The Philadelphia Orchestra has announced gifts, pledges, and challenge grants totaling $27.5 million from the William Penn, Wyncote, and Neubauer Family foundations, Gerry Lenfest, and board members of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association.
Announced two months after the orchestra filed for reorganization in bankruptcy court, the contributions made toward its $160 million capital campaign include $16.3 million in challenge grants that require an additional $17.5 million by the end of the year. Once matched, the funds will be used to underwrite the orchestra's operating costs for the next three years.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the initial gifts are from the most affluent and supportive of the orchestra's traditional donors. The next round of solicitations will be more challenging, especially as the orchestra's annual fundraising campaign overlaps the campaign.
Still, Allison Vulgarmore, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, remains optimistic about the organization's future. "From the appointment of Yannick N�zet-S�guin as music director designate and the $15.3 million Recovery Fund raised by our board of directors and our community in 2010, to the recent unveiling of the first phase of our strategic plan, we have taken important steps to secure a sound and exciting future — artistically and fiscally — for the Philadelphia Orchestra," said Vulgamore. "These newly announced gifts, pledges, and challenges not only bolster our confidence and drive our continued efforts to secure the renaissance of this beloved ensemble, but also demonstrate an exceptional commitment to the advancement of the orchestra for today's audiences and for generations to come."