Support for arts and culture can be indicated not only by dollars, but also by how commonly people and households donate to arts nonprofits. A community’s collective willingness to support the arts is clearly an element of the competitiveness of the arts in a community. It helps to understand local philanthropic behavior towards the arts.

This indicator uses data from 2012, 2013, and 2014 from Scarborough Research. It measures the three-year average percentage of respondents whose households supported arts and culture organizations including public broadcasting. It is limited to the 518 counties where Scarborough gathered data from a minimum of 180 respondents over the three years.

This provides another view of the generosity of county residents to the arts, supplementing what can be seen in the measure of nonprofit arts contribution revenue per capita. For example, evidence that a county’s nonprofit arts organizations have high per capita contributions in a county with a small population share contributing to the arts indicates that those organizations do well raising contributions from local businesses and foundations, out-of-county donors, and local residents.


Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 20.19%. Median county indicator value = 19.73%.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

The nonprofit arts grow – despite a recession!

The number of nonprofit arts organizations has grown annually, reaching 113,000 in 2010. In the past decade, nonprofit arts organizations grew 49% (76,000 to 113,000), a greater rate than all nonprofit organizations, which grew 32% (1.2 million to 1.6 million).