The Miller Foundation will match donations to the orchestra's annual fund on a one-to-one basis for the next two years, and on a two-to-one basis for the following year. If the orchestra can raise $8 million over the three-year period, it will receive the entire gift.
"This significant gift...is a vote of confidence in the Oregon Symphony and our future, and a challenge to all of us to work hard to place this cultural jewel on sound financial footing," orchestra president William Ryberg said in a statement.
The orchestra hopes to raise $2 million during the 2004-05 fiscal year, which would be matched one-to-one by the foundation. The resulting $4 million would allow the group to balance its budget, according to Ryberg. "The Miller Match will be our primary tool in stabilizing the Oregon Symphony's current operations," he said.
According to the Portland Oregonian, the orchestra posted a deficit of $581,000 last year after donations fell by 17 percent.