Thursday, October 10, 2013

Beyond Breakeven: A Workshop on Capitalization

Thursday, November 14, 9AM – Noon (Refreshments will be available)
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 5th Fl Millennium Park Room
This event is FREE for League members but space is limited.

The League of Chicago Theatres is bringing Susan Nelson, a principal at Technical Develop Corp (TDC) into Chicago for a three hour session on Thursday, November 14. This is a not to be missed opportunity to learn what your organization needs to be doing now to sustain its mission tomorrow. Administrative and Artistic Theatre leaders are strongly encouraged to bring with them a key trustee to participate in this honest dialogue about short and long-term financial health. Priority at this limited space session will be given to theaters that are signing up for teams that include an artistic, an administrative and board representative. Whether theatres are dealing with structural deficits, facing cash flow crises, seeking to build working capital or facility reserves, weighing the pros and cons of an endowment drive or recovering from the stresses of a capital campaign; this session will empower attendees with short term actions and long term principles to invest in enduring organizational vitality.

In 2010, Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) undertook a project to better understand the state of capitalization in the not-for-profit arts sector, and partnered with Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and Technical Development Corp (TDC) to develop a workshop for funders and arts leaders.

Susan offers this definition of capitalization in the subsequent study, “Getting Beyond Breakeven”: Capitalization is the accumulation and application of resources in support of the achievement of an organization’s mission and goals over time. A well-capitalized organization has the ability to access the cash necessary to cover its short- and long- term obligations, to weather downturns in the external operating environment, and to take advantage of opportunities to innovate. All capitalization is represented on the organization’s balance sheet, which encapsulates the record of an organization’s financial performance as net assets and measures the magnitude of its assets and liabilities.

Susan (full bio below) has spoken to thousands of nonprofit leaders in an effort to share the research findings from TDC (full bio below) and to help nonprofits apply these findings to their own organizations.

Susan Nelson is a principal at TDC, one of the nation’s oldest providers of management consulting services to the nonprofit sector. In her many years with the firm, she has led a wide range of projects that include mergers, strategic and business planning, facilities planning, new project development plans, organizational and financial assessments, and financial restructuring. She has worked with clients across the country in such areas as arts and culture, community development, education, and youth development.

Ms. Nelson has led several ground breaking initiatives on the capitalization issues that face the arts and cultural sectors that have been sponsored by major funders including the Pew Charitable Trusts, the William Penn Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, Grantmakers in the Arts, the Boston Foundation, the Barr Foundation, and the Fidelity Foundation. In addition, she has authored studies on the impact of debt on nonprofits as well as two major reports tracking the health of Boston’s arts and cultural sector.

Ms. Nelson has made recent appearances at the Grantmakers in the Arts’ national meeting, Opera America’s conference and as the plenary speaker at the League of American Orchestras’ annual conference. Ms. Nelson has also served as a Chief Coach for Achieving Excellence, a joint program for nonprofit leaders created by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Ms. Nelson began her career working with Sarah Caldwell at the Opera Company of Boston.

TDC is one of nation’s oldest and largest providers of management consulting services to the nonprofit sector. For over 40 years, TDC has worked exclusively with nonprofit, governmental, educational and philanthropic organizations, providing them with the business and management tools critical to carrying out their missions effectively. TDC possesses a strong track record in facilitating successful, challenging and highly complex assessment, business and strategic planning, and organizational change processes for a wide range of clients. Our consulting teams have worked at the local, regional, and national level with hundreds of organizations. These clients represent the diversity of the nonprofit sector itself, including groups working in the arts, education, community and economic development, health and human services, and the environment. Through this work, we have developed a strong understanding of the unique operating environments relevant to nonprofit organizations and public entities, allowing us to advise our clients and position them most effectively. Located in Boston, TDC has a staff of twenty. Our staff expertise is both deep and broad. We employ people with significant experience in both nonprofits and for profits, as well as recent MBAs. All are highly skilled in organizational planning, data and financial analysis, program development and operational design. All staff work across the sector. TDC firmly believes there are multiple lessons to be learned from sector to sector and, to that end, the firm keeps its staff working on a multiplicity of projects. This ensures that we, as a practice, are constantly bringing a fresh eye to our work and questioning core assumptions. We believe these are critical skills in helping organizations to undertake necessary change.

No comments: