Colorado Symphony Endowment Campaign
The Colorado Symphony is an iconic cultural treasure within Colorado’s performing arts community. We are the only resident, full-time, professional orchestra in the state and serve as a linchpin of the cultural performing arts infrastructure of Colorado. Today, just as Denver and Colorado continue to flourish, so too does the Symphony, by consistently performing on par with America's elite orchestras and engaging world-class musicians like Leslie Odom, Jr. and Itzhak Perlman.
In order to continue to grow and flourish, the Colorado Symphony is committed to building a financial infrastructure that enhances its long-term stability. The best-managed mid-sized and large orchestras have endowments equal to at least four times their annual operating budgets which provide a predictable and sustainable source of revenues each year to build on. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, for example, has a $25 million annual budget and a $95 million endowment; the Boston Symphony Orchestra has a $90 million annual operating budget and a $450 million endowment.
As of May 2018, the Colorado Symphony’s endowment is valued at about $23 million and our operating budget is $13.8 million. Thus our immediate goal is to build our endowment to at least $50 million over the next few years. In the summer of 2015 we received an extraordinary challenge grant commitment of $25 million from a local foundation that agreed to match all donations dollar for dollar made by June 30, 2020 up to the $25 million threshold. To date the challenge has raised $11.5 million; thus, $13.5 million remains to be raised and matched.
An Invitation to Endow a Chair
The Colorado Symphony currently has three endowed chairs, supporting the Music Director and two musicians who occupy the Principal Oboe and the Principal Percussion chairs respectively. Two more chairs are currently being funded with new donations. Typically orchestras of similar size nationally have 10-20 endowed chairs.
In an effort to complete the next phase of building our endowment and take full advantage of this match, our goal is to endow several more chairs in the next two years in support of a variety of musicians and members of the Symphony’s artistic leadership. Because of the match, donors have an opportunity to fund a chair for half the normal required donation if paid between now and June 30, 2020.