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BPO: Crescendo Campaign Completion announced at opening night

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Tue, Sep 18th 2018 09:30 am
$30 million fundraising effort provides additional financial stability for orchestra
At the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's opening night gala concert, board of trustees Chairman Stephen T. Swift and Vice Chairman Angelo Fatta announced the completion of the Crescendo Campaign, an endowment fundraising initiative that will provide stability for the orchestra for years to come.
"This has been a long journey for the orchestra dating back to 2013. We have been diligently working to ensure that the BPO remains a vibrant component of our community, and I am so pleased that we can begin our season celebrating this success," Swift said.
The BPO surpassed its original $30 million goal, with over $35 million raised through 382 commitments, which will increase the orchestra's endowment past the $50 million mark — a long-time goal for the organization. Officials said that, not only will the BPO operate with fiscal responsibility, but it will also be one of the few orchestras in the country to have an endowment five times its operating budget, which is the industry-recommended standard.
"The financial bedrock of an orchestra comes from ticket sales, contributions and a healthy endowment," Fatta said. "Whereas ticket sales and contributions have to be refreshed each year, the endowment goes on forever. The generous people and foundations who gave to the Crescendo Campaign have ensured that the BPO will be financially stable for generations to come."
The BPO secured 100 percent participation from board of trustees, amounting to over $11.5 million in gifts. Of the 382 commitments, many were from individuals who did not participate in the "Secure the Future" endowment campaign. The number of new contributors to the Crescendo Campaign underscores the orchestra's value to the Western New York community.
Throughout the campaign, there have been several transformative gifts, including the endowment of JoAnn Falletta's chair by Carol and Angelo Fatta, the Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation's gift made in honor of Executive Director Daniel J. Hart, and the donation of the Clement House for the administrative offices of the BPO from board of trustees member John Yurtchuk.
"The extraordinary commitment of our board and our community to the Buffalo Philharmonic has enabled our orchestra to perform at the highest artistic level," Music Director Falletta said. "Their stewardship is a shining example of a city and region that values, supports and celebrates music, and I know I speak for every one of our musicians in expressing our joy at the success of the campaign and our love for our board, staff and our community."
As part of the campaign, the BPO established the Next Generation Education Fund, a $10 million endowment fund that will support the orchestra's award-winning education programs in perpetuity. These programs have seen significant growth over the past decade, including an increased reach of 51,000 students each season in all eight counties of Western New York, and an expanded contract with the Buffalo Public Schools for all students in grades 1-6. The Tower Family Fund jump-started this fund with a dollar-for-dollar challenge match of $1,000,000, which the Stenclik family successfully met. Wilfred Larson and his late wife, Joan, also endowed the director of education chair. This fund is an ongoing effort for the orchestra.
Over the past decade, the BPO has successfully raised over $65 million from the community to transform the orchestra into a world-class institution that successfully serves the Western New York community.
"We are so grateful for the support of our community, which has allowed us to take the BPO to the world," Hart said.

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