Donate and Volunteer

“Working with BCCO really opened my eyes to fine arts that are available and accessible to an entire community  the Mozart in January was one of the greatest things I’ve ever been a part of.” – Ariana Strahl, 2017 soprano soloist

Photo: Bill Hocker

BCCO has been a part of your community for more than 50 years.

BCCO was founded to make it possible for everyone to participate in music, whether by singing or coming to our concerts. We’re a non-audition chorus because we believe there are no prerequisites for making music; we are a home for experienced singers and new singers alike.

Free concerts. Staggered by the usual price of concert tickets? We do things differently: BCCO has offered free concerts to the public for over 50 years, a core part of our mission made possible through voluntary donations such as yours.

Expanding the circle. Our commitment to broadening participation in music has led us to adopt programs for emerging conductors, composers, and vocal soloists, giving people the experience they need to further their careers in music.

Berkeley Women’s Community Chorus. So many singers want to join BCCO that we’ve developed large waiting lists. This led us to launch a new women’s chorus under the direction of Deb Golata, which is now a thriving group.

The Berkeley Community Chamber Singers (BCCS) is an a cappella group that serves as the outreach arm for BCCO, singing at senior residences, hospitals, homeless shelters, and other community events. BCCS also presents concerts for the general public

BCCO runs on volunteers and community support. More than half of BCCO’s budget comes from donations as well as grants from the City of Berkeley and the Alameda County Arts Commission. Our budget would be far larger were it not for the hundreds of hours volunteered by chorus and community members. In short, we are a lean organization, without frills.

How to Help BCCO

Volunteer! Email to tell us about your interest in participating.

Donate online. It’s easy and secure. Make a one-time gift, or even better, provide ongoing support via recurring monthly payments.

By Mail. Mail a check accompanied by our giving form.

Directed Gifts. Whether you are giving by mail or online, you can direct that your contribution be designated for a specific fund, if you wish.

Employer Matching Programs and Giving Campaigns. Ask if your employer will match your charitable gifts. Also, see if there is a workplace giving campaign so that you can donate via deductions to your paycheck. Just let your employer know that our official name is Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra.

Stock Transfer. When you donate shares of stock instead of cash, you can save on taxes while making a generous gift. Normally you have to pay capital gains tax on stock you sell. But if you instead donate those shares of stock to BCCO, then you get the charitable deduction for the current fair market value of the stock, and BCCO can sell it without having to pay capital gains tax because BCCO is a nonprofit organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). If you have questions, please ask your financial professional about tax consequences for your situation.

Redirect Distributions from your IRA. If you are over age 70½, you can give directly to BCCO from your IRA rather than having to take a distribution that would trigger an income-tax bill. This allows you to save on taxes and, as a result, lets you give more if you want; it even benefits individuals who do not itemize. Please DO NOT withdraw funds from your IRA and then make a gift. To qualify, a Charitable Rollover gift must come directly from your IRA plan administrator.

BCCO as a surviving beneficiary. When you list BCCO as the beneficiary of your IRAs or Pension Plan Accounts BCCO eventually receives what remains in those accounts without having to pay any income taxes on those assets, even though they would have been taxable to you had you withdrawn them during your life.

Estate Planning and The Elizabeth Pigford Legacy Society. Designate BCCO as a beneficiary in your will, and become a member of our Legacy Society. The Society is named in memory and recognition of Betty Pigford, an extremely capable and dedicated member of the chorus and its board of directors for many years. Betty significantly expanded BCCO’s fundraising and was particularly committed to ensuring a secure future for BCCO. She also co-chaired the committee that found our music director, Ming Luke, and helped shape many of the most important initiatives in the recent history of the chorus. We would be pleased to include you among the group of individuals who, as members of the Legacy Society, are sustaining BCCO for future generations. Your estate planner or lawyer should be able to assist you with this straightforward modification.

Please contact if you would like more information or intend to designate BCCO as a beneficiary by one of these methods.

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