NFF and MetLife Partner to help Arts Orgs

New York City – June 11, 2009 – Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and MetLife Foundation have launched a new initiative to strengthen the nation’s leading arts and culture organizations. Through a $380,000 grant from MetLife Foundation, NFF will provide Dance/USA, Theatre Communications Group, League of American Orchestras, and their members nationwide with financial tools and training to address the financial challenges precipitated by the current recession.

“Recent cutbacks in public, private and individual giving are taking a toll on this country’s arts organizations,” said Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation. “By partnering with NFF, MetLife Foundation is able to provide arts organizations with the high-impact tools and financial guidance needed to weather this recession and build long-term sustainability.”

Through the partnership, NFF will work with Dance/USA, Theatre Communications Group, and League of American Orchestras to give their nearly 2,000 member organizations access to financial guidance, tools, and support during these tough economic times. The services offered will be customized based upon need and will include workshops, webinars, recession planning and financial analysis.

“This is a critical time for arts organizations, with many of them nearing the financial brink,” said Emily Guthman, NFF Associate Director. “Arts organizations face a unique set of challenges, such as changing audiences, reliance on ticket sales, difficulties accessing emergency funds, and high facilities costs. By helping Dance/USA, Theatre Communications Group, League of American Orchestras, and their constituents navigate and respond to the financial challenges of this recession, we are hoping to help stabilize the financial health of the sector at-large.”

A recent NFF survey of the nonprofit sector illustrates that arts and culture organizations are particularly vulnerable during this recession. Only 8% of arts organizations expect to break even in 2009. Just 12% anticipate being able to cover their operating expenses in both 2009 and 2010. Approximately 33% don’t have enough operating cash in hand to cover more than one month of expenses, and another 31% have less than three months’ worth. More than half (56% ) of respondents expect the recession to have a long-term (2+ years) or permanent negative financial effect on their organizations. Almost half (45%) of arts organizations are considering or already have reduced or eliminated programs, and 48% are considering or already have tapped reserve funds. NFF and MetLife are committed to helping organizations nationwide through this new arts initiative.

About Nonprofit Finance Fund

Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is a national leader in nonprofit, philanthropic and social enterprise finance. Founded in 1980, NFF ( provides loan financing, access to capital and direct advisory services that build the capacity and the financial health of nonprofits. A leading community development financial institution with over $80 million in assets, NFF has provided over $175 million in loans and access to additional financing via grants, tax credits and capital in support of over $1 billion in projects for thousands of nonprofit clients nationwide. NFF has a staff of more than 75 serving nonprofits nationally from offices in Philadelphia, New York City, Newark, New Jersey, Boston, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was established by MetLife to continue the company’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants are made to support health, educational, civic and cultural organizations and programs. The Foundation ( contributes to arts and cultural organizations, with an emphasis on increasing opportunities for young people, reaching broad audiences through inclusive programming, and making arts more accessible for all people.

About Participating Organizations:

Dance/USA is national service organization for professional dance, currently serving over 400 ballet, modern, ethnic, jazz and tap companies, dance preservation, individuals and dance-related organizations nationwide.

League of American Orchestras is a national association of nearly 1,000 member symphony, chamber, youth, and collegiate orchestras of all sizes and structures, dedicating to helping orchestras meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) is a national organization dedicated to strengthening, nurturing and promoting the professional not-for-profit American theatre, serving over 460 theatres and 17,000 individuals nationwide.

What the Grantees are Saying:

“Orchestras are feeling the strain like all non-profits as they experience both cutbacks from usual funding sources and series drops in endowment reserves. NFF’s extensive expertise in nonprofit finance will help our members acquire skills and perspectives that will assist them in managing both immediate and long-term financial challenges. The League thanks MetLife and looks forward to partnering with NFF.”

Polly Kahn
Vice President, Learning & Leadership Development
League of American Orchestras

“Dance organizations are facing the perfect storm of declines in foundation, corporation and individual giving, coupled with declines in ticket sales. We thank MetLife for the opportunity to work with NFF to provide the Dance/USA community with better fiscal understanding that can help organizations address long-term business challenges, plan strategically, and work better with governing leadership.”

Andrea E. Snyder

President & Executive Director


“Now is the time for theatres to understand more deeply their capital structure and the subtleties of their operating financials, where they are strong, where they are vulnerable, and what strategies can be adopted to become more sustainable for the long term. Because all theatres are affected by the recession – and the effects are most immediately financial – this new series of learning opportunities from NFF will serve as an essential and much needed tool.”
Teresa Eyring

Executive Director,

Theatre Communications Group

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