Organization Structural Change Grant

In 2021, Calgary Arts Development piloted the Organization Structural Change Grant, which was intended to provide resources for organizations to explore and implement organizational changes specifically related to mergers, permanent strategic partnerships, hibernations, and organizational closure.

Program Overview

This program was a response to data emerging through 2020 that showed that the arts sector had been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, resulting in significant losses to earned revenue, staff, and audiences. Our own research, as well as research completed across the broader non-profit sector in Canada and abroad, indicated that many organizations would be facing difficult conversations about their ongoing viability. The Organization Structural Change Grant was created to recognize resources and expenses required to responsibly consider and implement measures such as merging with another organization or outright closure, which can be both costly and human resource intensive.

We spent 2021 in conversations with organizations across the sector and engaging with continually emerging discoveries through research. Thankfully, the sector did not see the drastic levels of organizational precarity and closures estimated in the early months of the pandemic, in part due to the federal support available to organizations. As we look ahead to 2022 and beyond, we know that the long-term impacts of the pandemic on our sector will begin to surface. While resources for mergers, closures, and strategic partnerships will continue to be important, we are also aware of other types of structural and transformational change work necessary for COVID recovery and the development of new business models. 

The first part of 2022 will be spent evaluating the Organization Structural Change Grant, alongside our other organization funding programs and reporting from past years. This work will inform a redesigned program focused on structural change and the development of organizational capacity, which is expected to launch in mid-spring. 

Evaluation & Case Study

In 2021, Calgary Arts Development engaged Brian Loevner of BLVE Consults to undertake an evaluation and live case study of the Organization Structural Change Grant. 

The arms-length nature of this process is an effort to ensure the analysis and recommendations of the case study are free from staff bias, and reflect an accurate assessment of the program intent, process, and impact. 

Through conversations with Calgary Arts Development staff and other leaders in the arts sector, the first phase of this work focused on the inception of the Organization Structural Change Grant, including the development, design, and implementation of the program. The report outlines challenges, identifies issues and realities, and offers generative recommendations and suggestions for what the future of the program could look like. 

Download the full publication:

CADA Organization Structural Change Grant Opportunity Creation Process Narrative edited by Brian Loevner and Kelsey McGrath, BLVE Consults

This evaluation project is continuing into 2022 as we look to the development and re-design of the program. The results of this work will be shared on this page as it becomes available. The intention of these case studies is to better understand the role of funders in supporting organizations through life-cycle and transformational change work, and what relationships, resources, processes, and policies are needed to better serve the sector across the arts ecosystem. 

Questions

Please note that Calgary Arts Development staff are continuing to work remotely. If you have any questions about this program please review the Investment Program FAQ or contact grants@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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