"We're in good financial shape — the best in a long time," BPO board chairman Angelo Fatta told the audience at the orchestra's season-opening gala on Saturday night (September 15), according to The Buffalo News. At the same time, Fatta revealed that JoAnn Falletta, the BPO's popular music director, has extended her contract with the orchestra through the 2012-13 season.
In addition, the BPO's Secure the Future Endowment campaign, launched relatively quietly two years ago with a goal of $30 million, has already secured $12.6 million in cash and pledges, reports the News. Another $13 million in donations is "under consideration" by donors and foundations, Fatta told the paper.
"I'm very confident we'll receive [the contributions]," he told the paper. "It's just a matter of time."
The Buffalo Philharmonic board launched the endowment campaign in 2005, recognizing that its fund at that time, at about $7 million, was insufficient. The rule of thumb within the industry, the News observed, is that a U.S. symphony orchestra's endowment should be three to five times the annual operating budget; the BPO's budget is approximately $10 million.
With the "quiet phase" of the campaign complete, the board is now set to launch the public phase, with a goal of $5 million. "We hope to raise the rest within a year," Fatta told the News