How Do I Know if a Project is Right for My Organization?

Cultural facility development projects – be they the renovation and re-use of an existing building or the development of a purpose-built facility – are expensive, time-consuming and risky. 
It helps to avoid getting distracted by intriguing but ultimately inappropriate opportunities. This is especially important because the “soft” costs involved in the early stages of pre-project development will often have to be borne by your organization. These soft costs include the time you and your organization spend researching the opportunity, undertaking – or hiring consultants to undertake – contextual research, community engagement and early project feasibility assessment. These research and development costs are often very difficult to find funding for.
 
As you explore potential projects, from the first indication that a site or property might be suitable or an overture to you from a possible development partner and throughout the pre-project development process, you will need to make sure that the project represents the best match possible to your organization’s vision, mission, mandate and strategic priorities and has the best chance of being realized.
 
Artscape is in the fortunate position of being regularly approached with great ideas for new developments across Toronto. Over time we have developed a simple way of assessing the suitability of a project. The New Project Assessment Matrix is a simple tool that allows us to assess the suitability of a potential project from both a practical perspective and in terms of the “fit” with our vision, mission, mandate and strategic priorities. 
 
You will need to revisit the matrix more than once over the early phases of project development, as projects may become more or less viable or relevant to your organization as the pre-project development process evolves. As a result of this, a project’s assessment “score” may change over time. For example, a low score under “demand” or “market” may indicate that more work is needed to market test the project idea. This can be done through an REOI process, the result of which may either lower (indicating less demand than required) or increase (indicating a strong demand) the score. 
 
Click here to download the New Project Assessment Matrix Template.

 

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