Working with so many arts organizations that are facing financial challenges, I often hear board and staff discussion about the need for a mega-gift. "If only we had an angel" is a common refrain in the boardrooms of troubled institutions. The angels of other arts institutions are mentioned as candidates as are the richest people in town. But this line of discussion rarely results in any action.
In truth, very few arts organizations have angels who can pay a substantial portion of the annual budget and those who do often live to see the day when the angel leaves the family and the institution has great difficulty filling the hole left by the mega-donor.