The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has announced the close of the NJSO Comprehensive Campaign, a major fundraising initiative that has raised $35 million in support of the Orchestra, exceeding the $32 million goal. The Comprehensive Campaign—“An Incomparable Sound. A Cultural Treasure.”—is the Orchestra’s unprecedented effort to invest in world-class orchestral concerts, reach nearly 250,000 patrons each year and contribute to the culture of New Jersey. The campaign launched publicly in October 2010 following a quiet phase that began in the summer of 2008.
The Comprehensive Campaign is an integrated campaign that includes annual support and major gifts to secure the future of the Orchestra, providing needed operating funds to continue to support the Orchestra’s ambitious artistic endeavors. Among other gifts, the campaign—which formally closes at the end of the fiscal year on June 30—has received major gifts from three corporations, two foundations and 43 individual households.
The campaign coincides with a time in which the Orchestra has garnered increasing critical visibility and acclaim, with The New York Times calling the NJSO an “admirable, ambitious orchestra” and Time Out praising “a triumphant season” following the Orchestra’s celebrated performance at Carnegie Hall as part of the Spring for Music Festival in May.
The NJSO announced the public phase of the campaign at the 2010 Gala Opening Night Celebration—Jacques Lacombe’s inaugural concert as NJSO Music Director. At that concert, Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld announced Prudential Financial’s $3 million gift to the campaign. The Prudential Challenge matched campaign gifts between $25,000 and $100,000.
Strangfeld says, “Prudential is proud to support the NJSO, which has enhanced the culture of Newark and the lives of thousands of New Jersey residents in our community and across the state.”
Founding campaign architects Ruth and Michael Lipper and Josh and Judy Weston issued a $5 million challenge—for campaign gifts of $250,000 and above—that the NJSO met and exceeded.
Noted philanthropist Josh Weston says: “Judy and I were pleased to join Ruth and Mike Lipper in challenging the Orchestra to meet its campaign goal. We are even more thrilled that the NJSO was successful in exceeding it.”
NJSO Board Co-Chair Ruth Lipper says: “Mike and I are proud to support the NJSO, and it has been inspiring to see the Orchestra’s patrons and corporate partners rise to the occasion and meet the campaign challenge we made with Josh and Judy Weston. As a co-chair of the NJSO board, I am so thrilled that this historic campaign has raised these funds to ensure that the Orchestra will continue to flourish as a prominent, dynamic arts organization in this state for many years to come.”
“The three and a half years this campaign spanned have been among the most challenging economic times our country has faced,” NJSO President and CEO André Gremillet says. “In a time when other non-profits have had to suspend or postpone major campaigns, the NJSO has not only met but also exceeded its goal. This extraordinary generosity speaks to the deep connections our patrons have with the Orchestra, and it recognizes the essential role that the NJSO plays as a major cultural institution in this state.”