The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is passionately committed to leading and enriching the culture of the region. Our efforts would not be successful without the help of our donors. Browse the ways to give to your A2SO below! For more information on how to give to your A2SO please contact Jennie E. Balch at Phone: (734) 994-4801 | Email:

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Individual Giving Chair Sponsorship Podium Endowment Music & Artist Sponsorship Tributes IRA Charitable Rollover Planned Giving Corporate & Foundation Giving


Your gift Supports excellence in artistry

Each carefully prepared season features time-honored classics, a variety of less familiar works by the great masters, plus a bouquet of accessible new works by modern composers. Our Symphony is most privileged to be part of a community already enriched with musical talent. We are proud to play concerts in all venues – from area farmers markets to school classrooms, and from libraries to day care centers and senior centers. The orchestra was also featured on the nationally syndicated radio program Pipedreams in November 2004, performing Once Upon a Castle, a concerto for theater organ and orchestra by internationally acclaimed composer Michael Daugherty commissioned for the A2SO’s and the Michigan Theater’s 75th anniversaries. The Annual Fund provides critical operating support to present our season of concerts and education and community engagement activities. Donors know that ticket prices cover less than half the cost of putting on a concert. We know that without support from these individuals, foundations, companies, and government our season would not be possible. 

Donor Levels 

Ovation Society $30,000+ Encore Society $20,000+ Bravo Society $10,000+ Maestro’s Circle $5,000+ Concertmaster’s Circle $2,500+ Symphony Guild $1,000+ Concerto Guild $500+ Sonata Guild $250+ Serenade Guild $100+ Overture Member $50+ Your investment puts your Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra into our area schools, libraries, daycare, and senior centers.


The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s audience has come to expect and demand the highest-quality music offered by the region’s most accomplished musicians. Through the Musician Chair Sponsorship Program, contributors endorse the quality of A2SO musicians. Approximately 1/3 of the A2SO’s $1.3M budget pays musician’s salaries and benefits. In part, these dollars come through our dedicated chair sponsors and chair endowments. You too can help the A2SO attract and retain the best players, ensuring the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s continued artistic growth and regional stature. All sponsorships include the opportunity to designate the name of your sponsored chair.
  • Recognition and naming rights as the Principal Chair Sponsor for the instrument of your choice (subject to availability);
  • Invitations to A2SO receptions with Music Director Earl Lee and principal musicians;
  • Photo of you with your sponsored chair musician;
  • Photo inclusion in the A2SO season programs; and
  • Thank you letter from your sponsored principal, Music Director and Executive Director
  • Recognition and naming rights as a Section Chair Sponsor for the instrument of your choice (subject to availability);
  • Invitations to A2SO receptions with Music Director Earl Lee and principal musicians;
  • Photo inclusion in the A2SO season programs; and
  • Thank you letter from your sponsored section chair, Music Director and Executive Director
What Are The Annual Sponsorship Levels?
  • Podium: $160,000
  • Concertmaster Chair: $5,000
  • Principal Chair $3,000
  • Section Chair $1,800
What Are The Endowment Sponsorship Levels?
  • Podium: 5-year pledge. Contact Jennifer E. Balch to learn more.
  • Concertmaster Chair $160,000
  • Principal Chair $80,000


Over the past two decades, the A2SO has become one of America’s leading regional orchestras, subscriptions have tripled, the quality of the orchestra has been profoundly elevated, and more young people in schools have been served than before. The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has advanced to its highest level in its 95-year history. Now is the time to invest in the A2SO’s mission of delivering the highest-quality performances of the greatest music ever written to an ever-growing audience. Donors to the Podium Endowment Fund will permanently and significantly provide a larger and predictable source of funding for continued musical leadership and ensure our financial stability to plan for future growth. Your donation will generate long-term benefits, making this a financially-sound investment that will sustain our community’s greatest musical asset. This the legacy of the Podium Promise campaign: your promise to future generations that the A2SO will continue to reach new heights in artistic excellence for years to come.

MUSIC & Artist Sponsorship

Here is a special, personal and musical way to celebrate an anniversary, birthday, christening or other noteworthy occasions. Sponsor the music or artist this coming season and your tribute will appear on the concert page of our program book. “The music for tonight’s performance of (your chosen piece) is sponsored by (name of donors) in celebration of their (event)”


Celebrate a birthday. Honor a loved one. Welcome that new baby. Toast a deed well done. Recognize that special mentor in your life. Respect the loss of a loved one. This is a tremendous way to pay tribute to those people you love, to note a landmark event in your life, or to connect people who love music with your Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. The A2SO is honored to be included in your circle of family and friends. When you make a tribute gift, we will notify the person in whose name the gift was made or their family, unless you wish to remain anonymous.  The amount of your contribution will be kept confidential to the recipient. The tribute will be listed in each of the A2SO’s main stage and family program booklets for the season. Simply contact the Symphony with the name of the honoree, the amount you wish to designate in their name or memory, and your method of payment. We do the rest.

IRA Charitable Rollover

As a loyal A2SO supporter, we want to make sure you are aware of a tax-efficient way to continue your support of our organization. Individuals may give their required minimum distributions from their IRA directly to a qualifying charity and avoid paying income taxes on that distribution.  This is commonly referred to as an IRA charitable rollover.  Here are the highlights of an IRA charitable rollover:

  • You must be age 70½ or older at the time of the gift.
  • You may transfer any amount of your required minimum distribution, up to $100,000, directly from your IRA. This opportunity applies only to IRAs and not to other types of retirement plans (e.g., 401k, 403b, etc.).
  • You must transfer the funds outright and directly to a qualified charity from your IRA. The A2SO is a qualified charity. This is an easy process by which your gift comes directly from your IRA to the A2SO.

Frequently Asked Questions for Charitable Rollover to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

Can my gift be used as my minimum required distribution under the law?
Yes, absolutely. If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution, the IRA charitable rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement. Contact your financial advisor or IRA custodian to complete the gift.
My Required minimum distribution is less than $100,000. Does this apply to me?
Yes, you can gift all or part of your required minimum distribution, up to $100,000, in order to avoid the income tax imposed on required minimum distributions.  If your required minimum distribution is less than $100,000, you can still make a gift of all or part of whatever amount you are required to withdraw from your IRA.
I've already named the Ann ARbor Symphony as the beneficiary of my IRA. What are the benefits if I make a gift now instead of after my lifetime?
By making a gift of your required minimum distribution now from your IRA, you can see your philanthropic dollars at work. You are jump-starting the legacy you would like to leave and giving yourself the joy of watching the music take shape thanks to your gift.
Is a donor limited to one Ira charitable distribution per year, or can a donor request multiple transfers?
You are not limited to one IRA charitable distribution per year. There is no requirement that the entire amount be made in one transfer or that the entire amount go to a single qualified charitable organization.  Donors can request multiple direct transfers from their IRA to qualified charities in a year, but only $100,000 will be excluded from income.
I'm Turning age 70½ in a few months. Can I make this gift now?
No. The legislation requires you to reach age 70½ by the date you make the gift.
I have several retirement accounts; some are pensions and some are IRAs. Does it matter which retirement account I use?
Yes. Direct rollovers to a qualified charity can only be made from an IRA.
My spouse and I would like to give more that $100,000. How can we do that?
If you have a spouse who is 70½ or older and has an IRA, he or she can also give up to $100,000 from his or her IRA as well.

PLanned Giving

How has the Symphony touched your life? Most of you share a stronger than passing interest in supporting the A2SO. I invite you to join your friends and neighbors in establishing a planned gift to the A2SO. A planned gift allows you to make a significant impact. Benefits of Planned Giving:

  • Immediate income tax deduction
  • Reduction of income, estate and capital gains taxes
  • Increased financial security for you or your heirs while providing meaningful support to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
  • Income for life paid to you and/or another beneficiary, such as your spouse or another family member
  • Ability to provide for people or causes that are important to you
  • Receive recognition for yourself or honor a loved one through a naming opportunity

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has assembled an advisory team of trust officers, attorneys and financial planners who are volunteering to the A2SO their professional help to work with you and your financial and legal advisors to assist you in making a meaningful planned gift to support the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s music and education programs.


Types of Planned Giving

Set up a Planned Gift

We will work with you, your attorney or your financial advisor to help you develop a gift arrangement that best meets both your philanthropic and financial goals. We welcome the opportunity to help you create your lasting legacy. If you have questions about planned giving, please contact Sarah Calderini or Jennifer E. Balch at (734) 994-4801.

  • While 81.5% of Michiganders give annually to nonprofits, only 2.8% leave bequests. The process is simple to leave a bequest. It can include cash, securities, stocks, real estate and other properties, life insurance, IRAs – each of which may help reduce your family’s estate-tax burden after your death. Sample Will Language:

    …”I give, devise, and bequeath to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, a 501c3 corporation under the laws of Michigan, the following property (or amount)…”

    Suggested language to make a residual bequest of assets remaining after all specific bequests have been satisfied:

    …”the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.”


    “__% (or fractional interest) of the rest, remainder, and residue of my estate…”

    Suggested language for a contingent bequest to take effect only if those named as primary beneficiaries predecease you:

    “…If any or all of the above-named beneficiaries do not survive me, I give the share that otherwise would have been his/hers to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.”

Appreciated Stocks and Securities
There can be desirable tax advantages to giving securities. When you contribute securities that have increased in value, you can keep your cash for other uses and avoid the capital gains tax incurred when you sell appreciated assets. You also get a charitable tax deduction for the full market value of the asset, regardless of what you paid for it.
Charitable Trusts
These are deferred gifts which provide an income stream for you for the term of the gift, an immediate tax deduction in the year of the gift, and other beneficial tax consequences. These gifts can take the form of a Charitable Remainder Trust, Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, Charitable Gift Annuity, or a Charitable Lead Trust.

  • Charitable Remainder Trust: By transferring assets into a Charitable Remainder Trust, you may bypass capital gains taxes, increase your income and enjoy a charitable income tax deduction that could significantly reduce your current income taxes. After your lifetime, or a term of years, the principal remaining is your gift to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust: An Annuity Trust pays a fixed income based on the percentage you choose, and the value of the assets when the trust is established.
  • Charitable Gift Annuity: Like the Charitable Remainder Annuity, a Charitable Gift Annuity pays you a fixed dollar amount for life, or for a term of years. The amount is determined at the time of contribution and is based on your age and, if you have designated another beneficiary , on his/her age as well. Part of the annuity payment is tax-free, and the initial charitable deduction offers substantial tax savings.
  • Charitable Lead Trust: A Charitable Lead Trust is the reverse of the Charitable Remainder Trust and functions as a temporary gift or loan to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. That is, instead of paying income to you, the trust pays the income to the A2SO for a term of years before the principal reverts back to you, a family member, or another beneficiary. A lead trust can greatly reduce extate taxes, allowing you to make a significant gift to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and ultimately pass more to your heirs.
One of the simplest ways to provide for the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is to name the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, IRA or other pension plan. By naming the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra as the beneficiary of a retirement plan that could be highly taxed, you can preserve other assets in your estate that carry lower tax liabilities for your heirs.
Life Insurance Policies
The best way to give life insurance is to purchase a new policy naming the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra as owner and beneficiary. The premiums that you pay on the policy are tax deductible. You may also designate the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra as the owner and beneficiary of an existing policy and receive a tax deductation for either the replacement value or cash surrender value of the policy, as well as for any premiums that you continue to pay. You may also name the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra as the beneficiary of your policy without giving up ownership.

CORPorATE & Foundation Giving

Corporate support from the leaders in our community is critically important to the economic health of the A2SO. This support sustains our artistic product and ensures the quality and coverage in our schools, senior and day care centers. We salute the outstanding support of the following businesses who have made a contribution of $1,000 or more to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. These businesses sponsor the exciting performances you hear, as well as the innovative education programs we provide. Their partnership with the A2SO enables us to serve over 60 schools in southeastern Michigan with exciting teaching materials which prepare 6,000 school-age youngsters for specially designed young people’s concerts. We reach over 30,000 youngsters every year with important music education programs. These businesses also provide much-needed general operating support. Many thanks for their investment in our community.


  • Arbor Trust Wealth Advisors
  • Bank of Ann Arbor
  • Elizabeth Brien team/Reinhart Realtors
  • Comerica Bank
  • Domino’s
  • Destination Ann Arbor
  • Faber Piano Institute/Nancy & Randall Faber
  • First Merchants Bank
  • Foresight Group
  • Gago Center for Fertility
  • Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
  • Manpower, Inc Of Southeastern Michigan
  • Michigan Medicine
  • PNC Foundation
  • Rehmann
  • Retirement Income Solutions
  • SHAR Music
  • University of Michigan Credit Union
  • Walbridge Construction
  • Zingerman’s Community of Businesses


We would like to thank our generous foundation sponsors for their support:

  • Anonymous
  • Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
  • Arts Alliance
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Community Foundation for Delta County
  • Comerica Charitable Foundation
  • Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor
  • Mardi Gras Fund
  • Martin Family Foundation
  • Michigan Arts and Culture Council
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Roof Family Foundation
  • Rotary Club of Ann Arbor
  • Worthington Family Foundation