How is ArtsPool’s “insourcing” different from “outsourcing?”

ArtsPool leverages resources within the field to maximize their use to greater effect and reduce waste within the field. This is markedly different from outsourcing which siphons money away from the field, often at a scale that is not in line with internal compensation and frequently with less specific understanding of the nonprofit arts business context.

Unlike outsourcing companies, ArtsPool’s goal is to control costs for its members, not to make a profit for itself. Further, ArtsPool is owned and governed by its members, so the control of its service provision and cost allocation is directly in the hands of those using the services.

Will my current administrative structure have to change if I join ArtsPool?

It depends on your current structure and how deeply you choose to participate in ArtsPool, under what circumstances, and in what ways.

For example, some members will choose to transition more deeply into ArtsPool services at moments of staff attrition, downsizing, or growth so that engagement with ArtsPool is responding to a change that’s already occurring. In these cases, ArtsPool can serve as an alternate solution to simply expanding or decreasing the member’s administrative team.

In addition, we’re developing mechanisms through which members will be able to use and provide services through ArtsPool. For example, if an organizational member has an employee whose workload tends to decrease on a seasonal basis, that employee’s excess time can eventually be contracted through ArtsPool to deliver other members’ tasks. Similarly, if an individual artist member is between projects, and is trained in specific transaction-based work, they can accept ArtsPool work based on their own schedule. In both cases, the work for other members will be managed through ArtsPool, and offset the providing member’s own cost in using ArtsPool services. In these ways, members can pay for ArtsPool services without having to necessarily find new money or let go of existing administrators.

How will ArtsPool help me to understand my business better?

ArtsPool will provide its members with transparent and easy access to clean and annotated data, which allows members to make informed decisions about their business. Instead of spending time preparing data for analysis, and often shortchanging analysis for lack of time, members can more fully interact with their data in useful birds-eye and detailed formats. Real-time engagement with useable data allows members to respond to issues and manage their business more quickly and proactively.

What is “co-employment,” and how can it benefit me?

ArtsPool is developing a co-employment model in order to facilitate labor sharing in the ArtsPool network. For a closer look at co-employment, and why it interests us, check out this post on our blog.

How does working with ArtsPool affect my costs?

Over time, on average and in the aggregate, we expect to reduce each member’s existing monetary costs for Workforce Administration, Financial Management, and Compliance, by a significant percentage. We expect to reduce members’ time and energy costs related to these administrative functions by an even greater margin. We anticipate that as the member pool grows, costs and therefore fees will decrease further as we are able to maximize the efficiencies that will be available in ArtsPool’s systems and labor structure. Individual members may save more or less depending on their current spending in these areas.

Who controls ArtsPool?

ArtsPool’s operational activities are governed by its members. On a rotating basis, elected members serve on ArtsPool’s governance committees, which will meet periodically to review operations and ensure that ArtsPool is responding in real-time to member concerns and issues in the field.

Members have voting rights proportional to their involvement. The membership structure allows for several classes of membership, but not all types of membership will be available from the initial launch, as a certain scale must to be reached before ArtsPool can provide more “a la carte” services.

When can I start using services?

ArtsPool has identified its first group of pilot members to work with us to further develop our services, and we will be contracting additional pilot members over the course of 2015. Pilot members will receive services from ArtsPool and help us fine-tune our processes and technology systems in a real world setting prior to ArtsPool’s full launch.

During this pilot phase, we will continue to develop our services through our iterative and agile process.  We will also continue to serve the field more broadly through our free, online Compliance Toolkit, which was launched in September 2014 and designed to take the guesswork out of compliance tasks and provide a collaborative workspace for arts managers to stay on top of their organization’s compliance health.

We are aiming for a more widespread launch of ArtsPool’s services in 2016.

If you are interested in being a pilot member of ArtsPool, or joining after the full launch, please sign up via the contact form.