The Playgoer: Time to Merge?

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Time to Merge?

At least 100,000 nonprofits nationwide will be forced to close their doors in the next two years as a result of the financial crisis, according to Paul Light, professor of public service at New York University.
Scary news from today's Crain's NY Biz

Of particular note in light of some of yesterday's discussion here...

Clara Miller, chief executive of the Nonprofit Finance Fund...said the sector has to completely change the way it operates, most importantly reducing the amount of money it spends on fundraising. Executives on the panel acknowledged that nonprofits are reluctant to merge, but suggested they collaborate on back office support and health care plans to save money.

Hear, hear on that stop-spending-so-much-money-to-raise-money idea.

But as to that second point...Whaddaya think? Will it take a financial crisis like this for our NYC nonprofit theatres to finally see the light and consider pooling resources?

Some sound ideas already being suggested by you, dear readers, in the comments yesterday include joint mailers & brochures. The dream of a "portable" subscription may be pie-in-the-sky right now, but all it takes is for two theatres to try it as an experiment. (Hell, how many emails do we already get from companies offering "special friend" discounts to other people's shows?)

But maybe the simple starting points above are a realistic place to start? Like pool health insurance for all NYC nonprofit theatres for folks not in EQUITY or SSDC? And I believe lots of companies already share office space, right?

As for actualy "mergers" well no one expects egos the size of NYC AD's to come to terms on that. Why would someone give up running their own company to be under another AD?

Ah, but is there a company losing their Artistic Director soon? Something to think about...

I mean, people, it's called nonprofit, right? You're not capitalists, right? So why be so competitive!

1 comment:

PeonInChief said...

Pooling resources for health care is a good idea--the larger the group, the better the deal--but getting health insurance off the plates of nonprofits entirely would be as helpful to them as getting health care off GM's books.

Even small non-profits have to raise $50-75K a year just for their employee health insurance.