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Just 31% of US nonprofits reported engaging in advocacy activities in the past five years—a significant decrease from the 74% of nonprofits participating in advocacy in 2000.

This decline comes as the arts sector continues to face prolonged hardship from the after effects of the pandemic and turbulent economic conditions.

However, cross-sector collaboration during the pandemic demonstrated the potential to drive policy change through arts advocacy. The efforts of nonprofits, for-profit arts enterprises, and independent creators that led to the passage of the Shuttered Venue Operators grant helped demonstrate the power of coordination action.

To help arts nonprofits build their toolkit of advocacy resources, we’ve partnered with The Henry Ford to produce an educational guide that highlights the levels of engagement nonprofits can have with policymakers and influencers.

Download the Guide

Download a one-page version here.

What’s Next?

CultureSource’s commitment to driving positive policy change dates back to 1997, and we will continue to foster cross-sector community action within the sector—working with foundations, policymakers, and our members to make change. In 2024:

  • Arts nonprofits should feel empowered to participate in grassroots activities that raise awareness about their mission and challenges they face.
  • CultureSource will reconvene our member working group on policy change in 2024 to inform our ongoing advocacy activities. Interested in joining? Sign up here.

Recommended Reading

A special thank you to The Henry Ford for their partnership and collaboration on these resources.