Comments on: Why arts organizations love new buildings http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/07/05/why-arts-organizations-love-new-buildings/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Moopheus http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/07/05/why-arts-organizations-love-new-buildings/comment-page-1/#comment-41466 Mon, 09 Jul 2012 12:07:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=15823#comment-41466 See also:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ 2012/jul/07/what-lies-behind-battle-over -new-york-public-library

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/nyregi on/thecity/20libr.html

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By: realist50 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/07/05/why-arts-organizations-love-new-buildings/comment-page-1/#comment-41338 Fri, 06 Jul 2012 20:04:53 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=15823#comment-41338 “But he said that raising money for a new building was vastly easier, always, than raising money for an endowment, or for general operating expenses.”

I concur that is true, but in part it suggests to me that the fundraising arms of these institutions need to be more creative in finding ways to raise money, such as casting a wider net of large donors and foundations, working to find small donors, and, on a “commercial” basis, getting creative on finding additional ways to acknowledge donors or how donations are structured. For example, set the expectation that getting a donor’s name on the building requires a substantial donation to the endowment as well as a capital fund.

The survey evidence “[suggesting] that as a result of investing in projects during this period, many organizations had to cut staff sizes significantly” speaks to budgetary mismanagement and a failure to grasp the difference between capital and operating budgets. I read this to mean either that operating funds are being expended to cover capital projects (whether from shortfalls versus expected fundraising or construction cost overruns, which Felix mentions) or that institutions have failed to consider that additional buildings will necessitate additional operating costs. In either case, it speaks to the fact that the stated “ease” of raising money for new buildings is something of an illusion, since these new buildings also require additional operating funds, from more ongoing donations or a larger endowment.

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By: Moopheus http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/07/05/why-arts-organizations-love-new-buildings/comment-page-1/#comment-41310 Fri, 06 Jul 2012 14:34:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=15823#comment-41310 I remember the now-retired headmaster of my high school complaining that it was easier to get a wealthy alumnus to make a big donation for a new building than for a scholarship fund. It’s not just the art world. There’s a big ego element for the rich; the folks who can donate big sums want visible monuments to themselves.

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