Key Findings from Organizations Primarily Serving BIPOC Audiences

Bottom Line

We studied organizations that primarily serve Black, Indigenous and People of Color audiences to discover trends from 2016-2019 and across 2,542 organizations in America.

Photo courtesy of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Photo by Sharen Bradford.

Organizations primarily serving Black, Indigenous and People of Color were more likely to end the year with an operating surplus.

  • BIPOC organizations demonstrate more robust bottom lines than their non-BIPOC counterparts by any measurement. They also have the smallest difference between operating surplus before and after depreciation. This simply means that these organizations tend to have less fixed assets and less unrestricted revenue not related to delivery of regular activities and programs.
  • The size distribution of BIPOC v general organizations is very similar: Large – 10% v 16%, Medium – 42% v 39%, and Small – 47% v 45% (not shown in the chart). There are proportionally more small BIPOC organizations, but not by much, as reflected in their lower average total expense level (see the Table). Overall, there were about half as many BIPOC organizations as there were non-BIPOC: 35% v 65% breakdown of orgs.
  • Both types of organizations display the expected pattern of unrestricted surplus being the most favorable measurement, followed by operating surplus before depreciation, and finally operating surplus taking depreciation into account.

By Audiences, Trends 2016-2019*

  • Organizations that do not primarily serve BIPOC audiences have had consistent operating deficits since 2016 after taking into account depreciation. However, unrestricted surplus saw a sharp increase in 2017. Operating surplus after depreciation shows a slight increase in 2019 over 2016, indicating that these organizations reported slightly less depreciation recently.
  • BIPOC organizations have remained level over time, slightly dipping in 2018 and recovering at higher levels in 2019 compared to 2016. Over time, these organizations reduced their expenses and increased their unrestricted revenue, with particularly robust growth in operating revenue. In both operating surplus indices, both organization types have similar operating bottom lines, with culturally specific organizations maintaining a slightly higher bottom line.

See the Full Trend Table


*2,096 organizations that provided data each of the 4 years

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