Maurice Pefura, Portrait III, 2015, courtesy of the artist

What is Sustain-Ability?

Sustain-Ability is a three-year project, which aims to strengthen organisational capacity of lettera27. In collaboration with project partners (Kwantis – a consultancy specialised in performance optimisation and Doppiozero – web magazine focused on culture), lettera27 is conducting a complex analysis of the internal working processes, including strategic management, communications and fundraising practices, and developing toolkits necessary for improvement of our performance. By doing so lettera27 is producing management tools, strategies and guidelines for the non-profit sector, with the specific focus on small and medium cultural organizations. The project is co-funded by Fondazione Cariplo.

What we have done so far?

In 2014 the first project results have been brought to light, with As-Is analysis, benchmark report and social media and community building strategy finalised. Continuous monitoring of the results in terms of community-building has been started, which allowed us to fine-tune our online communication strategy and strengthen lettera27’s brand.
With regard to impact measurement component of the project, we conducted a comprehensive mapping of the management and performance measurement tools available in the profit sector, with an aim to evaluate them and adapt into the non-profit environment. Balanced Scorecard and Key Performance Indicator methodologies have been identified and pre-selected as the most suitable tools.

Jems Robert Koko Bi, The Passengers, 2012, courtesy of the artist

“You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself.”

Nelson Mandela

In 2015 we have been developing and testing our performance monitoring and evaluation tool – Balanced Scorecard. Some 35 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have been identified and organised into 11 organisational performance areas, such as Management, Communication, Administration, Finance, Fundraising, R&D etc. A pilot in-house evaluation test has been conducted and based on this, a comprehensive Performance Monitoring Plan, including timeline and lessons learnt, has been developed.
In addition, we have developed detailed strategic plans in the areas of Communications and Fundraising, as well as Guidelines, which are meant to facilitate replicability of the good practices in communications and resource mobilisation. The Guidelines provide small and medium cultural organisations with a practical and easy reference for designing successful strategies leading to achieving sustainability. Published under the Creative Commons license, the documents are free for download, broad use and sharing.

In 2016 we have refined the produced management tools through the test of the Balance Score Card tool with 3 cultural organizations in Italy in the field of performing arts, artistic research and knowledge production and dissemination.

The project is entering its last phase, which will conclude with the publication of the project’s findings under Creative Commons license.

Who is the target?
Small and medium cultural organizations in Italy.