Inside the PCMS Budget

By jacob on October 21, 2011

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.

Last year, as we announced our 25th Anniversary Campaign, I had more questions than usual from audience members who wanted to know how it all worked at PCMS - what percentage of our expenses was covered by ticket income, for example.  So, I've put together a short Q&A to help pull back the curtain a bit on how PCMS does what it does.

What is your annual budget?
In 2010, we presented 63 concerts and 50 education programs on a budget of $1,334,700.

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 30% of our budget.

How did you meet the rest of your budget?
We raised 38% 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?
Yes, several foundations recently reduced or eliminated their arts support, and our public grants went down by about $10,000 from the year before.

Why didn't you raise ticket prices?
We feel this would be the worst time to raise prices, while so many people are recovering from the recession. We are devoted to our founding mission of making our concerts as accessible as possible to people from all walks of life.

How can you make up for the loss of institutional support?
It sure isn't easy! We are hoping that more audience members will join us with their tax-deductible support, or will consider increasing their donations, and that friends will help us to identify possible new sources of support (such as matching grants or corporate foundations where they work).  We've certainly been successful in recent years offsetting any one time grant losses with reserve income, new donations, or increased earned revenues.

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 tee shirts. However, our donors receive a very sincere letter of thanks; they get a valuable tax deduction; they are credited in our Program Book; and we try to get them the best seats we can. Most importantly, they know they're supporting a well-run organization that really cares about them (and all of our audience members) and is doing something very important for Philadelphia.

Are there opportunities for larger support?
You bet! A grant of $25,000 will sponsor an entire PCMS annual concert series -- with naming opportunities. A gift of $10,000-$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.

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