Culture + Leisure
Cultural institutions and other organizations in the leisure landscape find themselves facing a unique conundrum: balancing the benefit and the curse of serving niche interests. Whether it’s video gamers, art lovers, animal-loving kids, or sports fans, loyal fans always come back for more. But, since growth for organizations in the leisure category depends on people’s scarce free time, they can’t just serve the needs of their core audience. These establishments need to find more ways to reach existing audiences (to get them back more often) while also attracting completely new audiences.
Of course, cultural institutions have even loftier mandates in our society: preservation, inclusion and social responsibility, which are not only important mission-driven commitments but fiscally essential. If large groups of today’s audiences and future generations view cultural institutions as “not a place for someone like me,” visitation, memberships, and philanthropic contributions will continue to decline. To survive and flourish in a changing economic, social and philanthropic landscape, cultural institutions need to collaborate with other institutions in their communities and link their social missions to their underlying financial models, including developing and nurturing a robust, but balanced, earned income strategy.
Whether you are a leisure company or a cultural institution, our role is to serve as catalysts for disruptive growth by arming you with the data, insights, and strategies that fuel the following:
- Programing and experiences that align with your mission and that are in lockstep with how people spend their leisure time
- Optimized earned income through broader offerings, programming and outreach efforts that are more representative of your community
- Philanthropy and giving with plans for converting audiences into owners of your institution and emboldening and empowering new diverse owners to become the passionate donors and future leaders of their institutions
- Strategic planning initiatives that align internal stakeholders around a clear, compelling and inspiring strategic plan
- Community networks and collaborations, bringing together coalitions of like-minded organizations to build a deeper repository of cultural capital within your broader community
We’ve been able to produce demonstrable results for our cultural institution partners and lead in transformative change within this space. Take a look at the journey of one our partners, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (recently rebranded as Newfields), as they repositioned around the changing lives of people in their community.
- Our IMA/Newfields case study lays the groundwork for how Halverson Group helped Newfields reexamine its competitive landscape and evolve from a museum to an art and nature experience.
- Newfields’ CEO Charles Venable’s recent two-part interview with Artnet News—Charles Venable on His Data-Driven (and Maybe Crazy) Quest to Save the Art Museuman and Charles Venable on Why Art Museums as We Know Them Cannot Survive —calls out how our audience segmentation work provided critical economic and audience insights, data, and inspiration for the museum’s bold strategy.
- This recent New York Times article, “To Reach New Audiences, Museums Are Redefining What They Offer,” also illuminates how our thinking helped Newfields anchor their growth strategy around the changing lives of people in their community.
- We believe that to flourish, cultural institutions require powerful mindset shifts. Our CEO, Ron Halverson, Ph.D., shared our thinking at the 2016 Earned Income Summit. Ron spoke alongside Newfields’ CEO Charles Venable who shared how our thinking served as a catalyst for growth for his organization.