February 1, 2006

My UHD Arts Administration Class 2 Reading Assignment and Homework

Reading Assignment 1
Managing a Nonprofit Organization in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Wolf
Chapter 1 – Understanding Nonprofit Organizations
Chapter 5 – Marketing

Reading Assignment 2
Vision, Mission and Core Values Document (follows)

Research Assignment
On the internet find an arts organizations that is new to you and find its mission statement on the website. Where is the mission located on the website – home page, deep inside, every page? How does the programming described on the site support the mission? Are there programs that do not appear to support the mission? If so, why do you think they are part of their programming mix?

Be prepared to discuss your findings in class. You may want to bring a printout sample from the website to support your argument.

Articulating the Vision, Mission, Core Values and Creating the Elevator Pitch

Vision Statement
What does the organization aspire to be, to do, to accomplish and in grand terms. These are the ideas, concepts, values, guiding principles and even dreams on which the mission statement will be based.

Mission Statement
Outlines the blue print and actions the organization will take in reaching its vision. The mission is a call-to-action for your internal and external stakeholders. These will guide the measurements by which the organization will evaluate its success in achieving its vision and future actions.

“The challenge of developing a good mission statement is to create a text that is sufficiently broad to encompass the many possible activities that the organization may wish to engage in. This is crucial inasmuch as the law obligates the trustees of the organization to limit their activities to those covered by the mission statement as contained in the organizing charter. However, in addition to a broad statement of purpose, a mission statement is only valuable if it gives some specific guidance on the direction the organization should take in regard to programs, services and activities.” From Managing a Nonprofit Organization in the Twenty-First Centery, by Thomas Wolf, Simon and Schuster, 1999

Core Values
The Core Values are the principles by which the business is run. These are statements that outline the main beliefs, morals and ethics that are followed in practicing business. They can be used internally among staff, volunteers and artists as well as externally when communicating with customers, patrons, sponsors, donors and advertisers. The Core Values are not considered a necessary document in the way that the Mission Statement is key to the business foundation. But, a business that outlines and articulates Core Values is making a powerful statement about its business culture.

Elevator Pitch (Business terms – value proposition, unique selling point)
Imagine you get on an elevator and it turns out that an important potential funder, collaborator, city official or someone you have wanted to make contact with gets on too. You may have 25 floors to introduce yourself and Pitch your organization. What will you say? How will you get them interested in hearing more? You have approximately 30 seconds.

Your enthusiasm for the vision and mission of the organization needs to come through in your pitch. Be careful not to get wrapped up in telling a long story that has meaning for you but maybe not the listener. Craft it from the listener’s perspective. Why was this person on your list of people to contact? What would get them excited about your organization based on your understanding of their interests or needs?

· What does your organization do?
· Who does it reach?
· What makes it unique?
· Finish with a call-to-action – an invitation to experience and engage in your organization.

Practice the pitch with anyone who is going to be promoting your organization. Make certain that people are comfortable with making your pitch and that always have an opportunity for presenting a call-to-action. This is a great marketing tool for your organization’s best advocates!