BSO ends fiscal year with a loss and anticipates tougher fund-raising

January 30, 1991|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra completed its 1989-90 fiscal year with a net loss of $55,000, which was still $20,000 within its budget (the sixth straight year within budget), according to the financial summary for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 1990.

John Gidwitz, executive director, said after this year, however, the BSO will face tougher fund-raising conditions when it no longer gets at least $1 million in state bridge grants it has received for the past five years and hopes for in a final grant this year.

In a $10 million program, the state gave the BSO $2 million a year for four years, then $1 million last year. The last $1 million is hoped for from the General Assembly this year.

Without the $1 million deficit-reduction grant last year, the orchestra's net loss would have been $1,055,000. "This points up one of the big challenges ahead of us," Gidwitz said.

The operating fund balance last year, an accumulated surplus, was $163,000, down from $318,000 the previous year. "That balance is expected to be chewed up in the coming season," Gidwitz said.

On the positive side, the annual contributed income was $2,388,000, up from $1,954,000 the year ending in 1989, although the 1989 figures were distorted by the symphony musicians' strike. The contributed income includes funds raised outside the annual fund drive by the Baltimore Symphony Associates, a support group.

The current annual fund-drive goal is $2,600,000, up 18 percent from last year when 8,700 donors gave a record $2,150,000. "So far the target is still in sight" this year, said Gidwitz, "but it's TC struggle." Drive chairman is Carl J. Sardegna, president and CEO of Maryland Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

To offset the anticipated loss of the bridge grant, the BSO said it needed a 42 percent increase in giving this year and next year to reach its goal of $3 million in 1992.

The financial summary of the last fiscal year is printed in the current issue of the BSO's Overture magazine for patrons at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Volunteers will be on the phone in the Meyerhoff lobby to try to raise $100,000 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday in the third annual fund phonathon, "Symphony Sunday."

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