Research Services: Economic Impact Studies
Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading provider of studies that measure the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences.Our Arts and Economic Prosperity III studies employ an input/output analysis that is highly regarded in the field of economics and the basis of two Nobel Prizes in economics. Our findings are the most frequently cited statistics used to demonstrate the impact of the nation’s nonprofit arts industry on the local, state, and national economy.
- Sample Final Report (pdf, 1.7MB)
- Sample Project Contract (pdf, 51KB)
- Sample Project Schedule/Timeline (pdf, 36KB)
- Marketing Flyer (pdf, 74KB)
Who are our customers?
We work with any organization that has the resources to complete an economic impact study—most importantly, the time and commitment to complete the data collection requirements successfully. Our past economic impact partners include:
- Arts councils, arts commissions, and departments of cultural affairs
- Statewide arts agencies and advocacy organizations
- Economic development and planning agencies
- Community foundations
- Individual nonprofit arts organizations (e.g., cultural centers, museums, galleries, and community theaters)
|"The Arts & Economic Prosperity III report significantly boosted the visibility of the arts in our city and provided a positive headline that was eagerly received by elected officials and business leaders. The report has resulted in tangible changes in our city's strategic plan and its economic development approaches. The study findings continue to open new doors throughout the community that allow us to advocate for the arts in meaningful ways."|
Vice Chair, Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (Colorado Springs, CO)
Executive Director, Bee Vradenburg Foundation
What are your responsibilities?
We require that our customers are active participants in our projects. This achieves two goals: (1) it leverages your staff’s knowledge of your arts community, and (2) it contributes significantly to our very low study fees. Our five customer requirements include:
- Payment of the affordable study fee (see our fees below)
- Designation of a primary project contact for the study
- Delivery of a comprehensive list of the eligible arts and culture organizations in your community, (including organization name, mailing address, name of primary contact person, and e-mail address of the primary contact person)
- Follow-up with the eligible organizations that do not respond to our web-based survey
- Collection of at least 1,000 “audience-intercept” surveys at local arts and culture events
What materials will you receive for your efforts?
Upon completion of the project, Americans for the Arts will deliver the following materials to you. All materials are delivered electronically on a CD-ROM; our customers are responsible for the printing of their final reports.
- A detailed, easy-to-understand 24-page report customized to the findings for your community
- Comparisons of your findings with those of other similarly-sized communities
- A one-page summary of the findings for your community (two different versions)
- A customizable MS PowerPoint presentation of the national findings with talking points and blank slides where you can enter your local findings
- Our latest full National Report—Arts & Economic Prosperity III: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences—including the detailed comparison data for 156 recent economic impact customers
- Our Summary Report of the national findings with background, scope, and methodology
- Our pamphlet highlighting the national findings
- Sample advocacy tools (e.g., press release, opinion-editorial piece)
How long does it take to complete an economic impact study?
Generally, an economic impact study takes 6–12 months to complete. This time frame allows our customers to collect a representative sample of audience surveys from a diverse set of arts and culture events over the course of a full performance season. However, in most cases we are able to expedite the data collection process at your request. We will deliver your final report six weeks after we receive the final audience surveys.
How much does an economic impact study cost?
Our subsidized economic impact study fees are designed to make this valuable research and advocacy tool accessible to every community in the country. For-profit consultancies typically charge $30,000 (or more) for a customized economic impact study. On the other hand, we subsidize our studies through cost-sharing and by requiring our customers to participate in the data collection.
|A Study of:||
Economic Impact Study Fee
|An individual nonprofit arts and culture organization||
|A city, county, or multi-county region (population is fewer than 100,000)||
A city, county, or multi-county region (population is 100,000 or more)
An entire state
All members of Americans for the Arts receive a 10 percent discount on our economic impact study fees.
For an additional speaker fee of $1,500 plus travel expenses, an Americans for the Arts’ staff policy expert will travel to your community upon the completion of your economic impact study to participate in a study release event and attend meetings with your stakeholder groups (e.g., elected officials, editorial board, Chamber of Commerce).
For more information or to request a draft study contract for your community contact Senior Director of Research Services Ben Davidson at 202.371.2830.