Higher Education: Take Note from Non-Profits

November 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

In his article regarding current funding models for higher education, Jack Stripling outlines the need for change.  With state and other government funding decreasing, colleges and universities are forced to explore other ideas.  Stripling points out that like many non-profits, higher education institutions have looked to the communities they inhabit for contributions, only to be rebuffed for their lack of actual community involvement.  Many have sought to create outreach programs in order to offer more to their local constituencies.

This is a great lesson for non-profits and universities alike.  It’s easy to become absorbed in programs that serve a specific or internal audience, but it’s important for both types of institutions to be aware of their constituency and the community that supports them.  Offering programs or performances that appeal to a larger audience can help an organization become more relevant, and develop a positive local image rather than appearing “walled off” or “elitist.  Effective community relations and partnerships are absolutely necessary for arts organizations and universities to support themselves.

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