Around 2000 and 2001, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra realized it had been losing money and that its fundraising efforts weren’t making ends meet. As Randy Adams, SLSO’s president and executive director says, “All the cookie jars were bare, and we were facing bankruptcy.” At the request of some major donors, the organization instituted some major changes to its fiscal management. One such change was the commencement of a five-year effort to raise SLSO’s endowment as a way to strengthen its financial base. In terms of its economic structure, ticket sales represent roughly 35 percent of the orchestra’s revenue, annual giving accounts for

I admit it: I’m a dieter. If you could get paid for losing weight — or, more precisely, trying to lose weight — I would be part of the uppermost echelon of professional weight-loss superstars. I would lead my class in picking apart books, Web sites and the gray matter of medical professionals in search of the (drumroll, please) Keys to Weight Loss Success.

Growing up, I got to have an ice cream sundae for breakfast on my birthday every year. It wasn’t until I got much older that I started to think that birthdays are best left uncelebrated.

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