Financial improvements and continued challenges for Cleveland Orchestra

Posted on: December 2, 2010

In Wednesday’s (12/1) Plain Dealer, Zachary Lewis writes, “The recent economic meltdown left the Cleveland Orchestra little place to go last year but up. And that, in fact, is where it’s gone. Slightly. Figures made public Tuesday night in the orchestra’s annual report for fiscal 2010 paint the picture of a group on a slow climb to sustainability, with a second year of deficit offset by moderate increases in philanthropy, attendance and the value of its endowment. … The orchestra reported a deficit of $2.3 million, slightly larger than last year’s $2 million shortfall. Just as last year, the deficit came despite the injection of special bridge funds raised in 2005 as part of the orchestra’s now-ended Turnaround Plan. The endowment, by contrast, appears to be on the mend, after suffering a brutal hit last year. As of June 30, the fund was worth $106.6 million, up from $97.2 million the same time last year. Giving by corporations and foundations also rose, from $3.8 million to $4.7 million. But the orchestra has its sights on a loftier mark. In the report, executive director Gary Hanson labeled the current value of the endowment ‘seriously inadequate’ and pointed to a fundraising effort quietly under way that’s devoted to building the fund to around $300 million.”

Posted December 2, 2010