Fundraising & Financing for Major Maintenance Projects

Some major maintenance projects can be very costly, and may require their own targeted fundraising effort, or special financing.


Because these kinds of improvements are often not as visible as new building projects, and may not cause an obvious improvement in or extension of your ability to deliver services, raising private money can be more difficult than for an exciting capital project.

However, fundraising for major maintenance can sometimes be packaged with other institutional campaign objectives such as endowment funding or other types of capacity building.  Making an argument that keeping your building functioning as efficiently as possible can make more money available for programs over time is often a compelling case for donors.


Some organizations, known as Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) have begun to offer financing packages coupled with energy-saving equipment improvements.  The company offers the improved equipment at no initial cost, in exchange for a long-term contract where they share in the resulting energy savings.  While this approach may seem like an easy way to avoid big capital expenditures, many arts organizations have found that they’re able to raise money for upgrades that improve energy efficiency, and then keep the utility savings for themselves.

As an additional resource, ArtsBuild is introducing Asset Planner, an online systems for capital forecasting that helps organizations plan and prioritize capital projects.  With these resources, we hope to help arts organizations make choices that benefit both their balance sheets and our shared environment.

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