THE MADISON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA GIVES...
...uncompromising performances of the world's most glorious music while enriching our region with innovative, professionally developed Education and Community Engagement Programs. Our simple philosophy, reaching back more than 80 years, is that the MSO reflects the aspirations and cultural fabric of our community. To you and to future generations, we give a mission and a promise of service in everything we do from artistic programming and audience development to community service.
The endowment protects this promise and helps us care for this cherished cultural treasure.
HOW DOES THE ENDOWMENT DO THIS?
The endowment plays a vital role in providing financial support and stability in order to further the Symphony's mission. It ensures the MSO's future by preserving and enhancing the real, inflation-adjusted value of the endowment's corpus through prudent investments and strong oversight. As a result, the endowment provides a steady, stable and predictable stream of earnings to allow planning for the Symphony's programs.
HOW MUCH IS THE ENDOWMENT WORTH AND WHERE IS IT INVESTED?
The Madison Symphony Orchestra Endowment has more than $16 million in total assets. Currently about 2/3 of these funds are invested by money managers selected by the Madison Symphony Orchestra Foundation Board of Directors. The balance is invested with the Madison Community Foundation, primarily as the Symphony’s share of the Great Performance Fund.
Douglas Reuhl is President, Charles Steinhauer is Vice President, Richard Mackie is Secretary-Treasurer and the other board members are Elliott Abramson, Robert Birkhauser, John Bolz, Marian Bolz, John Frautschi, Fred Mohs, Nicholas Mischler, Jeffrey Ticknor and John WIley. See Board members' bios here
WHAT IS THE BOARD'S RESPONSIBILITY?
The Foundation Board of Directors develops and approves investment policies and guidelines for money managers to follow. They also carefully monitor performance against established benchmarks. This highly regarded group of community leaders is supported by the Symphony's professional staff.
WHAT ARE THE FOUNDATION'S OBJECTIVES AND HOW WELL HAS IT MET THEM?
The primary investment goal of the Foundation is that the endowment earn an annual average return of at least five percent. This financial objective is intended to balance the Symphony's current and future needs. The endowment's assets are highly diversified to maximize return and minimize risk.
HOW HAS THE ENDOWMENT FARED DURING THESE CHALLENGING ECONOMIC TIMES?
The endowment has not been insulated from recent financial market volatility. Like most foundations and pension funds, the endowment has recovered since the third quarter of 2008. Safeguarded by the outstanding work of the Board and a well-diversified portfolio, the endowment is inching back to its former strength at every review. Fortunately, loyal and generous Symphony supporters have continued to add to the endowment during this period so it can maintain its important role in contributing a substantial share of the Symphony's operating budget each year.
HOW DOES THE ENDOWMENT SUPPORT THE SYMPHONY?
The MSO Foundation Board of Directors approves an annual maximum contribution from the endowment. Currently the guideline is five percent of the average market value of the twelve previous quarters.
HOW DOES THE SYMPHONY USE THAT SUPPORT?
Earnings from the endowment are used exclusively to support the Symphony's concerts and Education & Community Engagement Programs. The vast majority of the Symphony's operating budget is applied to program services including concerts in Overture Hall, youth education and community programs that are at the core of the Symphony's mission.
HOW DOES THE SYMPHONY ENSURE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY?
The Symphony undertakes a rigorous, multi-level planning and management process for its $3.9 million annual budget. The organization applies long-term projections and short-term budget adjustments to maintain financial viability. Revenue and expense strategies are employed as financial and economic factors dictate, making sure that investments are protected. This also guarantees that budget outlays are appropriate to provide the full range of music, education and community programs for which the Symphony is so well regarded.
HOW DOES THE ENDOWMENT ADD VALUE TO MUSIC AND TO EDUCATION PROGRAMS?
The endowment contributes significantly to the richness of the Symphony's programming. Endowment earnings from unrestricted and restricted funds underwrite several chairs, the music library and the Symphony's Overture Concert Organ programming. With the infusion of earnings from the Foundation's endowment, the Symphony's many programs can avoid budget shortfalls during the season and ensure the financial stability to plan for the future.
WHAT IS THE ENDOWMENT TO OPERATING BUDGET RATIO?
The endowment provides 17 percent of the Symphony's operating budget, and earned income accounts for approximately 51 percent of the budget. That means that each year, the Symphony must generate the balance of its operating budget through fundraising from public and private sources: through the Annual Fund. A priority of the Symphony is to increase the ratio of endowment to operating budget in order to provide a larger, permanent, predictable source of funding for its ongoing programming.
HOW CAN I CONTRIBUTE TO THE ENDOWMENT?
You can contribute to the endowment as a direct lifetime gift or a planned gift
through your estate. Naming opportunities
are available at appropriate giving levels for an array of funding needs. Whether by a present or deferred gift, supporting the Symphony's endowment offers a way to dedicate one's values in excellent music and meaningful programs for current and future generations.
PLEASE CONTACT US!
Casey Oelkers, Director of Development, would be happy to speak with you. You can reach her at 608.257.3734 or firstname.lastname@example.org