Donate to Michigan Opera Theatre’s Annual Fund!

The Avanti Society – Ensuring the Future

Imagine a gift that outlives you, allowing future generations to experience and enjoy the world of opera and dance. That’s the goal of The Avanti Society, Michigan Opera Theatre’s Planned Gift Recognition Program.

The Italian word avanti means “ahead,” or “forward.” The Avanti Society at Michigan Opera Theatre represents a designated group of friends of Michigan Opera Theatre who have made plans to include the organization in their estate plans – whether by will, trust, insurance, or life income arrangement. Membership in The Avanti Society is open to all.

In thanks for their generous support, Avanti Society members are given special benefits and recognition for their heartfelt commitment to Michigan Opera Theatre.

Membership benefits to The Avanti Society include:

The growth of Michigan Opera Theatre’s permanent Endowment Fund ensures the growth and future vitality of one of the region’s greatest cultural assets. You are invited to create your own legacy – your Avanti – through Michigan Opera Theatre.

You may download and mail in the confidential reply form to indicate your gift or contact Amelia Gillis, Manager of Annual Fund, at 313.237.3402 or

Planned  Giving

Planned giving, or charitable gift planning, refers to the process of making a charitable gift bequest as part of state planning. It is a process that requires serious consideration in light of donor’s overall estate plan.

Planned gifts are usually, but not always, deferred, meaning they are arranged now and fulfilled later. For example, a person could include a provision in his or her will to make a bequest to Michigan Opera Theatre. That arrangement would be a planned gift.

A donor’s personal satisfaction is increased in planned giving because he/she can make a larger gift and “experience” the implication og his/her gift during his/her lifetime.

Planned gifts can provide the donor with many benefits. The benefits can include an immediate charitable income tax deduction, even though the charity may not receive the gift until a future date; deferral or avoidance of capital gains taxes on gifts of appreciated securities; retained increased income to the donor and/or their family; possible assistance in asset diversification, and most importantly, support for charity.

Donate online to the Michigan Opera Theatre’s Endowment Fund via the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

Endowing Your Gift

What does endowing your gift mean? It means making your gift last forever.

For example, take an annual gift of $1,500. How much would it take to endow the gift so that a charitable organization could receive that amount indefinitely? Since the majority of nonprofits’ policy for spending endowment income is 5% annually, simply divide the annual gift amount of $1,500 by 5% and you get $30,000. Consequently, making an endowment gift of $30,000 can continue the $1,500 annual gift indefinitely. In other words, give a little now and make the gift last forever, in perpetuity.

Endowing your gift is a way for you to play a special part in perpetuating a cause that means a lot to you and will provide a steady dependable source of income to Michigan Opera Theatre. With a significant endowment, MOT will be able to expand its repertoire, develop new productions, fund programs at the Ford Center for Arts and Learning, and continue the company’s rich tradition of featuring minority artists, works and productions. In addition, as this fund grows, we will be able to receive larger annual distributions to help with our general operations. Consequently, you help us ensure the future and support the present at the same time with your gifts.

You may contribute to the Unrestricted General Endowment Fund at Michigan Opera Theatre at any level, or set up a specific Named Endowment Fund for the purpose of your choice. Setting up an endowment could be the most farsighted and enduring act of your lifetime!

For questions regarding estate planning, planned giving and endowment contact Amelia Gillis, Manager of Annual Fund, at 313.237.3402 or

Tribute Gifts

Honor or memorialize someone special with a tribute donation to Michigan Opera Theatre.

If you know someone who loves opera or dance, a donation to support Michigan Opera Theatre in their honor can be a perfect gift! We often receive gifts in memory of loved ones, honoring birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, or even just to thank a friend. When you make a tribute donation, we will send you a receipt for your tax-deductible gift and send an acknowledgement to the person/people you choose to honor. Gifts may be of any size and those of $25 or more will be listed in the Michigan Opera Theatre program book.

To make a donation contact Amelia Gillis, Manager of Annual Fund, at 313.237.3402 or

Matching Gifts

Many Michigan companies help support Michigan Opera Theatre through their Matching Gifts Programs. We are grateful to the employees at those companies who choose Michigan Opera Theatre as the recipient of their gifts and are grateful to the companies who offer those programs.

To find out if your company will match you donation contact Amelia Gillis, Manager of Annual Fund, at 313.237.3402 or

The follow companies offer a gift matching program:

IRA Charitable Rollover Extension

A Message from General Director David DiChiera

Dear Friends,

We would like to share with you a recent update on tax laws.

As you know, on December 17, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, a new legislation that would extend the IRA Charitable Rollover provision that expired at the end of 2009. Specifically, the legislation reinstates the Rollover for 2010 and allows any eligible gifts made by January 31, 2011 of up to $100,000 per taxpayer, per taxable year, to be treated as a 2010 donation. The legislation would also set the new expiration date for the Rollover as December 31, 2011, meaning that eligible gifts made throughout all of 2011 will qualify for favorable tax treatment. In summary, donors aged 70½ or older are once again eligible to move up to $100,000 from their IRAs directly to qualified charities without having to pay income taxes on the money.

Both the Senate and House have now approved H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012; legislation to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Among numerous other items, H.R. 8 also includes a two-year retroactive extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover provision that lapsed on December 31, 2011. Specifically, the new law retroactively reinstates the Rollover for 2012 and allows any otherwise eligible gifts made after December 31, 2012 and before February 1, 2013 to be treated as a 2012 donation. The new law also specifies that any portion of a distribution from an IRA to a taxpayer made after November 30, 2012 and before January 1, 2013 may be treated as a qualified charitable distribution for purposes of the IRA Charitable Rollover. Finally, the IRA Charitable Rollover has been reinstated for all of 2013 and will now expire at the end of this year, on December 31, 2013.

If you are interested in discussing your options for making a gift under the new legislation or require additional information, please contact Amelia Gillis, Manager of Annual Fund, at 313.237.3402 or

Thank you for your generosity and support of Michigan Opera Theatre!

David DiChiera
Founder & Artistic Director

Buy a Brick

Show your support by purchasing a permanent, personalized brick on the sidewalk outside of the Detroit Opera House! Bricks can even be purchased to commemorate a special occasion, surprise a loved one, or display your business name and logo. Buy a brick in the Detroit Opera House Plaza today and help pave the way for Detroit’s future.

Michigan Opera Theatre’s restoration of the Detroit Opera House became a historic catalyst in the revitalization of Detroit’s celebrated Theatre and Entertainment District.Here’s your chance to have a family member, business, or even your pet’s name built permanently into the walkway of Opera House Plaza. Whether you are honoring a friend or celebrating a special occasion, personalized bricks make the perfect gift.

A contribution of $100 will buy a standard 4” x 8” brick engraved with your name or personal message. A $350 contribution will buy an 8” x 8” engraved brick. On a 16″ x 16″ paver for $2,000, the message can be custom designed and include company logo/artwork and typeface design.

To buy a brick, please contact Christy Gray, Patron Services Associate, Development, at 313.237.5307 or