Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Launches $80 Million Fundraising Campaign

Classic Arts News   Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Launches $80 Million Fundraising Campaign
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has announced the launch of an $80 million fundraising campaign, which is expected to last three years.

The bulk of the funds raised, $60 million, will go towards increasing the PSO's endowment; $10 million will go towards improvements to Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts and $10 million to other programs.

A gift of $29.5 million from the R.P. Simmons family (a catalyst for the endowment campaign) was announced earlier this month. There are three parts to that gift: an unrestricted $7.5 million; a $5 million challenge grant to raise another $25 million for the PSO's endowment; and $17 million in a legacy gift for the endowment when three consecutive balanced budgets are achieved.

According to the American Symphony Orchestra League, the R.P. Simmons family gift is the fifth largest private-sector donation ever made to a U.S. orchestra.

Regarding the $80 million campaign, PSO senior vice president of finance and CFO Bill Hart said in a statement, "The average endowment of our peer orchestras is $170 million and ours lags significantly behind at $120 million. With a successful endowment campaign the PSO will be able to achieve a sustainable balanced operating budget and reduce the draw on endowment from 6.5% to 5.25%, which will create an operating reserve of about $5 million by 2015-16."

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the campaign is the largest effort in PSO's history, a third larger than the $60 million raised during a similar campaign in 1993.

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