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Speed Art Museum

About The Speed Art Museum

The Speed Art Museum has earned the support of its Louisville community—and the admiration of the broader art world—for presenting works from around the world that invite diverse audiences to experience the power of creativity. Through its diverse collection, dynamic exhibitions, and world-class programs, the Speed Art Museum encourages visitors of all ages and backgrounds to interact with masterful works and each other in new and unexpected ways.


In 2018, the museum envisioned an even brighter future—and realized the path to achieve this was to invest in fundraising in a deep way. The time was right: the museum had recently concluded a successful capital campaign and opened its expanded building to much acclaim. Strong leadership was at the helm. Contributed revenue was growing—and with a focused plan in place, had the potential to grow much faster.

Ready to move from “good” to “great,” the Speed Art Museum partnered with Benefactor Group to provide more structure to its fundraising efforts, and to create a robust development plan that harnessed the best practices in fundraising, membership, data management, and stewardship.


  • Created a stronger staffing structure. In early 2018, the museum’s development function faced a number of gaps, with several key positions unfilled and responsibilities unassigned. Benefactor Group helped Speed implement a more effective structure—with development, membership, marketing and communications, and public programming aligned in a true advancement model—while also refreshing core job descriptions and filling staffing gaps.
  • Built a strategic development culture. Internally, this included adopting a more metric-driven approach to prospect research, portfolio management, action tracking, and solicitations. Externally, this included building a stronger case for support, adopting a true major gifts program, and rallying donors and volunteers around an inspiring cause.
  • Significantly increased giving. The Speed Art Museum’s development program had many strengths—including high donor retention and a cadre of loyal donors—which created a powerful foundation for the development plan. Working with Benefactor Group, Speed implemented numerous recommendations to elevate its fundraising further, particularly focused on improving major giving. The results speak for themselves—over the next three years, the museum’s contributed revenue increased by more than 50%.

With the foresight to invest in its development structure—and the commitment to stick with its development plan, year over year—Speed has been able to mobilize increased funds and better support its mission: inviting everyone to celebrate art forever.

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