Lifelines for our community


Last month I wrote here about the critical role public-private partnerships play in our community, as lower tax revenues force cuts in local government services.  My longer commentary also appeared in the Daily Business Review.   Among the hundreds of non-profit organizations our community relies on, I chose to feature three of the many where our firm members volunteer:

  • Friends of WLRN, an independent non-profit that raises millions every year to support South Florida’s School-Board owned public radio and television stations
  • Voices for Children, which raises millions to ensure that every abused and neglected child in Miami-Dade County has a court-appointed guardian, and
  • The College Assistance Program, which operates in cooperation with the Miami-Dade County School Board and Dade Community Foundation to help high school seniors who have exhausted all avenues of financial assistance and still have significant unmet needs to attend the college of their choice.

Now we note that the proposed County budget slashes $11 million from funding from the arts.  Which  brings our attention to another essential non-profit: The Arts & Business Council of Miami.

The Arts & Business Council’s has been South Florida’s leading arts service organization for 25 years.  Working to “keep the arts in business,” this non-profit’s role is to develop and promote mutually beneficial partnerships between the private sector and non-profit cultural community — the very partnerships (should we call them lifelines?) that are more critical than ever.  Their programs include leadership training, executive consultancies, educational outreach, collaborations, volunteer programs and networking events.

The Arts & Business Council currently assists over 500 non-profit arts organizations in Miami-Dade in developing partnerships with business — and much of their  own funding comes from the county.  They stand to lose anywhere from 10% to 60% of their annual budget if the cuts are implemented.    Unless private donors step up, they will have to cut staff and eliminate programs and services to the arts just when they are more essential than ever.

According to The Non-Profit Times, overall charitable giving in the U.S. declined by $6.4 billion last year. Now more than ever, as government funding decreases, our community needs individual and corporate donors to step up and help.

Janet Altman is a Marketing Principal at Kaufman Rossin, one of the Top 100 CPA and advisory firms in the U.S.

  1. Raul Garcia says:

    It’s important that everyone reach out to their commissioners to protest any budget cuts to the Arts. Studies show that children exposed to the Arts do better in core classes. Can you imagine our community with no Arts? Let your voice be heard!

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