Donor FAQs

What does my gift support?

Your donation supports the Festival’s general operating expenses, which include everything from production costs for our Millennium Park concerts and fees for the finest guest artists and conductors, to funding for our education programs and free performances in parks throughout the city. Your support is vital to our success!

How does the City of Chicago and Chicago Park District support the Festival?

The Festival operates as a unique public-private collaboration among the Grant Park Orchestral Association (established as an independent nonprofit in 2002), the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Park District. Approximately 40% of the Festival’s annual expenses are defrayed by the Chicago Park District. The Festival receives in-kind support from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for office space at the Harris Theater and usage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Why does the Festival need donations in addition to my membership support?

Thank you for supporting the Festival through your membership contribution! While our membership program generates approximately $1 million each year, the Festival relies on additional philanthropic gifts from individuals and institutions to cover 45% of its annual operating budget.  Many of the Festival’s members give generously above their membership contribution to ensure our 10-week season of free concerts and community programs is fully funded each year.

Is there a minimum gift amount?

No, the Festival accepts donations of any size. Your contribution of any amount is greatly appreciated and helps the Festival continue to thrive and remain free for all.

My employer offers a matching gift. How do I apply that to my donation?

That’s wonderful! Thank you. When you make your donation to the Festival, just let us know that you are applying for a matching gift from your employer. Please contact us at or 312.744.2162.

Can I make a contribution through my Individual Retirement Account (IRA)?

If you are 70 ½ or older, you can make a qualified charitable donation directly from your IRA that counts toward meeting the required minimum distribution (RMD) requirement by simply instructing your plan administrator to make the transfer to Grant Park Orchestral Association. If you have any questions, please contact us at or 312.744.2162.

How do I make a planned gift from my estate?

There are a variety of ways to make planned gifts, often with significant tax advantages to you and your family. It is recommended that you discuss this with your accountant and/or financial advisor. Legacy gifts to the Grant Park Orchestral Association are recognized through our Nikolai Malko Society. For more information on planned giving or to inform the Festival of your estate plans, please contact our Chief Development Officer, Emily Canham, at 312.742.4763 or  

How can I make a gift of stock?

For stock transfer instructions, please reach out to the Festival’s Chief Development Officer, Emily Canham, at 312.742.4763 or As stock transfers are handled anonymously, please be sure to let us know how to expect the gift so we may acknowledge your generosity and provide a receipt for tax purposes. 

Are there any benefits associated with my gift?

Yes, we offer benefits based on the amount donated to the Festival. For information about the benefits at various donation levels and the impact of your support of the Festival, please visit our Donor Benefits and Impact page. 

What is the Festival’s Tax ID number?

The Festival under the Grant Park Orchestral Association is a public charity exempt from income, gift and estate taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. GPOA’s federal tax identification number is 32-0005884.

What are the dates of the Festival’s fiscal year?

Our fiscal year runs from January 1 through December 31.

Who should I contact with other questions about making a gift?

Please reach out to the Festival’s Development team at or 312.744.2162. We look forward to hearing from you!