The League of American Orchestras reports how it is managing income reductions as a result of the recession’s impact on its members, donors, funders, and endowment. In a September 18 message to members, President and CEO Jesse Rosen stated that the League plans to end fiscal year 2009 (which concludes on September 30) with a balanced budget after making expense reductions of approximately 9 percent; the 2010 budget reflects an additional 16 percent reduction of income and expense. A top League priority in making necessary expense reductions has been to sustain its increased level of support to members in this challenging time; the League will increase its distance-learning opportunities such as webinars and will continue monthly conference calls with key constituent groups. Technology upgrades will proceed in order to provide these improved services to members. Due to funding reductions, new classes of Executive Leadership and Marketing/Development Fellows will be deferred while current classes continue; the Orchestra Management Fellows Program will defer admission of a new class during a re-evaluation year. The Research and Development department will concentrate on completion and dissemination of such significant projects as the Innovations Study, Orchestra Financial Index, and new Orchestral Statistical Report, rather than launch major new research activity. Reductions in program scale resulted in the League’s elimination of four full-time staff positions and the conversion of a fifth to part-time. The League also has frozen salaries, eliminated the League’s contribution to employees’ pensions, and reduced all travel budgets to the minimum possible without disrupting service to members.

Posted September 21, 2009