Use of the ICSOM ERF in Response to COVID-19

The ICSOM bylaws provide for loans from the Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) under certain conditions. The unprecedented scope of the current COVID-19 crisis suggests a need for using the ERF to the maximum extent possible. However, because ERF funds are limited and many ICSOM orchestras may need relief, there is a real risk of the ERF running out of money after just a few loans under the guidelines listed in the bylaws, which authorize a loan amount of up to 15% of the balance of the fund upon approval of the Governing Board. In order to guarantee the availability of funds for as many ICSOM orchestras as possible, the Governing Board feels the need to use its approval authority to implement more stringent restrictions on the size of loans.

Specifically, member orchestras whose dues are fully paid, whose employer is not paying full salary due to the pandemic, and whose individual orchestra fund or "war chest" amounts to $12,000 or less, may borrow an amount up to $12,000 upon approval of the Governing Board. Depending on the demand for loans over the coming weeks, the Governing Board may raise or lower this cap, and may loosen or further tighten other restrictions.

An orchestra needing ERF funds is required to submit a written request for a specific amount of money to the ICSOM treasurer, who responds with a loan agreement and note. The note must be signed by five members of the orchestra committee, who thereby agree to assure the repayment of the loan; the orchestra as a whole is considered responsible for repayment. Here is the link to a sample copy of the note from the Delegate Manual (must be logged in to view).

Borrowed funds are free of interest for one year from the date that the work stoppage is settled, or that the crisis that gave rise to the loan is resolved; thereafter, borrowing orchestras are charged the then-current prime rate per annum. Orchestras are encouraged to repay loans as quickly as possible so that funds are immediately available for other needs.

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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

2018-19 season