The 473 groups in this report are at the heart of the creative economy. Despite the many challenges cultural nonprofits face, they continue to produce a dizzying array of affordable and accessible activities for the region. With over 17 million visits annually, there is no other industry with such a direct impact on the region’s vitality and energy.
Keeping the doors open is never easy, and cultural nonprofits were particularly hard hit by the Great Recession. In our 2011 Portfolio, which looked at activity from 2007 to 2009, we documented a 12% decline in revenue.• In our current report, which examined activity from 2009-2012, we saw a slow rebound, with revenue increasing 3% over those three years. More importantly, organizations began to build back resources, increasing Net assets, Endowments and, for the majority of organizations, Working Capital.
While those are positive indicators of recovery, the revenue increase was driven primarily by Earned Income gains from operations. Overall Contributed income growth was flat during the same period, at a time when arts philanthropy nationally increased 22%. While regional foundation and board giving increased, those gains were countered by declines in individual, government and corporate funding.
This report takes a close look at the heart of Philadelphia’s cultural ecology—the region’s cultural nonprofits. It is our most comprehensive study to date, examining recent financial, programmatic, audience, and administrative data from 473 regional nonprofits. This edition also focuses on the sector’s activities since the Great Recession, looking at the activities of 298 nonprofits that had consistent data from 2009 to 2012.