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Businesses Are Looking Towards the Arts for Employee Engagement & Creativity, According to New Survey by The Conference Board & Americans for the Arts

Posted by Emily Peck
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Only 28 percent of companies attempted to measure the business or societal impact of arts contributions

 

Friday, June 30, 2017

 

NEW YORK, NY — As employee engagement becomes a priority for companies, many of them are turning to the arts in an effort to fuel attraction and retention, according to Business Contributions to the Arts: 2017 Edition, published by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts. Nearly 70 percent of companies surveyed responded that they offered board service opportunities at arts organizations for their employees, while 65 percent offered volunteer activities and 63 percent provided free or discounted tickets to arts events. However, measuring the business or societal impact of arts contributions continues to challenge most companies and their partners, as only 28 percent of businesses reported making an effort to measure these impacts.

 

“Engaged, creative employees who are encouraged to think in new, innovative ways are more likely to be productive and active in improving both the company and their own business skills,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “The arts build empathy, observation, and problem-identification and problem-solving skills, which translates to better customer service and a deeper understanding of the constituency.”

 

“Impact measurement has become increasingly important to the corporate philanthropy sector in recent years,” said Jonathan Spector, CEO, The Conference Board. “Our data shows, however, that measurement within the arts world has not advanced as successfully as other social causes. The benefits are clear, but companies and their arts partners need to become more sophisticated at demonstrating this in a business context.” 

 

Companies consider the arts to be important in building quality of life, stimulating creative thinking and problem solving, and offering networking opportunities and the potential to develop new business and build market share. As a result, arts organizations enjoyed a positive three years between 2013-2016 in terms of contributions from businesses, with the vast majority of companies either maintaining or increasing their arts support. 

 

The majority of arts contributions comes from philanthropy budgets—either foundations or corporate giving accounts. Ninety percent of companies reported giving to the arts through contributions budgets, but 41 percent of companies also supported the arts through marketing or sponsorship dollars, which can help to explain why there has not been a slowdown recently in overall contributions to the arts, as companies turn to the arts to support brand recognition and growth. 

 

Other findings from the report include:

 

  • More than half of respondents overall (53 percent) reported that arts support contributes to stimulating creative thinking and problem solving. Clearly, supporting the arts as a way to encourage creativity and innovation at companies is a growth area for arts and business partnerships.
  • Smaller companies demonstrated a greater interest in arts support than their larger counterparts. The percentage of arts giving in overall philanthropy budgets for small companies is approximately 20 percent higher than large companies.
  • Private sector funding could play an increasingly important role in getting resources to a sector that faces potential government cutbacks—the Trump Administration has threatened to cut the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In interviews, companies expressed an intention to increase their support of the NEA should these public funding decreases happen. In such a situation, companies expressed their intention to support arts at a local level.

 

About Business Contributions to the Arts: 2017 Edition

Since 1969, Americans for the Arts, through the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), has been conducting the BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts. The survey looks at trends in support for the arts from small, midsize, and large US businesses. For the first time since the initial BCA survey in 1969, Americans for the Arts has partnered with The Conference Board to conduct the online survey, building on previous findings to examine trends in business support and employee engagement for the arts. The survey draws on 125 responses from companies that participate in corporate philanthropy, employee engagement, volunteer programs, or sponsorships. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2016 and asked for information based on corporate practices existing at the time of the survey compilation. 

 

In addition to the quantitative survey, Americans for the Arts contracted with Shugoll Research to conduct qualitative research to understand businesses’ attitudes about arts philanthropy among current arts donors. A total of 15, 20-minute in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with philanthropic decision-makers at businesses that donate to the arts. The interviews took place between February 9, 2017 and February 24, 2017. The decision-makers were recruited from lists provided by the BCA. Quotes from these interviews are included throughout this report.

 

Americans for the Arts serves, advances, and leads the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America. Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

 

The Conference Boardcreates and disseminates knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society. Working as a global, independent membership organization in the public interest, The Conference Board conducts research, convenes conferences, makes forecasts, assesses trends, publishes information and analysis, and brings executives together to learn from one another. Additional information is available at www.conference-board.org

 

Contact:

 

The Conference Board

Jonathan Liu

212.339.0257

Jonathan.Liu@conferenceboard.com

 

Americans for the Arts 

Inga Vitols

202.371.2830

ivitols@artsusa.org

Related

2017 BCA Survey of Business Support for the Arts Webcast

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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As employee engagement becomes a priority for companies, many of them are turning to the arts in an effort to fuel attraction and retention. The latest BCA Survey of Business Support for the Arts, Business Contributions to the Arts: 2017 Edition, looks at these trends in support for the arts from small, midsize, and large US businesses.

 

For the first time since 1969, Americans for the Arts has teamed up with The Conference Board to conduct the survey. In a FREE June 26 webcast at 3pm EST, the two partners will discuss brand new data that covers a range of topics, including trends in arts funding past and present, how arts fuels employee engagement, which companies are more inclined to support the arts and why, and measurement and impact. Learn more.

 

Emily Peck
Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives
Americans for the Arts

Emily Peck is Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives at Americans for the Arts. She is responsible for providing business and foundation leaders with the information, resources and strategies they need to better partner with and support the arts.

Mark Shugoll
Chief Executive Officer
Shugoll Research

Mark Shugoll, Ph.D. is CEO of Shugoll Research in Washington, DC, one of the nation’s leading marketing research companies for the arts. Its clients include a prestigious roster of nonprofit theaters, symphony orchestras, opera companies, dance companies, performing arts centers, museums, and more.

Alexander Parkinson(Moderator)
Senior Researcher and Associate Director, Society for New Communications Research (SNCR)
The Conference Board

Alex Parkinson is a senior researcher and associate director of the Society for New Communications Research of The Conference Board (SNCR). He specializes in corporate philanthropy and communications and marketing, and is the executive editor of Framing Social Impact Measurement.

 


 


 

Related

Participate in the National Survey of Business Support for the Arts

Posted by Jessica Gaines
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Participate in the National Survey of Business Support for the Arts

The 2016 National Survey of Business Support for the Arts, is now open for submissions. The survey is open to companies of all sizes who participate in corporate philanthropy, employee engagement, volunteer programs, or sponsorship.

 

The survey, which is jointly conducted by The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, will enable maintaining trend data on how and why businesses of all sizes support the arts. The report is a valuable benchmarking tool, with data categorized by company size (measured by revenue and asset value) and industry groups. 

 

Participation is confidential and none of the information provided in the survey will be shared with third parties. The survey takes about ten minutes to complete. If you wish to save your responses and return to the survey at a later time, click “Next” at the bottom of the page and, once the new page appears, close your browser. When you are ready to resume the survey, click again on the link below and you will be directed to where you left it. Go Here for more details about the survey.

 

Click Here to Start the Survey 

 

In appreciation of your time, you will receive the final report via email later this year.

 

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Emily Peck, Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives at Americans for the Arts, at epeck@artsusa.org, or Alex Parkinson, Senior Researcher, Corporate Philanthropy, The Conference Board at Alex.Parkinson@conferenceboard.org.

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