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Knowing What Won’t Work: Thoughtful Strategy with The Center for World Music

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Featuring The Center for World Music

In a follow-on engagement, SVP Partners, including Lead Tom Watlington, Robin Pruitt and Joyce Ross, had the privilege of continuing their work with The Center for World Music (CWM) to guide the implementation of a strategic plan they helped to develop last year. Among the goals outlined in the plan, including effective board leadership and financial sustainability, the nonprofit identified a desire to become a leader in free and open virtual resources in world music. During the pandemic, the nonprofit saw exponential growth of its virtual audience and wanted to explore the opportunity to expand to an even larger audience. To achieve the goal, CWM’s Executive Director Monica Emery would need to lead her team in building and marketing a library of virtual education and concert content. SVP Partners Laureen Ong and Cindy Skach were brought onto the team to offer their expertise in digital marketing strategy.


Following a market analysis, the SVP team identified a peer organization across the country who had undertaken a similar initiative to build a digital library of resources, using content sales as a revenue stream. CWM’s Executive Director connected with the organization’s leadership to learn more about their existing program and operations. Unfortunately, the digital music library had not proven to be a successful source of income for the peer nonprofit. With this information and in strategic conversation with the SVP team, The Center for World Music decided to reevaluate their goal of building a digital library of ethnomusicology resources.

“Working with SVP taught me the value of doing market research before venturing into a new project. By doing so, we saved ourselves years of work and a good amount of money.” - Executive Director Monica Emery.

The nonprofit is now honing its focus on the growth of its highly impactful in-school music program and world music concert series. With an updated financial dashboard coupled with a transparency and cohesion around strategy, CWM’s board is more engaged than ever in supporting the nonprofit to meet its goals. We’ve no doubt future generations will continue to deepen intercultural awareness and experience in-depth encounters with the world’s performing arts traditions. We will all be better for it!

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