Top Menu


Inspire. Engage. Enrich.

For more than 85 years, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera has been an instrumental part of our community by providing a superb orchestra that enhances the region’s quality of life and economic vitality.

In order to continue to inspire, engage, and enrich the Chattanooga community, we need your help.DONATE NOW

When musicians of the Chattanooga Symphony take the stage, it is the culmination of thousands of practice hours.  Each individual has practiced their part to perfection and is an accomplished musician.  But one person doesn’t make a symphony orchestra. The same number of musicians are necessary to perform a Beethoven symphony today as almost 200 years ago.

Proceeds from ticket revenues account for less than 40% of CSO’s annual operating budget. The rest of the budget is funded through individual donations, corporate support, and grants.

Due to significant declines in funding your support has never been more important. Without it CSO faces an uncertain future in its quest to fund a professional orchestra for our community.

Just as every musician counts–every gift counts.

Your gift will help ensure that the CSO can continue to provide the level of musical programming that we have for decades.  Contributions also support our extensive education programs that reach more than 25,000 area students a year and expose a new generation to music they may have never heard.

Our annual fund is the heart and soul of funding for the CSO. It helps to sustain our artistic vision, excellence in performance and programming, allows us to have a strong community presence and ensures that there is a world-class orchestra available for you to enjoy right in your own backyard. Through our mainstage concerts, educational programming, and community engagement activities, the CSO impacts over 100,000 individuals annually. Our focus on music and music education has made us an instrumental part of the greater Chattanooga community. Thanks to the valued support of our annual donors, our story can not only be told – it can be heard from school auditoriums to the Tivoli Theatre.

All gifts to the CSO are tax-deductible and donors are eligible for benefits designed to enhance your experience and enjoyment of the CSO.

*Your company may match your contribution to the CSO. Please check with your employer. Your Human Resources office or Benefits office can tell you how your gift can make a greater impact through a Corporate Gift Matching program.

Donor benefits:

Your generous support entitles you to certain benefits, designed to thank you and enhance your enjoyment of the CSO.

Follower Circle ($1-$49)

  • Recognition in CSO Annual Report as well as concert programs plus access to our exclusive donor e-newsletter

Friend Circle ($50-$99)
All benefits above plus

  • Access to Friends & Family Pre-Sale for special concert tickets

Supporter Circle ($100-$249)
All benefits above plus

  • 10% Food Discount voucher for Bluff View Art District

Patron Circle ($250-$499)
All benefits above plus

  • Attend one CSO open rehearsal for free

Sustainer Circle ($500-$999)
All benefits above plus

  • Access to the VIP studio for available concerts during intermission

Symphony Circle ($1,000-$2,499)
All benefits above plus

  • Exclusive Opening Night dinner invitation with Music Director Kayoko Dan
  • Bring a Friend: 2 passes to a concert of your choice
    (special events do no apply)

First Chair Circle ($2,500-$4,999)
All benefits above plus

  • Exclusive invitation to CSO pre-rehearsal dinner and open rehearsal

Crescendo Circle ($5,000-$9,999)
All benefits above plus

  • Two complimentary tickets to Bob Bernhardt’s Bootcamp Series

Concertmaster Circle ($10,000-$24,999)
All benefits above plus

  • Invitation to post-concert dinner with guest artist and conductor

Conductor’s Circle ($25,000+)
All benefits above plus

  • Gifts of $25,000+ will receive a unique array of customized ideas designed to enhance your experience with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. Contact Rebekah Cheney at 423.267.8583 ext  2103  to discuss

To make a recurring monthly donation, please click here.


Support from our corporate partners provides essential funding for the CSO. Companies gain a high level of marketing exposure that can greatly contribute to the business growth of a company.  Multiple opportunities are available that can be tailored to fit a company’s desired level of involvement and exposure, such as concert and event sponsorships, corporate matching programs, group sales, and more.

Our corporate supporters include:







Artistic Color Graphics
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority
Peace Communications
Performing Arts League
Pinnacle Financial Partners


Chambliss Law
Delta Dental of Tennessee
Derryberry Public Relations
Grace M. Russell Scholarship Fund
Memorial Healthcare System
Publix Super Markets Charities
The Mark Hite Team
The Trust Company
Warehouse Row


Elder’s Ace Hardware
Tennessee American Water Company
Tri-State Musicians’ Union Local 80, AFM
Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy

In Kind Corporate Donors

Bantam + Biddy
Warren Barnett
Bruce Baird Clothier
Chattanooga Football Club
Chattanooga Theatre Centre
Dish T’Pass
Elder’s Ace Hardware
Hart Gallery
Jessica Klaaren Jewelry
Larimar MedSpa
The Tivoli Theatre Foundation

Matching Gifts Program

Exxon Mobil Foundation
GE Foundation



Planned Giving is an integral part of the CSO’s sustainability. Remembering the CSO in your will provides the CSO with funds to help sustain our programs and fulfill our mission to inspire, engage, and enrich the greater Chattanooga community through music and music education.

We have several options to put your hard-earned money to good use. Your planned gift or charitable bequest can create a Named Fund that can provide funding for a particular purpose within the CSO, such as education, musician chair sponsorship, guest artist sponsorship, and more. . You can also donate directly to our Endowment, which allows the CSO to utilize the earnings of your gift while the principal remains in perpetuity. This provides the CSO with a steady, stable, and predictable revenue stream that allows us to plan for the future. Your legacy will live on through your generosity

Making a gift in your will is the simplest way to support the CSO through Planned Giving, but there are other options for you to consider, such as:

  • Charitable Gift Annuity
  • Charitable Lead Trust
  • Donor-advised Fund
  • Retirement Account Beneficiary
  • Life Insurance Policy Owner or Beneficiary
  • Real Estate

You can also endow your annual gift. Use this chart to see your current annual gift level and what amount it would take it to endow in perpetuity:

Annual Gift                                                                         Needed to Endow in Perpetuity*
$250                                                                                       $5,000
$500                                                                                       $10,000
$1000                                                                                    $20,000
$2500                                                                                    $50,000
$5000                                                                                    $100,000

*Using a 5% Earnings Draw

Always seek the advice of your financial advisor in creating the best plan.

The CSO’s Federal Tax ID is 62-6002098.

For more information or to discuss your options, please contact Samantha Teter at 423.267.8583 ext. 2104 for email

Encore Society

You can make the ultimate investment in the CSO by remembering us in your will. While this costs nothing to you today, it helps ensure the ongoing positive impact that the CSO makes in our community. By remembering the CSO with a Planned Gift, you will be recognized as a member of the Encore Society. For more information about becoming a member of the Encore Society, please contact Rebekah B. Cheney, Development & Special Events Manager, at 423.267.8583 ext. 2103.

Encore Society Members:
Warren Barnett
Stephen & Bonnie Black
John & Ellyn Brooks
Jo Coke
Peggy Davis
Linda and Russell Friberg
Kimberly Gavin in memory of Chuck Gavin
Caroline and Steve Hudson
Bryan and Mindy Kelly
Martha Mackey
Jacqueline Marschak
Spencer and Sara McCallie
Mary and Don McDowell
Susan E. Rich
Mary Lucile Sharp
Mr. Mark Siedlecki & The Rev. Erik Broeren
Pat Starke
Harriett and Berton Whitaker


Foundation Support

The CSO is the recipient of several grants and contributions from foundations.


The Tucker Foundation

Lillian L. Colby Foundation

Lyndhurst Foundation

The William L. Montague Fund for Performing Arts

The Montague Family Fund

Public Support

The CSO receives generous support from  the Tennessee Arts Commission, and is a partner agency of ArtsBuild Chattanooga.









In Tennessee, drivers can purchase certain Specialty License Plates in place of the normally issued state license plate. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these plates supports the organization featured so it’s a great opportunity to support the cause you care about most.  Additionally, more than $4.5 million from the sale of specialty plates has been generated to support the Tennessee Arts Commission which helps fund arts programs in Tennessee, including the CSO.  Consider purchasing one today by clicking here!

The CSO hosts a variety of special events throughout the year to raise money for CSO programs and initiatives. Information on some of these events is below.



The following are exclusive, invitation only events for donors of the CSO. For more information on how to attend these events, please contact us at 423.267.8583

Opening Night Dinner

An exclusive dinner with Music Director Kayoko Dan to celebrate the 2019/20 season.
Limited to donors giving $1,000+

Backstage Pass Dinner

Exclusive invitation to sit on stage during a CSO Open Rehearsal and enjoy dinner backstage.
Limited to donors giving $2,500+


General Information

The CSO is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, so your donations are tax-deductible. Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Association Tax ID: 62-6002098

Mission & History
CSO Facts
Board Members
Financial Disclosure

Donor Privacy Policy

The CSO is strongly committed to maintaining the confidentiality, security and integrity of donor information. We strive to build trust with our donors and patrons and have established a privacy policy to disclose how we use personal information that is provided to us.

Personal Information

“Personal information” is defined as information that identifies you personally, such as your name, address, telephone number and email address. (Note that these items are listed as examples and we may collect personal information from you that is not specifically referenced.) Information is obtained from the CSO website,, and our donor management system (Patron Manager). The CSO protects the privacy of online users and does not use personal information from visitors to our website unless it is provided voluntarily.

Use/Disclosure of Personal Information

  • We only provide lists that we maintain that may include your Personal Information with officially recognized support organizations/performance venues that are associated with authorized, CSO-related activities. Donors may opt-out of having their private information shared or made available to other organizations by emailing our Development & Special Events Manager. On rare occasions when outside consultants and vendors have been provided information and reports by the CSO, in connection solely with CSO business, such third parties are not allowed to use the information except for the purpose of that CSO business.
  • We will not mail you on behalf of another organization.
  • We will collect payment information, addresses and other information necessary to process a donation or event registration.
  • The CSO will not disclose personal information unless we believe in good faith that such disclosure is required by law, or that there are compelling reasons to release such information in order to protect the rights and property of the CSO, or in the interest of public safety.
  • In the processing of gifts and other transactions online, the CSO has taken measures to ensure the safety and security of information transmitted through its website. Our software encrypts personal information, such as name, address and credit card number, so that it cannot be read or decoded by others while being transmitted over the Internet.
  • Stored credit card information in our donor management system is encrypted upon entry.
  • We also protect your information offline. Only CSO employees who need information to perform a specific job (e.g. billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information.

Updates to this Policy

We may update or revise this policy as necessary, and the most recent version will be posted on the CSO’s website. By using the website, you signify your agreement to the terms and conditions of this policy.

Last updated 03/12/2019

The Donor Bill of Rights

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

I. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
III. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
V. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
VI. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.