Financial Management in Cultural Organizations


Course description

Gain financial management skills specific to the cultural sector that will contribute to the success of your organization.

While museums and other heritage and arts organizations exist to contribute to the cultural, artistic and creative quality of community life, they rely on thoughtful business planning and effective financial management to achieve their goals. This course is suitable for anyone involved in planning and management within a cultural organization. Through this course, participants will build their understanding of the complex economic and legal contexts in which organizations operate. They’ll also strengthen their knowledge, skills, and confidence in business and financial planning, management and performance assessment. Participants are encouraged to consider their own organizations (or ones that they are familiar with) as a case study to explore:

  • the nature and values of not-for-profit cultural organizations
  • business planning as a framework for setting goals, priorities, and strategies
  • financial management cycles, budgeting, and resource allocation - forecasting revenues and expenditures
  • internal controls, evaluation, and audit legal and ethical issues
  • using financial information for effective grant writing

The course is designed to provide you with a set of planning and analysis documents that you will be able to integrate into your organization. We will address the challenges faced in developing mission-led, financially sustainable cultural organizations and explore the opportunities for advancing new business practices and funding sources.

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Note: as you should be familiar with basic bookkeeping techniques, this topic is addressed through advance readings. Excel is a key tool for financial management so a basic knowledge of this spreadsheet program is also valuable.

Though not required, prior experience in a cultural organization would be an asset for success in this course. Please contact the Program Office if you have any questions or concerns.

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