Grants for symphony orchestras

830 symphony orchestras received at least $141.5 million in grants for the most recent fiscal year. This includes 1,926 grants made from 1,417 grantmaking organizations, with a median grant amount of $2,000. Of these 1,417 foundations, 85% made just a single grant to orchestras, and 2% made grants to four or more orchestras. This analysis is based on grantmakers that e-file their Form 990s, and likely is an undercount of grants.
$141,491,009
Total grant dollars given to symphony orchestras
1,926
Number of grants made annually to symphony orchestras
1,417
Number of grantmakers funding symphony orchestras
$2,000
Median grant size to symphony orchestras

Foundations that support symphony orchestras

Out of all grants made to symphony orchestras, 80% came from small foundations with less than $10 million in assets. The top 10 grantmakers accounted for 96% of the dollar-value of grants to orchestras. Foundations funding orchestras also made grants to art museums, music festivals and events, theaters, universities, and arts education nonprofits.

Foundation size

Foundation sizeNumber of grantmakers
Small
 
1,134
Medium
 
151
Large
 
132
Small foundations have <$10M in assets. Medium foundations have $10M to $50M in assets. Large foundations have >$50M in assets.

Foundation type

Foundation typeNumber of grantmakers
Community
 
40
Private
 
1,251
Corporate
 
62
Other
 
64

Grants made

Grants made to orchestrasNumber of grantmakers
1
 
1,216
2-3
 
172
4-10
 
19
11+
 
10

Top 10 foundations supporting symphony orchestras

GrantmakerStateGeographic focusPercent of grant dollars to orchestrasNumber of grants made to orchestrasMedian grant size
Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT)TNMetro0.1%35$1,500
Seattle FoundationWAState0.0%30$1,755
The Rhode Island FoundationRIMetro0.1%28$1,000
Community Foundation of Greater Des MoinesIAState0.1%24$1,250
D'addario FoundationNYNational10.8%23$2,214
Shell Oil Company FoundationTXNational0.1%19$1,000
JP Morgan Chase FoundationNYNational0.0%18$450
Baird FoundationWINational0.5%13$1,000
The Columbus FoundationOHState0.0%11$5,000
Hampton Roads Community FoundationVAMetro0.1%11$1,100

Symphony orchestras grantees

Symphony orchestras with more than $5 million in total revenues received 98% of all grant dollars. These larger organizations accounted for 38% of all orchestras.

Grant amounts

Size of grantNumber of grants
<$10k
 
1,911
$10k-$25k
 
0
$25k-$100k
 
0
$100k+
 
15

Grant amount by grantee size

Grantee annual revenueMedian grant size
<$100k
 
$1,275
$100k-$500k
 
$2,000
$500k-$1M
 
$2,500
$1M-$5M
 
$2,000
>$5M
 
$2,500

Grantee states

State of granteeNumber of grants
California
 
211
New York
 
176
Illinois
 
135
Texas
 
116
Other
 
1,288

Grantee metros

Metro area of granteeNumber of grants
New York City
 
142
Chicago
 
128
Los Angeles
 
76
Boston
 
67
Other
 
1,418

Top 25 grants made to symphony orchestras

GranteeGrant sizePurposeGrantmaker
Philadelphia Orchestra Association$55,000,000Arts & CultureSilicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF)
Houston Symphony Society$13,040,452Loan GaranteeHouston Symphony Endowment
San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association$10,233,865GeneralJewish Community Foundation of San Diego
Omaha Symphony Association$8,422,465OperatingThe Holland Foundation
Indiana Symphony Society$7,771,927To Fund Operating Expenses, Rent, Education, and Artistic Endeavors.Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Foundation
Indiana Symphony Society$7,771,927FMVIndianapolis Symphony Orchestra Foundation
Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO)$6,992,757Operations, SupportDallas Symphony Foundation
Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (LAP)$4,101,966ArtsCalifornia Community Foundation
Houston Symphony Society$3,802,023CashHouston Symphony Endowment
Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (LAP)$3,589,540General SupportMusic Center Foundation
Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO)$3,500,000Special Distribution of Principal Under Sect 3.3 of the Endowment AgreementDallas Symphony Foundation
Kansas City Symphony$3,363,570Arts, Culture & HumanitiesGreater Kansas City Community Foundation
Houston Symphony Society$3,362,023Support Ongoing OperationsHouston Symphony Endowment
San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association$3,331,296For General SupportThe San Diego Foundation
San Francisco Symphony (SFS)$2,675,700Arts & CultureSilicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF)
Lima Symphony Orchestra Association$5,000Community DevelopmentLima Memorial Health System / Lima Memorial Joint Operating Company
Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia$5,000General OperationsCharlottesville Area Community Foundation
Youth Orchestras of Charlotte$5,000General SupportMartha and Spencer Love FDTN
Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO)$5,000Annual FundRhoda and David Chase Family Foundation
Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO)$5,000Annual FundCheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation
Richmond Symphony$5,000General SupportCommonwealth Foundations
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO)$5,000Fundrasing Event To Provide Assistance To Other Local Charities.Peter G Humphrey Sally L Humphrey and Christopher G Humphrey Foundation
Ravinia Festival Association$5,000UnrestrictedSanborn Family Foundation
Midwest Young Artists$5,000General SupportHighland Park Community Foundation
Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus$5,000General DonationGB and Ca Saunders Foundation
Methodology: To determine grants and grantees, Cause IQ analyzes electronically-filed Form 990, Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF financial disclosure documents, matching grantees to specific organizations using EINs and fuzzy matching logic. The "Symphony orchestras" category for this page is determined by the "A69: Symphony Orchestras" National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) code. Cause IQ determines NTEEs for organizations by its own internally-developed secret-sauce algorithms.