Ask an Expert Webinar: Fundraising 201


What is a major gift? Do we need a planned giving program? What is the difference between a challenge grant and a matching campaign? If you are beginning to ask these questions, then Fundraising 201 is perfect for you! Learn easy ways to build your fundraising department while helping your donors make a difference by leaving a legacy that will transform your orchestra and realize your artistic and financial dreams!


Kelly Lucera
Executive Director
Long Beach Symphony 

How to Register

Ask an Expert Webinars are free to members and $25 for non-members. Click here to register.

Ask an Expert Webinar: Fundraising 101


Does soliciting donors create stress, invoke fear, or cause anxiety? Learn some easy steps as well as “dos and don’ts” to ensure your fundraising campaign is a huge success! You will leave armed with tried-and-true techniques and a fundraising philosophy that will make you comfortable and ready to grow your organization’s resources. This session is perfect for staff and Board members who want to transform your orchestra and realize your organization's artistic and educational goals.


Kelly Lucera
Executive Director
Long Beach Symphony 

How to Register

Ask an Expert Webinars are free to members and $25 for non-members. Click here to register.

Update on Members Affected by Wildfires and Helpful Resources

Monday, December 18, 2017

We send our thoughts and prayers to our members affected by the wildfires in Southern California (Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties). We will update this feed as we learn more from our members. Also, we will share resources with those in need and ways you can help.

Santa Barbara Symophony

We have been dealing with the Thomas Fire and a significant chunk of the city of Santa Barbara entered into voluntary evacuation yesterday. This area included the Symphony office. While the air is much better today they do not anticipate lifting any evacuations until after we get hit with another wind event on Wednesday. The office is in the heart of downtown and they do not believe their will be any more problems tomorrow as the fire crew is working around the clock to get things in order in the hills.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ojai Music Festival

"First, many thanks to those of you who have reached out to us during these last 48 hours. I am very happy to report that all the staff is safe, and there was no damage to their homes or to our office.

Our Ojai and Ventura County communities are experiencing loss and devastation from the Thomas Fire. Our thoughts are with all of our Ojai area neighbors, and with those who are tirelessly serving and supporting the affected communities.

Due to the unpredictability of the fires and still potentially dangerous situation, the Festival office is closed. We aim to resume normal business hours on Monday, December 11."

New West Symphony

"Our community is in crisis, with fires blazing throughout Ventura County. In particular, the schools and families, with whom we have grown so close through The New West Symphony Harmony Project of Ventura County, have been hit particularly hard. Our Harmony Project office in Ventura is closed, but our Thousand Oaks office remains open, and if there is any way we can help, please call us at 805.497.5800. We are sending love and prayers to all our friends and community members whose homes are threatened or lost."

Other Members

We have heard from Conejo Vally Youth Orchestra, Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, and Werth-It Consulting that their staff and board members are currently safe.

Resources for those Affected

ArtsReady is your cultural organization’s online source for readiness resources, and a web application that can make disaster planning easy.

IRS (the IRS on providing disaster relief to affected employees)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sending our thoughts and prayers to our members affected by the wildfires in Northern California. Here is some information shared by members in Northern California. Also find resources to share with those in need and ways you can help.

Santa Rosa Symphony

Unfortunately the North Bay/Santa Rosa firestorm is and remains a very serious and fluid situation.

Staff-wise and musicians, everyone is safe though many have had to evacuate, as have I, to safer areas, waiting to hear about our homes. We are tremendously saddened that at least one staff member, a musician and several board members have lost their homes.
Our offices remain closed as our phone system and internet remain down, so I am emailing you remotely.

So deeply sorry that I had to cancel the Monday night concert. Fortunately we were able to communicate cancellation to musicians and help those who needed to get back into the Green Music Center to get their instruments. GMC is safe from fire. Thankfully guest conductor and our soloist Joyce Yang were safely taken to SF. The Luther Burbank Center, our other venue, has been damaged but I understand the main hall remains intact.

So in all honesty it is a surreal situation still unfolding. Grateful for the outpouring of support.

Eventually we will come together and persevere. Until then we are looking to take care of each other.

Alan Silow, president & CEO
Santa Rosa Symphony

Music in the Mountains

Due to Cal Fire needing to set up a command post and fire camp at the Nevada County Fairgrounds for the Lobo Fire, Friday night's concert "Brahms First Symphony" has moved to the Don Baggett Theatre @ Nevada Union High School, 11761 Ridge Rd, Nevada City. Advance tickets will be honored.

Napa Valley Performing Arts Center, Lincoln Theatre

Our thoughts are with the Napa Valley and surrounding communities as we continue to experience wildfires. We have received a number of inquiries and want to update everyone - Lincoln Theater has been fortunate and has not sustained any damage. However, our hearts go out to those who have been affected across many North Bay counties.

Napa Valley Youth Symphony

With the continued unpredictability of the fire situation, we will be cancelling this Sunday's scheduled concert. Everyone take care of yourself and we'll make music together soon.

Advocacy Alert: Tax Bills and California Orchestras

New Tax Bills Could Jeopardize Orchestras

To pass tax reform before year-end, both the House and Senate recently passed separate but similar tax bills. Unfortunately, both versions of the tax bill would have a negative impact on charitable giving.

Because both the House and Senate tax bills propose doubling the standard deduction, access to specific incentives for income tax deductions of gifts to charity become severely limited to only the top five percent of taxpayers who itemize their deductions. The charitable sector had actively supported the idea of a Universal Charitable Deduction so that the incentive to give to charities would be available to both itemizers and non-itemizers. However, Universal Charitable Deduction proposals offered by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) and James Lankford (R-OK) never made it into the final bill nor were given an opportunity for a floor vote.

Unfortunately, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that charities, including nonprofit arts organizations, could see a staggering loss of up to $20 billion annually as a result of this tax policy change.

Because the House and Senate passed bills that are not the same, they now need to work out these differences. So tax reform is not over yet. That means there is still time to act.

The simplest and best way is to telephone your Congressmember and Senators.

  1. Call the Capitol switchboard (202-224-3121) and follow the prompts to be connected with the office where you want to leave a message. It will take about two-minutes.
  2. To find out who your Congressmember is, click here and input your orchestra's (or your) zip code. To contact Senators Feinstein and Harris, click here.
  3. Once connected, identify yourself as a someone who lives and/or works in their district and let them know you oppose the tax bill.

You can see a detailed comparison of the House and Senate bills here.

2018 Annual Conference Call for Sessions

We want to hear your ideas! ACSO invites you and your colleagues to submit conference breakout sessions. This three-day convening is planned around your needs and in response to industry challenges and trends. It is designed to focus on skill-building and to facilitate collaboration, exploration, and connections on multiple levels.

Visit our Call for Session Submission Form to submit your ideas; anything from fully planned sessions to just sending along a speaker suggestion.

Questions? Contact us at or at 800-495-2276. Submissions are due Friday, December 15, 2017.