Why we are transparent

At Blivande, our cultural center and collaborative art & work-space, we practice radical openness about our finances and growth plan. It's part of being an organic community with a permeable membrane. Every year we prepare a revised plan for the next few years to help the community understand where we are and where we are going. Being open about money is key when building a cultural non-profit community where members are true stakeholders and not just customers by another name.
With creativity, passion and hard work, a small budget has been enough to build a community of over 500 people with differing levels of engagement working on countless artworks, workshops, events, creative projects, innovations, collaborations, and multiple new business ventures. By being community oriented, all the money we spend should generate abundance in the ecosystem, triggering a cascade of non-monetary value generation.
I will say one thing though: We don't pay our people enough yet, and we are all overworked. But compared to other parts of the independent creative and cultural sector, I think we are doing alright. A first step would be to pay everyone at least as much as the median salary in Sweden. We are not quite there yet, but in a couple of years we will be.
Now that we are about to reach actual sustainable self-financing, the next step is going to be to start more actively fundraising for new investments and developments. We want to use this self-sustaining engine as a platform to launch new initiatives. If we ever accept capital investment it will not be through shares in Blivande but rather investment in new ventures in which Blivande holds a stake. That way we can build on this platform without ever putting our community at risk for the sake of growth.
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