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Key symphony fundraising campaign far exceeded goal

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The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra said Thursday that it far exceeded its $5 million goal for a fundraising campaign that helped lock in a long-term contract for the ISO's musicians.

The campaign raised a total of $8.5 million, the organization revealed, thanks to a large number of major gifts.

Terms of an October bridge agreement with the musicians' union required the ISO to raise $5 million from new donors by Feb. 3 in order for the performers to move to their long-term contracts. Meeting the ambitious goal required the ISO to raise almost as much in three months as it typically raises in a year. The deal ended a month-long lockout that delayed the start of the season.

The ISO announced on Sunday that it had met the goal, but didn't provide final fundraising figures.

New donors ended up contributing $5.4 million, while existing donors gave another $3.1 million, the ISO said Thursday.

Major donors to the campaign included:

— Colts owner Jim Irsay, $750,000;

— Pacers owner Herb Simon, $750,000;

— Former Long Electric CEO Yvonne Shaheen, $500,000;

— Marti Ripberger, $500,000;

— Paul Harris Stores co-founder Gerald Paul, wife Dorit Paul and daughter Eloise Paul, $420,000;

— The Care Institute, $250,000;

— ChaCha CEO Scott Jones, $100,000;

— The Buckingham Foundation, $100,000;

— National Wine & Spirits CEO James LaCrosse, $100,000;

— Five anonymous donors, $1.15 million.

The ISO received increased annual contributions, but did not include them in the total, from:

— Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, $250,000;

— Sarah and John Lechleiter, $125,000;

— Joe and Charlene Barnette, $100,000.

The ISO also will receive $2 million from the Lilly Endowment because it reached its goal before its Feb. 3 deadline. The grant will pay for new seats in Hilbert Circle Theatre and the marketing costs of recruiting new donors for the symphony.

Historically, the group only raises about $6.5 million in a year. The organization launched the 10-week push for $5 million as a way to kick off much more ambitious long-term fundraising strategies as part of sweeping changes to its business model.

ISO executives have cut into the budget—including $11.5 million in concessions from the musicians’ union over the next five years—as a way to cap its draws from its diminishing endowment. The group took more than $11 million from the fund last fiscal year, which was a 13-percent draw—well beyond the typical recommended rate of 5 percent or less.

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  • Missing the Lede
    The real headline should be that the "Symphony Fell $91.5 million short of fundraising goal." in light of their original plan to raise $100M. $750K from billionaires who rake in many times that each year from taxpayers? Pathetic.

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  1. The deductible is entirely paid by the POWER account. No one ever has to contribute more than $25/month into the POWER account and it is often less. The only cost not paid out of the POWER account is the ER copay ($8-25) for non-emergent use of the ER. And under HIP 2.0, if a member calls the toll-free, 24 hour nurse line, and the nurse tells them to go to the ER, the copay is waived. It's also waived if the member is admitted to the hospital. Honestly, although it is certainly not "free" - I think Indiana has created a decent plan for the currently uninsured. Also consider that if a member obtains preventive care, she can lower her monthly contribution for the next year. Non-profits may pay up to 75% of the contribution on behalf of the member, and the member's employer may pay up to 50% of the contribution.

  2. I wonder if the governor could multi-task and talk to CMS about helping Indiana get our state based exchange going so Hoosiers don't lose subsidy if the court decision holds. One option I've seen is for states to contract with healthcare.gov. Or maybe Indiana isn't really interested in healthcare insurance coverage for Hoosiers.

  3. So, how much did either of YOU contribute? HGH Thank you Mr. Ozdemir for your investments in this city and your contribution to the arts.

  4. So heres brilliant planning for you...build a $30 M sports complex with tax dollars, yet send all the hotel tax revenue to Carmel and Fishers. Westfield will unlikely never see a payback but the hotel "centers" of Carmel and Fishers will get rich. Lousy strategy Andy Cook!

  5. AlanB, this is how it works...A corporate welfare queen makes a tiny contribution to the arts and gets tons of positive media from outlets like the IBJ. In turn, they are more easily to get their 10s of millions of dollars of corporate welfare (ironically from the same people who are against welfare for humans).

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