THEA 35100: Fund Raising for the Performing Arts

The Producers, Mel Brooks

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Subject Searches in the IC Library

(Click to run targeted Subject searches in the IC Library catalog)

Arts--Economic aspects--United States
Arts--United States--Finance--Case studies
Arts--United States--Management
Federal aid to the arts--United States
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts--History
Government aid to the arts--United States
Government aid to the arts--United States--Case studies
Art commissions--United States
Arts fund raising--United States
Arts fund raising--United States--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Arts--United States--Citizen participation
Community arts projects
Arts--United States
Arts--Political aspects--United States
Art and state--United States
Arts and society--United States
Arts, American--20th century
United States--Cultural policy

Performing arts--Audiences
Performing arts--Economic aspects
Performing arts--Finance
Performing arts--Law and legislation--United States
Performing arts--Management
Performing arts--Marketing
Performing arts--United States

Theater--Economic aspects
Theater--United States--Finance
Theater--Political aspects
Theater--Political aspects--United States

Fund raising
Fund raising--United States
Proposal Writing for Grants
Nonprofit organizations
Nonprofit organizations--Finance
Nonprofit organizations--Management
Corporate sponsorship

     Note: The IC Library no longer subscribes to the Annual Register of Grant Support or the Foundation Directory. If you wish to consult the latest edition, the 2014 Foundation Directory and the 2014 Annual Register of Grant Support are available at the Tompkins County Public Library in downtown Ithaca or at Cornell University’s Olin Library. 

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Articles & News Stories

Performing Arts Periodicals Database :
     This is our dedicated database for Theatre and Dance. If you open up the drop-down menu for either of the top two search slots, you can switch the default "anywhere except full text" to more targeted search fields. In particular, note that you can search for a specific "person" or performing arts "company" or, best of all, a "creative work." This allows you to run a Subject search on the title of any play or dance piece.  Whereas a keyword search on the title of a creative work will retrieve any mention of that title--no matter how fleeting--a Subject search on the title will only return articles that are substantially about that work.
     Also note the Subject search slots under "More Search Options." The "look up" links to broad and narrow subjects to the right of these are especially useful in finding the appropriate Subject Heading for your topic. The  "look up broad subjects" can be very temperamental, but "look up narrow subjects" works well. Just type in Theater or Dance or Design for extensive lists of the available Subject searches in those areas--or try more specific terms relevant to your topic.
     Finally, notice that under "Document Type" you can target artcles, interviews, or a wide variety of reviews: performance, theatre, film, television, or recording. Under "Document Feature" you can likewise target articles with illustrations or photographs.

General OneFile
     Run a Subject search on Theater and take a look at the "Related Subjects" for a long list of particular kinds of theaters.  For each of these, as for Theater, you can open the "Subdivisions" and look for articles under "Economic aspects" and "Finance"--the biggies--or under Company sales & Earnings, Donations, Government Finance, Growth, Industry Forecasts, and Industry Sales & Revenue.  An alternate approach would be to run a Subject search on "Fund Raising" or "Grants in Aid," open all the articles, and then in the search slot at the upper left enter "theater" or "performing arts" or "arts" as an additional Keyword.

LexisNexis Academic
     The “News” section provides very extensive national and international newspaper coverage, so this is a good resource for news of recent fund raising activities and awards in the arts . Since this is a Keyword search of 100% full text, change the default search “Anywhere in the Document” to “In Headline and Lead Paragraphs”—since this will help ensure that your search term is the main topic. Be sure to use the truncation symbol--an exclamation point--to cover alternative word forms: theat! retrieves theater and theatre; grant! retrieves grant and grants.  And if you're looking for fairly recent stories on fund raising in the arts, be sure to set a limit in the "Specify date" field.
This is also a good database for targeting news stories about community and regional theater.  Notice that under "Article Location" below the search slots you can choose to limit your search to news sources within a particular state.

Arts Funding Resources on the Web

Federal & State

  • National Endowment for the Arts: The NEA is the United States' largest annual funder of the arts. Under "Research" see both "Research Notes" and "Research Reports" for recent statistical information on topics such as consumer spending on the Performing Arts. Under "Publications" see the "Annual Report" (click on the free pdf version) for a financial summary of the fiscal year and profiles of some of the grants awarded. Also note the 2014 Guide to the NEA. And note under "Artistic Fields" you can target Dance, Theater & Musical Theater, and State & Regional, which includes "State Arts Agencies & Regional Arts Organizations" for state and local funding.    
  • A one-stop approach to all federal grants, with plenty of tutorial assistance for the grant application process. You can "Browse Categories" including "Arts."

Foundation Center

      The Foundation Center: Many of the resources here must be purchased, but the Foundation Center allows you a free registration which gives access to some materials and allows you to sign up for newsletters on grant opportunities in your area of interest, for instance arts, or health, or the environment.
  • Mouse over "Get Started: for the menu of options. Under "Reference Guides" there are free resources such as "Proposal Writing Short Course" and "Proposal Budgeting Basics," as well as resources under "Proposal Writing Online Training" that are free if you have registerd with the Foundation Center: for example, "Introduction to Fundraising Planning."
  • On the "Get Started" menu also look at the "Topical Resource Lists," where you'll be able to find fundraising information by category: Health, Education, or Arts (for which note "Corporate Philanthropy in the Arts" and "Individual Giving in Support of the Arts." In all these categories you will find some linked online resources, some articles that you can locate by doing a "Journal Titles" search at the top of the IC Library home page, and some books that you can look for by title in the IC collection, the Cornell Library collection, and in the WorldCat database--though which you can place interlibrary loan orders.
  • Also mouse over "Gain Knowledge" on the Foundation Center home page and take a look at the free resources available under "Research Studies," including "National Trends" and "Special Topic Trends," which in includes "Vital Signs: Arts Funding in the Current Economy July 2009." .
  • Also mouse over "Find Funders" to access the "Foundation Directory Online Free"--where you can search by foundation name or city, state, zip code--or the "990 Finder" which offers free access to 990 PF forms.


     GuideStar: 990 filings provide a financial x-ray of non-profit organizations--including many theaters and theater companies.  Most resources here must be purchased, but the site does offer a free search of 990 filings with a Keyword component (use "advanced" search) so that in addition to searching specific organizations already known to you--Oregon Shakespeare Festival--you can enter terms likely to occur in the names of the types of organizations that interest you--theater/theatre--limit the location by city and/or state, and retrieve all the nonprofit organizations with those words in their name. After selecting one, choose "Forms 990 & Docs"--accessible via a free registration.

Arts Funding At Large

  • Theatre Communications Group: TCG is a national organization that serves--and collects data from--almost 500 non-profit theatres across the country. Under "Grants" both "Grants at a Glance" and "Grants for Organizations" are helpful, and under "Tools & Research" note the database of "Theatre Profiles" and "Theatre Facts." Theatre Facts is an annual publication on not-for-profit theatre in America, for which TCG collects its own extensive data
  • Fundsnet Art & Culture Grants: A list of organizations, foundations, agencies, and businesses that provide arts funding--with links to their sites.
  • National Arts Marketing Project: Resources: Many  practical and creative ways to market arts programing under "Featured Articles," "Profiles in Creativity," and "Practical Lessons."
  • Americans for the Arts:Look under "information & Services" and "Networks" for imformation about arts funding and organizations providing it.
  • Performing Arts Alliance: Advocacy group for arts funding.  Visit the "Issue Center" for information on current funding needs and what is being urged to address them.
  • Arts Funding Watch:  An electronic newsletter from the Foundation Center.  Full access requires (free) registration with the Foundation Center.  There are links to many interesting resources here.

U.S. Census Bureau: Arts Data

  •  Arts Activities: Selected data, including attendance and ticket sales for legitimate theater, touring companies, and non-profit theater.

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