"And the beat goes on................."
There's a line in an Eagles song that goes:
"Things in this life change very slowly. if they ever change at all."I was, well not surprised I guess, but somewhat disappointed, to learn from reading a blog post by Ebony McKinney from a session at the Grantmakers in the Arts conference last week in St. Paul, that the lion's share (60%) of funding - grants, gifts and contributions - continue to go to the largest budget cultural institutions across the country (those with budgets over $5 million) and that, in fact, the funding to the smaller organizations, with budgets under $1 million has actually declined, and "that is a drearier future than we saw in 2011".
These figures are from a report yet to be released from Helicon Collaborative updating the 2011 landmark Holly Sidford authored funding equity study for the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy - which study's findings on the inequitable distribution of funding is largely credited with kicking off the current ongoing attempt by the field to consider and address the wider equity question in the nonprofit arts sector.
Consider the following data points (from Ebony's blog post):
- "Total giving by the top 1000 foundations show (in aggregate) approximately $2B given for non profit arts and cultural activities
- Of those allocations, the largest 2% of arts and cultural orgs in US (those with budgets over 5M) see nearly 60% of all grants, gifts and contributions. That’s a drearier future than we saw in 2011
- Groups with annual expenditures of under $1M saw their share of all gifts, grants and contributions drop by 5 points
- That group, (37,000 organizations) represent the fastest growing cohort in total of arts organizations
- They represent 90% of all groups and are the organizations serving communities of color, LGBTQ populations and disabled populations."