back to top

Prioritize investments
and leverage them

The AEP6 study’s process of collecting data about economic spending through audience and organizational surveys could be a brand-new concept for many organizations.

Participation may require a different level of staff support, thought space, and (yes) money. Many organizations have taken part in previous AEP studies or perhaps they have done their own data collection. Some organizations have not had the opportunity to benefit from previous advocacy efforts and structurally need support to get over the learning curve. Consider how resources can be utilized to support this effort.


Take a moment to think through the below prompts, considering how they could lead to meaningful connections.


Take a moment to think through the below prompts. Your answers to these prompts could lead to the identification of possible solutions.


 / 05

A different type of commitment

The commitment to engaging with BIPOC and ALAANA communities in the form of a data project is different from the general engagement for grants and other financial awards and assistance.


 / 05

Building points of Advocacy

What could it mean to invest in BIPOC and ALAANA communities to build advocacy points for themselves?


 / 05

You can do well and still do good

As a funder, diversifying your organization’s streams of funding could allow BIPOC and ALAANA organizations wider access to pursue new streams of funders while continuing to allow your organization to fully function as it has been.


 / 05

Actively encourage other agencies to invest

Considering your position as the funding agency in the arts and culture community’s ecology, would you be able to engage and encourage unique connections between the investing agencies (i.e., donors, bigger granting agencies) and the BIPOC and ALANNA organizations?


 / 05

What gets measured, gets done

Measure and track your contact and progress with desired communities. What gets measured, gets done. The collection of BIPOC and ALAANA data holds the voices of people we seek to serve. The data being collected will hold us accountable for making changes to our practices and processes. We hope to see continued positive shifts—over time—in grants and giving informed by AEP’s data collection efforts.

your turn

Let’s invest!

Like sand through an hourglass, we will explore how to activate funding options coming in and diversify the streams of investments coming out.

What you will need to prepare for this section: 

  • Gather a list of your funders and their rules for funding. 
  • Gather your updated AEP6 list of eligible organizations to find the organizations of focus.
  • Make sure you have the focus organizations’ mission statement and/or a short list of their programming.


Make a list of the options for funding. The idea here is to first see if you can make the pie bigger.

Does your organization have a fixed source of funding that you have no control over?

Are you allowed to fundraise outside that funding stream?

Do you know major investors that could uniquely support the BIPOC and ALAANA organizations in your region?

Next, list available funding options and requirements for investing in BIPOC or ALAANA organizations. Examples may include stipends or gifts if limited by 501(c)(3) status requirements.

Make Your List:

Note any current trends. This could be handy to support your future advocacy efforts.




Build Out Structure

Remember to diversify the streams of investments for your organization and build out consistent opportunities for checks and balances.

Can you reallocate resources?

Connect the dots here. Build accountability measures with tracked goals to ensure consistency. Being conservative to start is not a bad idea but develop a three-to-five-year plan.

From the list above, what are the ways you can diversify how you allocate resources?




Gather the Appropriate Audience

List all the potential organizations that you think would benefit from a reallocation of resources. Use the previous chapters to support making this list and remember to appreciate the value of these organizations to the fabric of the community.




Close the Loop

Clearly identify the ROI and think broadly. The return on investment may not always be a financial one. Be sure to track and evaluate the process often to ensure it is still meeting the needs of BIPOC and ALAANA organizations.

Fill in the boxes below:

What is the impact if you are successful?




How can this practice be sustainable?





bonus activity bonus activity

bonus activity bonus activity

bonus activity bonus activity

bonus activity bonus activity

bonus activity bonus activity

bonus activity bonus activity

Are we pacing for privilege or prioritizing the historically marginalized?

Bonus: Minimize the paperwork and red tape. Justify the value of community-specific data.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


The following can help you dive into some resources, root causes, drivers, and examples of how this intentional work can be pushed forward to break disconnection, distrust, and disinvestment cycles.

“Either/Or” Culture
Social Justice

need help?

Check out the resource list below

Local Arts Agencies & Resources
Justice & Equity: Investments
Brain & Body


Equity data work will require a level of financial investment and provide an ROI, evidenced in data throughout the years.


Bring your team into the positive outcomes that will come from the investment.


Have your forward vision plan and short-term benefits, as well as long-term benefits.


Think through how you look at the resources you have and consider adding them to your strategic priorities and institutional awareness plan.


Save your work…and show it off

(but only if you want to)

If you want to share your work, feel free to post your downloaded PDF or share a story about this experience on the AEP6 Slack Channel. If you aren’t yet a part of the Slack Channel, please reach out to  for support or access.

If you do not wish to share your work, please know that we do not save, record, or attribute the answers you have typed here or downloaded into your PDF. Your work here is completely private unless you choose otherwise.