Sustainability – Beyond the One-Off Art Project

Beyond doing individual successful projects, wouldn’t it be amazing to have a community arts centre in every neighbourhood? Imagine a strong arts centre that the community could trust would be open week after week, year after year. You would be starting an organization.

  • Consider what kind of organization you want to start. Is it a non-profit, charity, for-profit, or a co-op? Will it have a board, does it have a sole proprietor or is it a partnership?
  • Create a clear mission for the organization.
  • Choose a name for the organization.

Not-for-profits and charities

  • What need are you trying to fill? Is it long term or short term? If it is short term, you may not need to start your own organization, but continue to do project-based work with existing organizations.
  • Are there similar organizations already doing similar work and addressing the same needs? The pot of available funding is limited, and you will be competing with these groups for funding.
  • Do you have other people who believe in the proposed organization? Are they willing to be founding members and work to make it happen? Are they willing to volunteer their time and energy for the cause?
  • Do you understand the rules and regulations of running a not-for-profit organization or charity in Manitoba?

First Steps

Not-for-profit or charity

  1. To become a not-for-profit or charity you need to round up a board of directors. This is a legal requirement.
  2. You need to register the name and incorporate the business.
  3. You need to develop a business plan and find funding.

For-profit organization (sole owner, partnership or social enterprise)

  1. Perhaps the arts centre could be a venture that is intended to make money or cover costs and you think the community could support it. In this case, you need to register and incorporate the business.
  2. From there, you need to create a business plan. There are many resources, both information and funding, for entrepreneurs. A great starting place is the ACI website’s resources.
Skip to content