2012.09.27 Learning Sessions 3 - Aurora Picture Show
Accelerator Program – Phase IBeneficiary:Grant Term:04/2011 – 03/2012Contact:Rachel BlackneyInterim Executive Directorblackney@aurorapictureshow.org713-868-2101www.aurorapictureshow.org.Photo: Orbit Films in Mandell Park,April, 2011Insert photo 1
MISSION Aurora Picture Show is a non-profit micro-cinema thatpresents artist-made, non-commercial film andvideo. We are dedicated to expanding the cinematicexperience and promoting the understanding andappreciation of moving image art.VISION Aurora is committed to maintaining a vanguardperspective and strengthening our position as anationally recognized "go to" organization for the latestin moving image art. Showing at Aurora is on the top-10 life timeachievement wish list of every film and video artist inthe U.S. Audiences and alumni artists are passionate about, andactively engaged in, the organization. We are known in the local community for sponsoringnot-to-be-missed events for the intellectually curiousand the artistically adventurous. We are known locally and nationally in the artscommunity as a hot spot for learning, gathering,distribution, and discussion of moving image art. Artists, arts organizations and businesses look to us asthe premier partner for collaborations andunconventional programming throughout the citydrawing audiences from all ages and walks of life.Photo: Expanded Cinema Screening at the Houston Museum of NaturalScience Burke Baker Planetarium May 14,2011Mission and Vision
Use of FundsTowards the Creation and Board Adoption of a Multi-Year Strategic PlanConsultant Selection• Chose Sterling and Associates afterpreviously meeting with three consultantteams• Find a consultant that is the right size foryour needs and “gets” your organization,where you fit in the arts landscape ofHouston• Make sure they are working to matchyour organization’s size and capacityPlanning Process6/15/2011 Met with consultants to go over process, set timelineand agenda for the strategic planning process7/25/2011 Met with consultants to discuss and determine thesubjects of the five SWOT sessions and who would attend eachsession9/1/2011 - 9/28/2011 SWOT sessions on Aurora programs,Facilities, Human Resources and Board Governance, Fundraisingand Finance, Marketing and Communications10/20/2011 Goal setting meeting with staff and consultants todetermine the areas of most need and change the strategy from aretreat day to three more planning sessions focusing onprogramming, facilities, and fundraising based on the SWOTsession results11/8/2011 - 11/15/2011 Programming planning session, Facilitiesplanning session and Fundraising planning session to set specificgoals and determine what needs to change and what needs tostay with Aurora annual fundraising efforts11/22/2011 Strategic Planning Committee meet to review draft listof goals for the strategic plan that staff and consultants havecreated based on SWOTS and planning session11/30/2011 Staff meet with Sterling and Associates to review newdraft with input from committee and create final version to gobefore Board1/5/2012 Board meeting to review and vote on new strategic planthat had been sent to them in advance. Board adopts thestrategic plan.
Goal 1:Aurora has a manageable number of program offeringsthat have a measurable, positive impact on the organization’s missionObjectives:– Strategically right-size Aurora’sprogram offerings to a level that ismanageable by the current staff andBoard *– Establish metrics and trackingAurora’s qualitative and quantitativeimpact*– Identify target audiences and surveyconstituents to determine baselineawareness and collect feedback onprograms– Based on survey’s findings and thequalitative and quantitative programgoals, develop a targeted marketingand public relations plan tomeasurably increase awarenessand/or attendance* Denotes objectives to address in the next 12 months.Photo: Image of audience at Found Magazine performance atSaint Arnolds Brewery May, 2011
Goal 2: FacilitiesAurora Picture Show has a facility that adequately supports theorganization’s programmatic and administrative needsObjectives:– Define the criteria for anoptimal facility for AuroraPicture Show. Considerlocation, space, and budgetimplications*– Using the criteria developed inright-sizing Aurora’s programs;investigate and evaluatefeasible facility solutions*– Present recommendations tothe Board of Directors** Denotes objectives to address in the next 12 months.Photo:Aurora Picture Show New Facility at2442 Bartlett
Goal 3: Human Resources and GovernanceThe Aurora Picture Show has a Board of Directors that implements thebest practices of non-profit governanceObjectives:– Reorganize standing committeesaround strategic goals: marketing,finance and fundraising,governance and facilities*– Develop and formalize boardrecruitment process: identification,cultivation, recruitment*– Develop an effective method toregularly evaluate the ExecutiveDirector, create evaluation tool andpresent to the Board of Directors*– Conduct an annual board self-evaluation*– Formalize board orientation andtraining process*– Increase the size of the Board to 20members** Denotes objectives to address in the next 12 months.Photo: Aurora staff at the Air Terminal Museum ScreeningDec 2011
Goal 4: Fundraising and FinanceThrough improved fundraising and a strong financial management system, the AuroraPicture Show has a cash reserve equal to 6 months of operating revenueObjectives:– Develop 3-year budget projectionsbased on organization’s strategicgoals and objectives and programplan*– Develop a targeted and strategicmajor donor program; identify, rateand strategically cultivate amanageable number of donors withcapacity to make major gifts– Simplify membership program totwo level*– Increase ticket price to $10 pershow $15 for special event shows*– Establish formal financial policiesand controls– Increase gala net revenue andmodify expenses to achieve anexpense ratio of 25%*– Commission an independentfinancial review for year-end 2012** Denotes objectives to address in the next 12 months.Photo: Aurora Picture Show Annual Award Dinner 2010
Keys to SuccessSignificant Accomplishments:– Choosing the right consultantteam for your organizationalneeds– Have an upbeat consultant whokeeps sessions short, focusedand fun– Recognizing the problem areaswhen they are identified– Right sizing the plan for yourorganizational needs; don’t get aplan that the organization doesnot have capacity to execute– Carving out time for some Boardtraining as part of the processPhoto: Universal Backyard Theater Project, a community cinema-raising, April, 2012
Lessons LearnedWhat were your course corrections?– Learned that you don’t have to follow theaccepted format for strategic planning;day long retreat as culmination is notalmost most effective– The HAA Accelerator grant is extremelyuseful tool in that it gives you a limitedtimeframe and requires progressreports; which keep the staff and Boardon track and staff can use it asmotivation/purpose of approach– Make sure you have a consultant thatcan keep a group focused on the task insessions; and cut short any diversions– Aurora has found a new facility based onthe wish list developed during the planand is changing facilities in June– Aurora reduced the number of publicprograms we were offering; eliminatingones that were capacity draining with notmuch mission impact or financial results– Aurora has already changed ourmembership program, approach toannual gala, working with consultants onBoard committeesPhoto:Aurora Picture Show Summer Filmmaking Bootcamp,July 2011
Summary of Future Plans• Aurora received a Warhol Initiative grant for asmall amount to pay for assistance fromconsultants for a short two month period whichwe will use to address some of the Governance• Aurora Picture Show applied and worked withthe Capstone (Rice MBA ) program forassistance with the marketing objectives in thestrategic plan. The students did some researchthat assisted us with learning moredemographic information about our patrons;and plans to continue to work with members ofthe team on creating the tracking systems withregards to marketing• Aurora plans to apply for Phase II of theAccelerator program to assist in funding someof the program, finance and fundraisingobjectives that we plan to address in the next12 months• The process allowed the Board and staff tocome together with regards to the future ofAurora; it allowed us to recognize the priorityareas (facilities, finance and governance) andto already have steps in place to address thesechangesPhoto: E/x by Luke Savisky Sept 2010Buffalo Bayou Partnership East End Site
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