#TBT Make Money, Get Paid

We’re on the cusp of the the 2018 orchestra compensation reports so what better topic to focus on for #TBT than finance?

First up, go look up the information your own dam*ed self at the Orchestra Financial Reports resource page (bunch of lazy kids with your Beethoven and Mary Jane…get off my lawn while you’re at it!). The reports page contains direct links to each orchestra’s financial reports page at GuideStar.org, a website that collects these documents to promote nonprofit transparency and to provide a central repository of nonprofit information that donors could use to guide their giving decisions.

From there, you can download the respective IRS filings for each orchestra.

Orchestra Financial Reports

If you’re not all about dumpster data diving then you can cut right to the chase and get those top shelf compensation figures for each season at the Orchestra Compensation Reports archive.

The Orchestra Compensation Reports


If you happen to be a data nerd and into orchestras, you’ve probably discovered that GuideStar only makes the three most recent seasons of IRS filings available. And three years is hardly enough to build trends.

For that, you need data from more years.

A. Lot. More.

Fortunately, I’ve started making my private stash of IRS filings available to anyone with a few bucks as instant downloads at the Adaptistration Store.

As of now, they go all the way back to the 2005/2006 season but we’ll be adding more over the summer until we reach back to the turn of the century!

Visit The Adaptistration Store

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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