Really amazing news form the U.S. orchestra sector:  Just 16 months since returning to the stage at historic Orchestra Hall, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has triumphed not only in meeting its highly ambitious fundraising goal of $12.32 million, but also in surpassing pre-strike annual fund contributions ($11.5 million raised in fiscal year 2010). This is an outstanding success and showcases how a straight and wise management can redevelop the orchestra organization from the scratch.

Home of DSO downtown Detroit

From the DSO press release:

“It is highly unusual for an orchestra’s philanthropic support to rebound so quickly,” said DSO Executive Vice President Paul Hogle. “Our fundraising success this year is a testament to metro Detroit citizens and how strongly they believe in the DSO’s bright future. Now more than ever, we are so very proud to call ourselves a community-supported orchestra.”

Number of donors doubled since 2010 pre-strike level

These extraordinary results represent remarkable increases in giving, as well as a dramatic expansion of the DSO donor base. The current number of donors stands at 9,287, which is 15 percent higher than the abbreviated 2010-11 season and a 100 percent increase over the 2009-10 campaign. Among these new donors are 130 new Governing Members, (voting members of the organization who give $2,500 or more) bringing the roster of this new group to 271 in only its second year.

Board giving accounts for $2.1 million of the total amount raised with the average board gift at about $25,000. Corporate fundraising levels have returned to that of the 2009-10 season with a $390,000 increase over last season, representing 25 percent growth. The net contribution from projects of the Volunteer Council earned $93,678, which is nearly $30,000 over goal.

The goal for donations related to special events was crushed by a whopping 122 percent, grossing $1.3 million thanks to such wildly successful fundraisers as the annual Classical Roots gala and concert, this year honoring Dr. Arthur Johnson; the season-end Heroes Gala, dedicated to board member Lloyd Reuss; and a very special sold-out, one-night-only performance with Kid Rock.

The DSO 2013 annual fund campaign, with a goal of $12.865 million, is now under way.

Meanwhile other US orchestras are in dire straits: Atlanta Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, San Antonio Symphony etc.