Originally recorded October 27, 2023

As the benefits of government funding dissipate and the new realities of donor and audience behaviors emerge, it has become ever more important for orchestras to think about how they are forecasting over multiple years.

This 60-minute webinar with Susan Nelson provides a framework for forecasting sales and donations and aligning them with realistic expense changes. We also discuss whether obtaining “change capital” is appropriate to help the organization attain a stable business model.

Speaker: Susan Nelson, Executive Vice President, TDC

Who Should Watch?

Finance directors and staff, development directors, marketing directors, executive directors, board chairs, board finance committee members, general managers and operations directors, staff in other roles who are involved in budgeting for your orchestra, and anyone interested in financial forecasting. 


  • $20 for members
  • $35 for non-members

About the Speaker

Susan Nelson (she/her)
Executive Vice President, TDC

Susan Nelson, Executive Vice President, has been with TDC since 1987. In her many years with the firm, she has led a wide range of projects that include mergers, strategic business plans, financial restructuring, and facilities planning. Susan’s practice focuses on the complex challenge of aligning an organization’s strategy, implementation plan, and financial sustainability. Her deep financial analysis skills and hands-on operational experience has given her a special expertise in how to scale an organization to an appropriate size while creating a sustainable financial capitalization plan. She has worked with clients of all sizes across the country in such areas as arts and culture, community development, education, and social services.

Susan also works with foundation clients to develop effective granting programs and strengthen their investments in organizations. She is the author of a number of publications about capitalization and the nonprofit arts sector.

Prior to joining TDC, Susan held financial management positions at a variety of nonprofits and public agencies, including the Boston Housing Authority and the Opera Company of Boston. She holds a BA in history from the College of Saint Rose.


Please contact Member Services at member@americanorchestras.org.

The content of this webinar was developed by Susan Nelson.

This webinar is made possible by generous grants from the Howard Gilman Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts, as well as, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Photo: Susan Nelson speaking at Conference 2023. Credit: Jason Cohn

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