In Wednesday’s (10/7) Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), Rob Christensen reports that the Raleigh-based “North Carolina Symphony has begun its new season with an unusual fundraising drive, in which it must secure private donations to tap into additional state funds. In the closing days of the legislative session this year, lawmakers approved a special $1.5 million appropriation to help the financially strapped orchestra. But in order to spend the money, the symphony must raise $8 million in private gifts. To take advantage of the legislative lifeline, the symphony has launched an extensive fundraising campaign that has included innovative events and unusual personal appeals by music director Grant Llewellyn. At a fundraising auction recently at Caffe Luna, one music patron bid $10,000 for a private recital—at home—donated by famed violinist Joshua Bell, who will be appearing with the symphony in January. … The N.C Symphony, like many orchestras across the country, has experienced a steep drop in donations during the recession. … The symphony receives about 40 percent of its budget from individual and corporate donations, 30 percent from ticket sales, 20 percent from legislative appropriations, and 10 percent from other sources such as local government grants and endowment earnings.”

Posted October 8, 2009