Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Dare: learning from for-profit business

Posted on: May 10, 2012

Monday (5/7) in a Huffington Post column, Brooklyn Philharmonic CEO and Managing Director Richard Dare writes about what he believes nonprofits can learn from for-profit business models, citing a survey last month by Nonprofit Finance Fund which “found 85% of all nonprofits experienced an increase in demand for their services in 2011 (and 88% are expected to experience an increase in demand again in 2012) but a scandalous 57% of all nonprofits have barely enough cash on hand to last them three months or less. No business in the for-profit sector would tolerate this state of affairs on an ongoing basis.” The first strategy Dare lays out, which many arts nonprofits already utilize, is “Side Ventures”: “gift shops, cafeterias, renting out performance spaces, parking garages and the like.” The second is new partnerships. “I’m reminded of TerraCycle, for example, an impressive company that tries to outsmart waste by paying schools who teach kids to recycle things like Capri Sun drink pouches. The kids learn to recycle waste, the school makes a little extra spending money, and TerraCycle uses waste items to make nifty handbags, purses and other consumer items to sell.” The third is “New Money From Your Core Business,” in which he describes an Asian company, specializing in music artist-branded clothing, that essentially offered to promote various up-and-coming acts in exchange for rights to their names and logos.

Posted May 10, 2012