When Donors Have Too Much Power

March 30, 2015 1:29 PM

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I have spent the last 30 years helping arts organizations build their fundraising operations. I believe strongly that the future of the arts depends on attracting more--not less--private support. And I appreciate that building a successful fundraising operation requires the organization to give something back to the donor: This might be access to special events, to artists, to institutional leaders, and even seats on the board in the right circumstances.

This has been a point of great concern for the art institutions outside of the United States that are beginning to build their own fundraising campaigns. As their governments reduce funding, they know they must start raising from private donors, but many arts managers in Europe, for example, are con...

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