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Research Update: How Do Philadelphia Community Arts & Culture Organizations Compare Nationally?

A few months ago, the Cultural Alliance released 2015 Portfolio: Culture Across Communities, our first national research report, examining 11 metro regions. Now, we're sharing a deeper dive into each discipline examined in the report, to share how Philadelphia's arts and culture communities compare nationally. 

This month we are looking at Philadelphia's Community Arts & Culture organizations. This group of organizations is primarily small (median budget of $200,000) community-based arts centers. Culture Across Communities examined 691 Arts & Culture organizations across the nation, 54 of which were organizations in Philadelphia.

Key takeaway: While modest in size, Philadelphia’s Community Arts & Culture groups experienced strong gains in both earned and contributed revenue after the recession.

  Philadelphia National*
Total Earned (without Investments Unrealized) 18.5% 6.4%
Total Contributed 23.4% -6.8%
Total Revenue (without Investments Unrealized) 21.3% -1.9%

The Community Arts and Culture discipline relies heavily on Contributed Income. Nationally, Contributed Income makes up 59% of Total Revenue to Earned Income’s 41%.  Gains in Trustee/Board, Individual, Foundation, and Corporate giving fueled Philadelphia’s increase in Contributed Revenue, contrary to the decrease seen nationally.

The gain in Foundation funding was particularly significant for Philadelphia, as foundations make up 24% of the discipline’s Total Revenue. Corporate giving, which is 4% of total revenue, rose by 37%; and Individual giving increased by 67% (or almost $600,000). As a percentage of total spending, Philadelphia’s Community Arts and Culture discipline is the third highest-spending on fundraising.

Interestingly, while government funding is down for most metro areas and disciplines, Community Arts and Culture saw gains in Federal Government funding both nationally (+28%) and in Philadelphia (+8%). However, in Philadelphia, the gains in Federal Funding were not enough to offset declines in City, County and State government funding.  

Earned income increased nationally and in Philadelphia. Both rely primarily on Tickets/Admission/Tuitions and Rental Income. Philadelphia’s second largest source of revenue is Tuitions, which rose 2.2%.

For more information on 2015 Portfolio: Culture Across Communities and other Alliance research projects, click here, and stay tuned next month when we take a closer look at another discipline.

*Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Twin Cities, and Washington DC.