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Springboard - For Arts & Cultural Organizations

Tasveer AINA Women's Film Festival

Springboard is a four month planning program for small and mid-sized arts and cultural organizations designed to help them identify capacity strengths and challenges. Participants set priorities, identify goals and take action to improve issues such as business systems, fundraising, audiences development and board governance. With the help of 501 Commons consultants, Springboard participants have the opportunity to learn and share with a cohort of eight organizations.

Springboard was developed by 501 Commons in cooperation with Claudia Bach of AdvisArts. In the past nine years, over 48 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

The program guide and schedule are available here. Springboard combines six processes for strengthening organizational capacity.

  • Assess: complete an organizational capacity assessment.
  • Focus: Prioritize key issues limiting mission fulfillment.
  • Take Action: Identify milestones and actions needed to improve.
  • Make a Plan: Create a 12-18 month capacity building plan to reach your goals.
  • Monitor Progress: Measure and monitor your progress using success indicators.
  • Actively Learn: Learn with your peers, arts leaders and skilled consultants.

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


Participants will develop the ability to quickly identify and address organizational problems, spot opportunities, develop actionable plans, and measure success on those plans. Organizations that make an intentionally-focused planning process a habit are more likely to succeed over time. Planning takes time, but it increases agility and resilience in the long term. Check out some of the specific benefits that Hugo House gained when they participated in 2014, and our Springboard 2016 Annual Report features more success stories.

Participation Fees

Fees are on a sliding scale based on your organizational budget. Fees include a one-year 501 Commons membership, which provides access to discounted services, trainings, and events. At market rate consulting and training, Springboard is worth $23,000. With support from 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and the Boeing Company, program fees are significantly reduced.

Budget SizeSpringboard Fee
$0 - $300,000 $400
$301,00 - $500,000 $850
$501,000 - $800,000 $1,300
$800,001 - $1,200,000
$1,200,0001 and up


Springboard applications for the 2018 cohort will be available at the end of 2017. Check here for updates or contact us below.


If you are interested in Springboard, contact Catherine Nueva España at

501 Commons is grateful for program support from our funders: