ISO releases fundraising campaign results


UntitledThe Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has completed its work to finalize and document the results of its “Life. It’s Better with Music” campaign today and will be publishing the information on its website at The 10-week campaign to raise $5 million in new donor commitments yielded 2,036 donations and pledges totaling $5.4 million. In addition, 691 current donors substantially increased gifts which resulted in another $2.6 million raised toward the campaign.

“The ISO Board of Directors would like to sincerely thank each and every donor to this campaign and to all supporters of our Orchestra,” said Martha Lamkin, board chair. “We also acknowledge the non-stop work and commitment demonstrated by so many board members, especially our immediate past board chair John Thornburgh and our development chair Yvonne Shaheen, the ISO’s development team and our musicians. Without their incredible effort, this stunning and unprecedented result would not be possible.”

Major gifts and pledges were made by Jim Irsay ($750,000), Herb Simon ($750,000), Marti Ripberger ($500,000), Yvonne Shaheen ($500,000 match), Gerald and Dorit Paul and Eloise Paul ($420,000), Care Institute ($250,000), Scott Jones ($100,000), Buckingham Foundation ($100,000 – cash and in-kind), James LaCrosse ($100,000) and five anonymous donors ($1.15 million total).

“The ISO is an important cultural icon for our city,” said Eloise Paul. “My parents and I believe having a major orchestra enhances the quality of life for everyone in our community, and we are passionate about ensuring its future.”

“The ISO is fundamental to a community that values the arts and recognizes the importance of its creative economy,” said Bradley B. Chambers, president and CEO of Buckingham Companies.  “Buckingham is pleased to join others in the community in helping to protect this community asset, which is so important for Indianapolis’ continued leadership and growth.”

Although not included in campaign total, the ISO acknowledges the significant contributions of Dick Wood and these donors who increased their support to the Orchestra this year:  Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation ($250,000), Sarah and John Lechleiter ($125,000)  and Joe and Charlene Barnette ($100,000).

“The musicians of the ISO played a significant role in helping the Society raise the funds necessary for a long-term contract to take effect,” said Richard Graef, with the ISO Musicians. “Under the leadership of Percussionist Paul Berns, the musicians worked hand-in-hand with the ISO to attract new donors and further engage our existing supporters. We look forward to continuing to play the music we love for the people of Indiana.”

The “Life. It’s Better with Music” campaign was the first phase in ensuring annual support for the Orchestra and becoming less dependent on the ISO’s endowment over the next five years. Achieving the goal also meant securing a special $2 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to fund donor and patron cultivation activities for the next 18-36 months and new seats for the Hilbert Circle Theatre.

“This is a major accomplishment for a symphony,” said CCS’s Peter Hoskow, Corporate Vice President & Managing Director – Midwest Operations. “In our national experience assisting symphonies, strong lead gifts from community leaders set the stage for powerful campaigns. In addition, the ISO’s goal of artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility garnered an overwhelmingly positive response from the community, including existing donors and several thousand new donors. The ISO board, staff and musicians should feel proud that the Indianapolis community wants this robust city jewel for many years to come.” CCS is currently serving as fundraising counsel to the ISO.

Information about the “Life” campaign and all corporate and individual donors who made gifts since Sept. 1, 2012 are listed on the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s website at

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