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A encouraging trend report and a roundup of grants nationwide.

Giving Outpaces Inflation 

Individuals, foundations and businesses made a record $64.9 billion in charitable contributions in 1983, according to one of the leading authorities on American philanthropy. Giving USA/1984, published by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel, estimates that gifts to more than 300,000 nonprofit organizations during 1983 represent an increase of 8.1 percent over 1982 levels. If the figures are adjusted to exclude the extraordinary $1.3 billion 1982 bequest to the Getty Museum, total 1983 giving grew by even more—10.6 percent. The AAFRC also noted the growth in giving outpaced the growth in inflation for the third consecutive year.

Nearly half of all 1983 giving went to churches and other religious organizations ($31 billion), while hospitals and health organizations received $9.15 billion. Schools and educational institutions received $9 billion, social welfare organizations $6.9 billion and arts organizations $4 billion.

The AAFRC report, now in its 29th year, incorporates the findings of Theatre Facts 83, the annual survey of the finances of the nonprofit professional theatre in America conducted by Theatre Communications Group. The AAFRC reports all giving to arts organizations nationwide increased by 11.4 percent in 1983, nearly identical to the 11.3 percent growth in all forms of contributed income to theatres reported in Theatre Facts 83.

Interestingly, the core group of theatres studied for Theatre Facts 83 saw giving from individuals, foundations and corporations increase faster in 1983 than the increases reported for all philanthropy nationwide. The AAFRC reported individual giving to all charities up 11.1 percent in 1983, while corporate and foundation giving grew by 5.1 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively. By comparison, the theatres studied for Theatre Facts 83 saw individual giving increase by 15 percent during 1983, while corporate gifts increased by 26

AMEI percent and foundation support was up by 14 percent. In each case, the substantial funds and efforts invested by theatres in increased fund raising activities provided a growth in giving greater than the AAFRC averages.

The increases in all forms of giving reported by the AAFRC are seen as real gains—the inflation rate for the period studied was only 3.6 percent. The AAFRC noted the 1983 improvement was likely due to the lower inflation and unemployment rates, which increased individual giving, as well as to improved corporate profits during the third and fourth quarters and to improved foundation portfolios resulting from a strong stock market.

Despite increases in corporate giving figures for the year, the AAFRC was quick to note, “The government has cut its direct grants to not-for-profit organizations—$32 billion alone for the period 1982-86. Other services have been reduced by $115 billion, and the government’s belief that corporate America would pick up the tab has proved to be illusory.

Copies of Giving USA/1984 are available for $25 from the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel, 25 West 43rd St., New York, NY 10036; (212) 354-5799.

Grant Expands TCG Computer Services

The Trustees of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have awarded Theatre Communications Group $165,000 for the development and implementation of a multi-year program designed to provide arts organizations with information and assistance on computer use in the performing arts.

Following TCG’s earlier work in computers—which has included a national conference in 1980, the publication of Computers and the Performing Arts and the development of the Arts Income Management System (made possible, in part, with funding provided by the Mellon Foundation)—the new program of computer information services will be structured as an adjunct to TCG’s National Computer Project which includes the AIMS software package. In addition to a variety of publications on computer use in the arts, the new program will include the identification and referral of qualified arts computer consultants. The project is expected to begin operation later this year.

In addition to the Mellon grant, TCG has received three unrestricted grants totalling $21,000 from corporate and foundation sources. These include ongoing support from The Scherman Foundation; increased support of $6,000 from the Atlantic Richfield Foundation; and a $5,000 contribution from the Equitable Life Assurance Society, marking the second installment of Equitable’s three-year commitment to TCG.

Dayton Hudson Grants Listed

The Dayton Hudson Foundation, long a leading source of corporate support to theatres, has announced 253 fourth-quarter grants totalling more than $4.5 million for communities served by the Dayton Hudson Corporation. The grants, made in 36 states and the District of Columbia, are a part of Dayton Hudson’s 1983 giving budget of $13.9 million, which represents five percent of the corporation’s federally taxable income. The company has made gifts at this level for 38 years.

Included are six grants to theatres totalling $281,500. Recipients include San Jose Repertory, $12,000; South Coast Repertory of Costa Mesa, Calif., $28,000; American Repertory Theatre of Cambridge, Mass., $5,000; The Children’s Theatre Company and School of Minneapolis, $200,000; Actors Theatre of St. Paul, $20,000; and Minneapolis’ The Playwrights Center, $16,500. Dayton Hudson is a diversified national retail corporation with eight independent companies operating 1,082 stores, and the grants were made on behalf of Mervyn’s, Lechmere, B. Dalton, Dayton’s and Target stores. 

Commissions to Follow

Opera America has initiated a three-year program designed to encourage the development of new opera and musical theatre pieces. Dubbed “Opera for the ’80s and Beyond.” the program is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and is coordinated by project director Ben Krywosz.

During the first phase of the project, Opera America member companies will be offered pre-commissioning grants for such activities as travel, short residencies and development. Funding and mechanisms for a second phase—the actual commissioning and production of theatre pieces—are still under discussion.

Grants Roundup

Three Minneapolis area theatres have been awarded support grants from foundations and corporations—the Guthrie Theater received $25,000 from the Pillsbury Company Foundation and $65,000 from General Mills Foundation; another $32,000 from General Mills went to the Children’s Theatre Company and School; and the Cricket Theatre received $35,000 from the Bush Foundation.

For continued support of its workshop for women stage directors, New York’s American Place Theatre was awarded $60,000 from the Ford Foundation. A $100,000 grant from the Consolidated Foods Foundation will support a production of Candide at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, opening the ’84-85 season. American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco has exceeded its Bay Area campaign goal, bringing the total collected for restoration of the Geary Theatre to over $700,000.

BoarsHead: Michigan Public Theater has been awarded $102,000 by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for development of an arts and education outreach program for Michigan youth…A newly designed and mounted production of A Christmas Carol at Seattle’s A Contemporary Theatre will be supported by a $25,000 grant from Burlington Northern…Atlantic Richfield Foundation has contributed $25,000 toward the Old Globe Theatre of San Diego’s production and tour of Quartermaine’s Terms, which opened in San Francisco’s Marines Memorial Theatre following its San Diego run…Citibank/ Citicorp has underwritten the Old Globe’s Kiss Me Kate in the amount of $25,000, and contributed another $30,000 to the Cleveland Play House for a new version of The Three Musketeers.

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