The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development is a funder collaborative created to help strengthen the management and operations of small arts and cultural organizations in Chicago and Cook County.

Grants are available for arts and cultural organizations with operating expenses between $50,000 and $800,000.

Challenge: Use the organization’s 10th anniversary to make new friends, reaching beyond dance-centric supporters Solution: Survey current and potential supporters to deepen knowledge and understanding of the former and explore opportunities in the latter; develop a strategy to implement data-informed messaging and materials to target growth markets. AWF Support: $16,500 to explore hypotheses about who new supporters might be and develop messages and strategies to reach them to: Danceworks Chicago
Challenge: Increase capacity and resilience in an artist-lead organization Solution: Work with a consultant to take stock of where we are and create strategic plan that builds on organizational strengths AWF Support: A $13,000 grant from the Arts Work Fund to undertake a strategic planning process to: Artists Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions Project
Challenge: Develop a plan to stabilize internal growth and look toward long-term sustainability—three years into a transition to a permanent home Solution: Work with a consultant to produce an organizational assessment report and a multi-year organizational development plan. AWF Support: $10,800 to conduct an organizational assessment and develop a three-year organizational plan to support the company’s vision to: Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Challenge: Establish a staffing structure for increased productivity and maximize the potential and deepen investment from their current board Solution: SkyArt hired an external consultant to lead the board through a change process. The process resulted in the institution of a board “Champion” model. The consultant also assessed staff roles and recommended improvements to the organizational structure. AWF Support: $13,000 grant to begin to prepare itself for a $2 million capital campaign to: SkyArts
We believe that Chicago's arts and culture organizations are vibrant and capable; that organizational capacity supports artistic strength; and that capacity building is an ongoing process; capacity needs change as the organization changes.

We fund projects that strengthen organizational systems and build the knowledge and skills of staff and boards.

We test new approaches to address challenges facing arts organizations and the field at large.

We build and sustain community through dialogue and information sharing.

The Arts Work Fund invests in the financial sustainability, management, governance and growth capacities of small arts and cultural organizations located in the Chicago metropolitan region.

Read more

Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development
P.O. Box 577309
Chicago, IL 60657-7309
773.296.2601 PHONE
773.435.6532 FAX

Contact us

AWF Connects paper airplane

AWF Connect is an open listserv aimed at connecting grant-makers and grant-seekers to discuss the challenges and successes of capacity building.

Join the conversation

The AWF Newsletter features the latests news, observations and resources from AWF and our partners.

Keep in the loop
Site content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International
The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development
Design & communications strategy by: studiothread