Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Raises $5 Million in Emergency Campaign

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Raises $5 Million in Emergency Campaign

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has successfully raised $5 million through an emergency fundraising drive, with more than fourteen hundred new donors providing an average gift of $340.25, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. 

In December, MSO launched the campaign to pay off a $2 million budget shortfall, stabilize its cash flow, and achieve a balanced budget for the 2014-15 season. Individual donors provided a total of $2.8 million, including a $1.5 million gift from an anonymous donor that was split between the emergency campaign and MSO's annual fundraising campaign. In addition, foundations provided nearly $1 million to the campaign, while corporations contributed $651,500. An unanticipated drop in its pension liabilities helped the organization achieve its goal.

Late in 2013, MSO reached an agreement with its musicians to reduce the size of the orchestra to fewer than seventy members through retirements and attrition; the orchestra currently has seventy-nine musicians.

"We are thrilled to have rallied the community and improved our business model," said MSO board chair Douglas Hagerman. "The MSO board now turns to the big picture — the changes that could permanently stabilize and capitalize the MSO."

Jim Higgins. "New Donors Help Milwaukee Symphony's $5 Million Emergency Campaign Succeed." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 03/26/2014.