Budget and Audience

If you read the news and follow the arts, you’ve likely spent more time in recent years learning about the (sometimes gruesome) details of nonprofit finances. To help our donors, patrons, and other friends better understand the Society and how we operate, below are the answers to some common questions.

What is your annual budget?
During our 2017-18 Season, we presented a season of 100 concerts and education programs on a budget of about $1,600,000.

Do you balance your budget?
By carefully controlling our expenses and through lots of audience and community help, we have been able to balance our budget in every year since our founding in 1986.

What percentage of your budget comes from ticket sales?
Ticket revenue covers about 33% of our budget.

How did you meet the rest of your budget?
We raise 35% in foundation and corporate grants; 17% in donations from our audience members; 6% in income from our reserve funds; 5% in fees and ad revenue; and 4% in public support (city, state and federal combined).

Hasn’t institutional support for the arts been cut back recently?
Over the last few years several foundations have reduced or eliminated their arts support. While public grants have held steady for a year or two now, funding from the NEA, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts remains difficult to predict.

Why don't you raise ticket prices more often?
We have historically raised our ticket prices every 4-5 years and usually by a very modest amount. Part of our founding mission is to make our concerts as accessible as possible to people from all walks of life. As such, we constantly try to balance the income needed from ticket sales with the broad engagement we encourage through affordably priced tickets.

How can you make up for the loss of institutional support?
It sure isn’t easy! We continue to count on (and be very thankful for) the support of audience members who join us with tax-deductible support. Many patrons have thoughtfully increased their donations in recent years, have contributed to our reserve funds through the 25th Anniversary Campaign, have helped us to identify possible new sources of support (such as matching grants or corporate foundations where they work), and joined the Checchia Legacy Society as a means of ensuring the future.

What do PCMS donors receive?
Not much, actually. We don’t have an exclusive “donors’ club,” we don’t do fancy cocktail parties, and we don’t make key chains or t-shirts. However, our donors receive a very sincere letter of thanks; they get a valuable tax deduction; and they are credited in our Program Book. Most importantly, they know they’re supporting a well-run organization that really cares about them (and all of our audience members) that is doing something very important for Philadelphia.

Are there opportunities for larger support?
You bet! A grant of $20,000-$50,000 will sponsor an entire PCMS annual concert series – with naming opportunities. A gift of $1,500-$25,000 will sponsor individual concerts or education programs. These can be very attractive options for corporations or individuals. We will be happy to provide tickets for client/customer use and to work with you on other ways to help promote and recognize your business. Please visit our Sponsorship page for additional details.

Who do I speak with for more information?
Don’t hesitate to contact Patricia Manley, our Director of Advancement, or Philip Maneval, our Executive Director, at 215-569-8587. If you’d like, we’d be happy to meet you for lunch.

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