Minnesota Orchestra’s fiscal 2019: $60m in fundraising, but $8.8m deficit

Posted on: December 4, 2019

“At its annual meeting Tuesday, the Minnesota Orchestra had good, and bad, news to report about its finances,” writes Ross Raihala in Tuesday’s (12/3) St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minn.). “The orchestra raised $60 million in a $50 million major gifts campaign, but posted an $8.8 million deficit due to a decrease in operations-directed gifts. ‘It may seem counter-intuitive to report both an enormously successful fundraising campaign and an operational shortfall, but this year we face both of those realities,’ orchestra president and CEO Michelle Miller Burns said…. ‘While our campaign was very successful, more gifts were directed to the endowment rather than current operations, contributing to the shortfall. Our path forward is through a carefully defined revenue growth plan that increases both contributed and earned revenue.’ … Total expenses were $35.4 million compared to the previous year’s $36.4 million. Total contributed revenue was $14.5 million, compared to $22 million the previous year…. At the meeting, acting associate principal bass Kathryn Nettleman announced the musicians and staff have collaborated to create … ‘Hall Pass,’ [which] starts in January and offers students 18 and under the opportunity to attend any Minnesota Orchestra classical concert for free for the rest of the season.”

Posted December 4, 2019