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On Tuesday June 19th and Wednesday the 20th, ArtsFund hosted forums on fundraising and development for cultural organizations, titled From Survival to Success: A Management Platform for Fundraising Success, presented by nonprofit advisory firm Altruist Partners. More than 100 staff and board members attended over the two mornings at K&L Gates, with the first session geared toward organizations with budgets under $1 million and the second at those with budgets over $1 million.

Donald Summers and O. David Jackson of Altruist Partners shared strategies and suggestions for growing fundraising using tools from the for-profit sector.

Donald Summers of Altruist Partners presents to attendees

O. David Jackson of Altruist Partners addresses attendees

The two opened with reviewing organizational communication, and the barriers that can prevent difficult but necessary conversations for organizations to adapt, change, and grow. After reviewing different types of change needed to progress, they reviewed steps to create a high-caliber business platform to increase fundraising, beginning with creating an investment-grade business plan, then developing and executing a sound finance strategy, and finally reporting for “transparency, accountability, and performance.”

After a brief break to reflect and discuss, attendees dove into a case study to identify pain points and opportunities in a fictional scenario—and to consider how it might apply to their organizations. This segued into a further conversation of what attendees could do  to implement changes at their organizations and what is stopping them from doing so. Both mornings closed with a question and answer portion, and a thank you from Altruist and ArtsFund for attending.

Attendees talk in small groups at From Survival to Success

All attendees are entitled to a free 90-minute follow-up consultation with Altruist.

ArtsFund extends a huge thank you to Allan and Nora Davis for sponsoring the events, to K&L Gates for hosting, to Robert Wade Photography for his always-wonderful photos, and to the Altruist Partners team for sharing their insight and expertise.

For more information and any questions, please contact Andrew Golden at


(L-R) Donald Summers, event sponsor Allan Davis, ArtsFund’s Sarah Sidman, and O. David Jackson