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About Our Endowment

Planned gifts help to secure the future of the Houston Symphony and allow donors to express their personal values in a highly meaningful way, by taking into account philanthropic, financial and family goals. Generally, the revenue from planned gifts are placed in the Houston Symphony Endowment. The contributions made to the Houston Symphony Endowment are invested, and a portion of the interest is distributed to the Symphony on an annual basis. So a strong, healthy Endowment benefits the Symphony in a variety of ways.

Currently, the Houston Symphony Endowment has a market value of approximately $70 million. The Endowment contributes nearly $4 million annual-13% of the Houston Symphony's operating budget. The leadership of the Houston Symphony has set a goal of growing the Endowment to three times the orchestra's current operating budget, approximately $90 million, by identifying planned gift commitments in the next two years that will allow this future growth.

"I believe growing the Houston Symphony Endowment is a high priority for the Symphony family. Making a planned gift to the Houston Symphony will help ensure that fine classical music, performed by our wonderfully talented musicians, and let by the world's leading conductors, will secure the future of this great institution."
Mike Stude, Chairman Emeritus, Houston Symphony Society

The Houston Symphony Endowment:

  • Provides a significant amount of the Houston Symphony's annual operating budget, thus helping to ensure that the quality and quantity of the orchestra's work remains outstanding.
  • Provides a source of consistent income during difficult economic times.
  • Provides a foundation for growth in the Houston Symphony's second century.
  • Helps to keep ticket costs from rising too high, thus ensuring that our artistically excellent orchestral performances remain affordable for the widest possible audience.
  • Supports the Symphony's education and community activities, allowing the Symphony to serve Houstonians from every walk of life.
  • Ensures the permanence of Houston's oldest and most-established performing arts organization.

You may choose to direct your planned gift as you see fit. If you make an unrestricted gift, you need only indicate that your gift is directed to the Houston Symphony Endowment. Our federal tax identification number is 20-8350227. Unrestricted gifts are particularly helpful since they provide maximum financial flexibility.

If there is a particular activity of the Houston Symphony that you would like to support in perpetuity, you may ask that your planned gift be designated for specific activities. Designated gifts should be discussed with Houston Symphony staff and your own advisers to craft a plan that successfully achieves your intentions.

For more information on creating a planned gift, please contact Patrick T. Quinn, Director, Planned Giving,, Director, Planned Giving, at 713-337-8532 or

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Philanthropic support accounts for two-thirds of the orchestra's $29.6 million operating budget.

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A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Houston Symphony Endowment a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

"I give, devise and bequeath to the Houston Symphony Endowment, a nonprofit corporation of the State of Texas, located at 615 Louisiana Street, Suite 102, Houston, Texas, 77002 the sum of $_______ or ____% from my estate."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Endowment or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Endowment as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Endowment as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Endowment where you agree to make a gift to the Endowment and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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