Of the Cleveland Foundation's gift, $2 million is slated to be put toward the orchestra's deficit and pensions. The other $1 million will be put, over two years, toward educational programs and concerts.
Bob Eckardt, the foundation's vice president of programs, said, "The overall effort it to get a handle on these costs. And part of our support will be to help the orchestra to hopefully emerge with the ability to stay on as a top-tier organization without having to downsize like St. Louis did."
Last summer, the orchestra posted a deficit of $4.25 million on its $36.5 million 2003-04 budget, bringing its accumulated debt to $7.4 million.
Gary Hanson, the orchestra's executive director, said that the orchestra's endowment isn't large enough to take care of the deficit, but that the situation "is serious, but not desperate. The Cleveland Foundation's gift is important because the foundation is very deliberate and thorough in their analysis of the funding proposal."
The foundation's gift, Hanson said, will be the lead gift in a campaign, to be announced this summer, to raise money to pay up the deficit.