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Springboard - For Arts & Cultural Organizations

Applications are currently being accepted for 2020.

Tasveer AINA Women's Film Festival

Springboard is a nine-month assessment and improvement process for arts and cultural organizations, designed to help identify and build upon capacity strengths and opportunities. Participants set priorities, identify goals and work in partnership with consultants to improve issues such as business systems, fundraising, audience development and board governance.

Springboard was developed by 501 Commons in cooperation with Claudia Bach of AdvisArts. In the past ten years, over 50 organizations have benefited from participating in Springboard.

“501 Commons brings a disciplined, introspective and practical approach to strengthening arts nonprofits. The tools, presentations and group discussions have already helped us define our goals, which will help serve the community.” ~Tasveer

How It Works

Springboard combines five processes for strengthening organizational capacity.

  • Assess: complete an organizational capacity assessment.
  • Focus: Prioritize key issues limiting mission fulfillment.
  • Plan for Implementation: Identify milestones and actions needed to improve.
  • Take Action: Work in partnership with consultants to develop and operationalize improvements.
  • Reflect and Learn: Celebrate your accomplishments and share your lessons with peers.

Shermona Mitchell and Jose Abaoag in Sound Theatre Company's production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot


Participants will work alongside seasoned consultants to not only assess organizational capacity, but implement new procedures and frameworks that build a legacy of long-term capacity and resilience. Consultants will spend a total of 50 hours helping the organization operationalize designated improvements.

Springboard 2020 is valued at over $10,000, and made free of charge to select organizations thanks to support from the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Check out some of the specific benefits that Hugo House gained when they participated in 2014, and our Springboard 2018 Annual Report features more success stories.


Eligible organizations must be located in Seattle, be based in communities of color, have at least one full-time employee, and a team of three that can fully commit to completing this nine-month program.


Applications for the Spring 2020 cohort are due no later than January 31, 2020. Organizations will be accepted on a first come/first served basis so download the application and apply today!


If you are interested in Springboard and have questions, please contact Jan Burrell, Consulting Services Manager.

501 Commons is grateful for support from our funder: