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By The Numbers

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 2018-19 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).

Has institutional support for the arts been cut back recently?
Over the past decade, some foundations and corporations have reduced or eliminated their support for performing arts organizations like ours. While public grants have held steady, funding from the NEA, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts can be difficult to predict.

Why don't you charge more for tickets?
A key part of our mission—of who we are, really—is our desire to open doors to the performing arts to everyone. People of all ages and from all walks of life should be able to attend our concerts and enjoy world-renowned musicians. While we’ve increased prices modestly to keep pace with cost-of-living, our concerts remain one of the best cultural values around. We achieve this through the generous support of friends who share these important goals and values.

How do you make up for a reduction in institutional grants?
It sure isn’t easy! We are deeply grateful to those foundations that continue to help us keep great music-making alive in this city, and accessible to all audiences. We also rely, more than ever, on the generosity of audience members who appreciate what these concerts mean to the cultural life of Philadelphia. Happily, many patrons have increased their support in recent years, are identifying new sources of support (such as matching grants or corporate foundations where they work), and have joined the Checchia Legacy Society as a means of ensuring the future.

What do PCMS donors receive?
They receive the thanks of a grateful organization and the knowledge that they are playing an important role in sustaining an art form that they love. With our cost-sensitive budget, we don’t have an exclusive “donors’ club,” we don’t do fancy cocktail parties, and we don’t make key chains or tee shirts. Donors do receive a sincere letter of gratitude, receive a tax deduction, and are credited in our seasonal Program Book. They know that they’re supporting a stable, well-run organization that cares about them and that chooses to spend its resources on artistic excellence.

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.