Source: National Arts Index
It's at times like these -- in the midst of an extended recession and the wake of the tragedy in Haiti -- that the role of funding arts in society may be called into question.
After all, funding for the arts (theater, dance, music, museums etc.) had already been in a long-term decline, as documented recently by the National Arts Index from Americans for the Arts.
Many may be asking, therefore, “Why fund the arts?”
In order to answer to this critical question, nonprofit arts organizations have a special opportunity during the month of February to use social media as a way bring new visibility to their organizations' work by participating in the GreatNonprofits Arts Appreciation Campaign.Launched February 1, the campaign is free to nonprofits, and encourages them to use social media in the form of email outreach, facebook and twitter as a way to recruit their volunteers, donors, board members, clients, and patrons to submit reviews of their work for the larger nonprofit world and the public to examine.
In case you are not yet familiar with GreatNonprofits (GNP), it operates like a Tripadvisor or Yelp for the nonprofit sector, whereby people who have had an experience with a nonprofit can share that experience with a larger community.
By publishing these reviews, GNP helps raise awareness about the importance of these groups, and showcases the many reasons to continue supporting their work. Nothing tells the story of the typical nonprofit better than the real stories of those involved in its work!
The way the campaign works is simple. Organizations with 10 or more positive reviews at the end of February will be recognized publicly both by GNP and by Guidestar, the premiere site for philanthropic research on the web.
Perhaps equally valuable, from the perspective of the nonprofits that participate, this campaign will allow nonprofits to take advantage of free, social media tools to collect tangible evidence of their organization’s value in a way that engages their community of supporters going forward.
Those of us active in the nonprofit arts community know that our organizations are a critical part of building the kind of society that can deal more effectively with intransigent problems like economic disparities, poverty and other social inequalities.We know that promoting the arts in the long-term will strengthen society's ability to withstand business cycles and natural disasters in order to aspire to a better future for all.
Therefore, I urge you to participate in GNP's campaign, and help our valuable arts organizations regain the support they so badly need from their communities. Write a review of a nonprofit arts organization, or - if you’re a nonprofit – invite reviews from your supporters at GreatNonprofits.
Perli Ni is the CEO of GreatNonprofits.