Nacht Theatre Consulting, LLC

Client Services


I offer two distinct services in my consulting practice:


I. The Creation of High Value Financial Report Information

Financial statements that summarize the financial results of many not-for-profit theatres are presented in formats that simply are not useful for making decisions. Such statements do not reveal: 1.) operating results excluding unusual items; 2.) the separate contribution of distinct income generating activities; and/or 3.) readily available liquidity. These shortcomings appear in both financial statements prepared for management and those prepared for boards. It is impossible to make good decisions for the short or long term without such financial information because, simply stated, you cannot know where you are going unless you know where you are.

 

Over the last ten years, I have evaluated dozens of performing arts organizations’ Statements of Activities and Statements of Financial Position. That experience, coupled with my thirty-year career in the private sector during which I analyzed and forecasted financial statements for large and complex corporations, means I can recommend improvements in not-for-profit theatre financial statement reporting that will lead to a better understanding of current performance and condition.



II. The Creation of Strategies With Substance

 

Many strategic plans are essentially florid mission statements supported with exhaustive to-do lists. When completed, these plans are often put on a shelf to collect dust until their next iteration. Such plans do not come close to including a bona fide strategy, defined as “a succinct description of activities, policies, and resource allocations whose purpose is to create a competitive advantage and thereby generate superior financial results. A competitive advantage is a distinctive quality that is valued by customers who, in the case of not-for-profit theatres, include both ticket buyers and those who donate funds.[1]

 

In addition to failing to include a strategy that satisfies the above definition, many strategic plans make little or no attempt to quantify future operating results and future financial position. Without financial statement forecasts the potential merit of a strategy is difficult to determine and the evaluation of actual results at a later date is entirely subjective.

 

Since 1971, I have been writing or analyzing strategic plans of organizations of all types and sizes. In my private sector career I led or participated in the creation of strategic plans for manufacturers of scientific instruments, clinical laboratories, companies engaged in environmental services, information services, and insurance. Since 2003, I have evaluated the strategies of numerous large and small not-for-profit theatres.

 

 




[1] This definition of strategy and its essential features are based on the work of James Phills, Jr. of Stanford University, Michael Porter of Harvard University and Garth Saloner, Andrea Shephard and Joel Podolny of Stanford University.