Better Business Bureau Report for
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc

Better Business Bureau Report issued July 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires July 2016

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc
Address: 499 Franklin Sreet
  Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: 716-885-0331
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1935, New York
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: "exists to provide a resident, professional, major symphony orchestra of artistic excellence and integrity to enrich the quality of life in Western New York through the presentation of live symphonic music and other musical events which educate and entertain the broadest possible audiences."

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Evaluation Conclusions


Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc (BPO) does not meet the following 3 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 6: Board Policy on Effectiveness - Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

BPO does not meet this Standard because:

  • The board of directors does not have a written policy stating that, at least every two years, an appraisal be done assessing the organization’s performance and effectiveness and determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

BPO does not meet this Standard because the most recent annual report did not include:

  • A roster of the board of directors
  • Total end of year net assets.

BPO has informed BBB that it will add these items on its next annual report.  

Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

BPO does not meet this Standard because:

  • Its website does not include a link to its most recent IRS Form 990. 
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc (BPO) meets the remaining 17 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The BPO fulfills its mission through a diverse array of 100 plus concerts comprised of Classical, Pops, Family, Youth and Education performances presented over a 39 week season that reaches upward of 175,000 people each year, 40,000 of which are students K-12. BPO concert broadcasts are heard by tens of thousands more regionally through Philharmonic Fridays on WNED-FM 94.5 and millions more on Performance Today, a program of American Public Media.

For the fiscal year ended August 31, 2013, BPO's program expenses were:

Orchestra 5,680,915
Production 1,247,698
Marketing 1,218,434
Artistic 1,212,486
Total Program Expenses: $9,359,533
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Chief Executive : Daniel Hart, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Louis P. Ciminelli
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Construction/Development

Board Size: 31

Paid Staff Size: 120

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, telephone, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements
Fund raising costs were 15% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $5,732,011, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on BPO's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Private Support 4,726,351
Concert Revenue 3,868,944
Endowment Income 1,206,686
Public Support 996,360
Other 262,287
Release from Restrictions 9,300
Total Income $11,069,928


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 84%  Fund Raising: 8%  Administrative: 8% 

Total income $11,069,928
Program expenses $9,359,533
Fund raising expenses 848,586
Administrative expenses 837,463
Total expenses $11,045,582
Income in Excess of Expenses 24,346
Beginning net assets 16,675,001
Other Changes in Net Assets 1,880,679
Ending net assets 18,580,026
Total liabilities 3,851,186
Total assets $22,431,212

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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