Many US orchestras are in turmoil, except…. Well, except the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The DSO announced on October 8 that its 2013 Annual Fund campaign set a record-breaking pace by raising more than $18.9 million in the fiscal year ending August 31, 2013. This represents a 43 percent increase compared with the 2012 campaign, which raised $13.2 million. Over $6 million of the total came from the exceedingly generous giving of DSO directors and trustees.

Detroit Symphony Hall
Detroit Symphony Hall

An imperative part of the campaign’s success is owing to a rapidly growing donor base that has doubled since the 2011 campaign. In just two years, the DSO giving community has grown from 4,500 to the current 10,250, exceeding 10,000 for the first time in a decade.

Annual fundraising for operations tops $18.9 million, donor base doubles

DSO subscription sales are up for every product, world-wide audiences numbering in the hundreds of thousands tune in to watch live and encore webcasts, a steady stream of talented musicians audition for the chance to earn a prestigious position on the DSO roster.

The DSO has achieved remarkably ambitious fundraising goals, paving the way for the prospect of the first DSO balanced budget since 2007: Corporate and Foundation giving were up 12 percent and 11 percent respectively, totaling $5.9 million, an 11.5 percent increase over the 2012 campaign. Special event fundraising topped $750,000, while the DSO Volunteer Council raised an additional $125,000, both increases over 2012 campaign results.

These fundraising results will continue to position the DSO among the very top echelon of American orchestra campaigns and are a key element of achieving a balanced budget in fiscal year 2013. Although the annual audit will not be finalized until early December, two requisites in reaching a balanced budget (outlined in Blueprint: 2023, the DSO’s 10-year plan revealed at last December’s Annual Meeting) were fundraising of $18.9 million and ticket sales of $6.25 million – revenue targets that were both reached successfully.