Study suggests Philadelphia Orchestra should expand endowment, donor base, communications

Posted on: July 5, 2016

“One of the nation’s top arts consultants says that the Philadelphia Orchestra has accomplished much since exiting bankruptcy—but warns that it has not secured the support necessary to ensure its future,” writes Peter Dobrin in Sunday’s (7/3) Philadelphia Inquirer. “The orchestra is overly dependent on a small number of donors.… The orchestra’s endowment is small compared with those of several peer groups in other cities. It suffers from inadequate marketing and education programs that, if grown, would lure more donations and listeners in both the short and long terms. The findings come after six months of looking under the orchestra’s hood by Michael M. Kaiser, chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland and former president of the Kennedy Center … Kaiser conducted more than 100 interviews with orchestra staff, board, donors, musicians, and interested others.… ‘Michael’s planning work with us was inspirational, and served as a catalyst for many of our own ideas while suggesting new and complementing avenues of thinking,’ said orchestra president Allison B. Vulgamore.… ‘Our efforts are augmented by other program consultants as we continue over the summer to shape our next five-year strategic directives. We will be eager to share more details once our process is complete.’ ”

Posted July 5, 2016