Pacific Symphony

What they needed and what we did:

Pacific Symphony had a problem; they had spent the last decade carefully developing a wide array of award-winning music education programs. While all their programs were popular with artists and the community alike,  investment in the arts was still in decline. Cuts in arts meant budget cuts.

The Symphony needed to develop a stronger business model with a focus on sustainability. But this wasn’t just about money. The Symphony’s board wanted to clearly define goals and a system that ensure they continued to make a significant impact on arts and the community.

Dan McQuaid, OneOC’s CEO, worked with a board task force and key staff leaders to identify, juggle and prioritize various goals and strategies around sustainability. For the first time ever, the board and staff took it upon themselves to evaluate – qualitatively and quantitatively –  their own programs.

They realized they needed to focus on programs with high arts impact as well as those that brought in the margin, the financial sustainability. Dan developed a process measuring and weighing respective programs’ mission impact and financial sustainability, and allowing qualitative weights by program area.

Under the rubric, the Symphony evaluation committee, with the input of program staff and OneOC, abandoned programs with lower impact and lower sustainability, and increased the mission impact of programs with high financial sustainability.