3 challenges facing arts and culture nonprofits this year

Just like any other sector, the nonprofit category faces its challenges each and every day. Whether its recruiting new volunteers or figuring out how to raise online donations, charitable organizations confront a large amount of adversity.

More specifically, arts and cultural-based nonprofits have had to confront issues of their own in recent years. The Great Recession has dramatically affected the arts sub-sector - as people lost jobs and income, museums, theaters and other leisure destinations have dropped clientele.

 Although the economy is growing at a modest rate, arts and cultural nonprofits will still face challenges down the road. Listed below are three obstacles charities may have to overcome:

1. Asking for too much information up front: Some theaters ask for personal information at the front desk so they can turn around and use that to apply for grants and and establish a stronger donation network. However, asking patrons to fill out a long checklist can be quite the inconvenience, especially if they are in a hurry. A good way around this is to streamline your collection efforts online, npENGAGE says. That way, benefactors can provide their information on their own accord.

2. Patrons who can't keep up with technology: If you work for an arts or culture nonprofit, oftentimes your main clientele is individuals of an older demographic. While there is nothing wrong with that, it can be difficult to include less tech-savvy patrons in your continued efforts to keep up with technology trends. As more nonprofits focus their efforts on social and mobile media, the regulars of 20 years can get lost in translation. A solution to this, npENGAGE suggests, is to make sure your Web operation is basic enough that any user can navigate through it. Processing donations and selling tickets should be a primary concern, so make sure everyone can access those areas of your website.

3. Is there enough room for everyone?: Many arts and cultural nonprofits work hard to keep their organization running strong, but oftentimes there's not enough money to go around for every aspect of the charity. Capacity issues can be a common challenge for nonprofits - but that can be a positive sign. Turning away patrons is never the best option, so npENGAGE suggests capping online sales at a certain number and then relying on foot traffic to supplement the rest. In addition to ticket sales, the average audience expenditure is more than $24 according to a recent Americans for the Arts study, so a sound strategy in balancing over-booking and not selling enough tickets is crucial.

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