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Health of Nonprofit Sector

Gauging the health of Michigan’s nonprofit arts and culture sector has been difficult because it includes everything from century-old arts museums and music societies to volunteer-led festivals celebrating small towns to cutting-edge arts and technology community projects. Using lists from the National Center for Charitable Statistics and the state arts council, the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Creative State Michigan estimates there are about 2,000 arts, cultural, and historical nonprofits in Michigan.

The Michigan Cultural Data Project (CDP) data collection process provides for analysis of all these organizations, no matter their size or if staffed or volunteer-led. It collects their annual financial and programmatic data in a detailed, 11-section online form and uses a two-part validation review to find data entry errors.  It also allows for the users entering data to generate over 80 different reports about their organizations and compare themselves to others.

The 2014 Creative State Michigan report is a snapshot of the health and vitality of Michigan’s arts and culture nonprofits. It includes information from 424 organizations – an estimated 21% of arts and cultural organizations statewide — that had review complete data profiles for Fiscal Year 2011 in the Michigan Cultural Data Project as of October 31, 2013.  Three areas are covered: RevenueCapital Campaigns and Working Capital. Future reports in the Creative State Michigan series will consider expanded datasets, as more organizations enter review complete data and data will be available for multiple years.

Organizations in Report by Budget Size


Number of events, volunteers and artists hired

The 2014 report captures data from approximately 21% of the arts and culture nonprofits in Michigan and illustrates the variety of organizing models used to deliver arts and culture across Michigan. Additional details on jobs can be found in the Value of the Creative Economy section of this report.