Needs Analysis Survey Report 2012
The Needs Analysis Survey was presented to the arts and cultural community in January 2012 through an introductory e-newsletter sent out to over 300 non-profit arts and cultural organizations located in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Genesee Counties. The purpose of this survey was to gain feedback and insight, which ASI will use to decide which technical assistance areas to develop workshops and seminars.
- Number of participants: 101 organizations (See Appendix A for the complete list).
- Location: 82 from Erie County, 13 from Niagara County, 4 from Chautauqua County, 1 from Cattaraugus County, and 1 from Genesee County.
- Discipline: A range of disciplines including:
- Theater (19)
- Music-Related (17)
- Visual Arts (17)
- Museums/History (17)
- Dance (3)
- Size: A range of sizes from small, medium, to large organizations participated. The majority of organizations are small to medium-sized.
- Not all are 501c3 organizations (some galleries are for-profit) – but all are in the arts and cultural field or provide arts and cultural programming.
- Top Areas of Interest: See Appendix B for a complete list. Appendix Cfor bar graph.
- Grant Research/Writing Training
- Board Recruitment/Development
- Marketing/Public Relations
- Networking Opportunities
- Social Media Development
These top five areas were selected by a variety of small and medium-sized organizations. These organizations range from having some paid staff to some having only volunteers. This demonstrates that regardless of an organization’s structure, these are the top needs in the field.
- There was a significant response for ‘Other’ suggestions including: Orientation sessions for new staff, shared HR resources, board of directors/advisory board information, targeted grant sessions, cultivation of major donors, and retirement accounts. These suggestions were targeted based on organization, with no repeated frequency. Other suggestions were more detailed responses to the options made available in the survey.
From these results ASI will create workshops and seminars which will be available to the arts and cultural sector. These workshops and seminars will provide attendees with tools and resources to gain a better understand of these topics and how to integrate these resources into their organizations.
From the above results it can be determined that:
- Grant Research/Writing Training is a major concern for most organizations, regardless of organization/staff size;
- Marketing/Public Relations is another major concern for organizations, again regardless of organization/staff size;
- The least major concern was Advocacy Training – the reasoning for this could be two-fold: participants feel advocacy efforts are already taken care of by the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance and Cultural Alliance of Niagara and therefore they do not require training OR participants do not fully understand the term advocacy training;
- ASI has begun constructing a series of professional development workshops and seminars which reflect these results. (See below).
ASI is interested in offering the most requested, or most needed, types of workshops to gauge interest and participation from the sector. Continual feedback from the sector will be taken into consideration as the process of organizing and executing the workshops and seminars proceeds.
ASI is currently working on opportunities for the arts and cultural sector through a Department of Labor job training grant, a “First Time Executive Director Series” seminar that focuses on assisting first time Executive Directors in the field, and a media seminar which will assist organizations in better understanding the media sector and how to access that sector more efficiently for their organizations. The Department of Labor job training grant is an example of how ASI can effectively service the sector through more meaningful and in-depth opportunities.
Already, these planned sessions touch on a few of the topics of interest demonstrated through the Needs Analysis Survey. The job training sessions will cover a series of marketing issues and grant research/writing concepts, while the “First Time Executive Director Series” will address grant writing topics, relationship building with an organization’s Board of Directors, and other topics that fall into the top five selected areas of need from the survey. Finally, the media course will offer a direct benefit to organizations by informing them how to receive more media coverage for their organization, with an opportunity to meet individuals from select media companies in the area.
In review of the organizations selected for the “First Time Executive Director Series”, all of these organizations have responded to the Needs Analysis Survey. Most, if not all, organizations interested in the job training sessions completed the Needs Analysis Survey as well, indicating that ASI will be fulfilling an active need of these organizations. This is a clear demonstration that ASI will be taking the responses from the sector and creating useful, cohesive opportunities. These results show a direct link between the responses of organizations and the seminars ASI will begin to offer.
Also, in viewing the list of participants in the Needs Analysis Survey, many of these organizations are not currently, or have recently just become, members of the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance. ASI was able to reach out to a much broader audience, outside of the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance network, and help bring more of these organizations into this partnering network. This demonstrates a growing opportunity for both ASI and the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance to continue their outreach and influence within the sector.
Please Note: The Needs Analysis Survey is still active and available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KMLYBH3 . If an organization has not yet participated, they are still able to do so.