Artists for Humanity

By J. Gregory Dees, Shirley Brice Heath and Laura Smyth

Artists for Humanity (AFH) is a nonprofit that hires 30 to 40 teenagers each year for after-school work and training in the arts and entrepreneurship. The young artists, working in six different studios, make and sell the art they produce. AFH was started in 1990 by local artist Susan Rodgerson and six middle school students in a Boston garage studio; in 1993, they were able to expand and move to two floors of a wharf-area warehouse. At the time of the case, Rodgerson, the executive director, is weighing issues of expansion, staff turnover, and a capital campaign to raise money to secure a building (the warehouse lease ran out in 2001). The case showcases the challenges that face many small nonprofit organizations, and outlines some of the particular characteristics that describe nonprofit organizations that also have an entrepreneurial arm.

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Harvard Business Publishing, Prod. # SI04-PDF-ENG, 2000