Arts for the Aging

CONSULTING AREA: Grant writing, strategic planning, other projects

Mary helped us think through how to become a more sustainable organization and one that really is grounded in its own identity….She helped us understand how to keep as many people under the tent as possible even though we were going through transitions.

– Janine Tursini, Director and CEO, Arts for the Aging

courtesy of Arts for the Aging

Background

The mission of Arts for the Aging is to engage older adults and caregivers with diverse abilities and backgrounds in health improvement and life enhancement through regular participation in the multidisciplinary arts. Arts for the Aging and Capacity Partners forged a dynamic partnership over several years, engaging in various projects ranging from strategic planning to business model restructuring to grant writing. The collaboration has been marked by successful outcomes and an enduring relationship, demonstrating Capacity Partners Founder and President Mary Robinson and her team’s depth and creativity in addressing diverse organizational needs and challenges.

Key Challenges

The organization needed to redefine its identity in the transition following the passing of its founder. The organization also needed to reevaluate how to maintain its sustainability without relying as heavily on individual giving. Other challenges included the sudden loss of a significant funder and some internal staff management issues. Throughout, Director and CEO Janine Tursini says, Capacity Partners served as a trusted advisor and coach, offering guidance and providing a sounding board.

Services Provided

The collaboration addressed multifaceted goals, including strategic planning, communications and branding, and diversification of funding streams. Tursini says the strategic plan created in collaboration with Capacity Partners in 2016 has served as a cornerstone, with “the bones” of it holding up through a later refresh. Working with Capacity Partners, Arts for the Aging successfully navigated the transition following the founder’s passing, evolving into a more sustainable entity with a renewed sense of identity centered on the organization’s mission.

Results

The strategic plan laid a solid foundation, with subsequent updates reflecting the organization’s adaptability. The revenue diversification strategy, including the acquisition of a major county contract through the grant process, has contributed to sustained growth. Capacity Partners Mary Robinson “helped us think through our business model and then, in particular, how to build earned revenue for the organization, which we never had before,” Tursini observes. She describes the revenue diversification project as “a really big success.” The organization has grown in capabilities, making the transition to managing grant writing and fundraising in-house, achieving a long-term goal to build its internal development function.