Charlotte Symphony earns first surplus in more than a decadeSep 15, 2014
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra finished in the black last season.
Let's repeat that, because it hasn't happened since 2002: The CSO exceeded its $9.4 million budget projection by $71,000 for fiscal year 2013-14.
A long-term deficit of $6.1 million remains, but President Bob Stickler and his team reversed a troubling trend. If this were an awards show, they'd be thanking more adventurous patrons, a deep-pocketed board, extremely cooperative musicians, committed donors and God (or whatever force provided the first rain-free Summer Pops series in recent memory).
"The whole CSO family is responsible for this," says Stickler, who has just finished his first year as CEO. "Musicians came to play at fundraising events and became one-on-one 'musician buddies' for donors who gave us $5,000. The board of directors increased its (giving) by 40 percent, to $470,000. The development staff increased our annual fund by 18 percent to $348,000.
"We're not out of the woods, but this is a step in the right direction. This shows we can do it."