of funders — The Heinz Endowments, McCune Foundation, Pittsburgh Foundation, Benedum Foundation, and Benter Foundation — invested $1.7 million in a pilot program to strengthen the stability and resiliency of local organizations. Presenters will share early lessons from this collaborative experiment, discussing the financial challenges and investment needs of small organizations, readiness for capitalization planning, challenges of pooled grantmaking, and benefits of a local-national consulting partnership. Participants will have the opportunity to share lessons from their own experiments in capitalization and to discuss the potential application of new models in their communities.