How a matching challenges make bigger differences than you think

How a matching challenges make bigger differences than you think

Posted on August 27, 2012 by Nancy Henry, office manager for The Patterson Foundation

If you were challenged by a call-to-action to donate in a way that:

• encouraged philanthropy and generosity in your community

• leveraged total donated dollars

• delivered tangible results from your donation (no matter what amount!)

• demonstrated your commitment to making a difference to the lives of the beneficiaries

…would you donate?

The Patterson Foundation believes you would. In fact, inspiring and nurturing the philanthropist that resides in each and every one of us is a part of TPF’s core values. Through our initiatives and strategic communications, TPF collaborates with other entities through an innovative method of inspiring philanthropy: Matching challenges.

TPF’s successful matching challenges are proof that when the opportunity to increase your impact arises, accompanied by a sense of urgency or deadline, people and communities are willing to step up to the plate to make a difference and take advantage of this multiplier effect!

Examples of TPF’s success stories include:

Season of Sharing (SoS)  - Since 2009, TPF has supported the SoS campaign through matching challenges. This successful campaign provides emergency assistance to families who are on the brink of homelessness. About $5.5 million has been raised since its inception in 2000 (over $4.7 million raised since 2009). And despite the economic downturn, last year’s deluge of generosity resulted in a record breaking $1.7 million raised (2009: $1.5 million, 2010: $1.58 million, 2011: $1.7 million)!

Community Foundation of NE Alabama (CFNEA) -  Due to an overwhelming outpouring of community support, what started as a collaboration with a local radio station, Joy FM, matching dollar-for-dollar for gift cards for those affected by the devastating tornadoes in Alabama (April 2011), ended up becoming a partnership with the CFNEA. This resulted in a $500,000 rebuild endowment; The Tornado Recovery Fund for the four counties in Northeast Alabama. These funds are being used to build new homes and new lives for families who lost everything.

Arthritis Foundation Florida Chapter (AFFC) / “Jingle Bell Run/Walk” (JBRW)  – Anne Forrest, President and CEO of AFFC stated, “The Patterson Foundation matching challenge galvanized supporters, sponsors and staff to unprecedented levels of activity surrounding the Arthritis Foundation’s JBRW event.”

The partnership, which started in 2010, has resulted in a 300% increase in revenue generated by the JBRW events, as well as financial sustainability (seeding a $650,000 AFFC endowment with TPF matching funds), enhanced media relationships, utilized social media, increased awareness and capacity building to improve fundraising within the Chapter.

The Giving Partner (TGP) – TGP’S Director, Susie Bowie, shared this: “The 36-Hour Giving Challenge was a high energy, community-wide philanthropic campaign armed with challenge grants and participation by our region’s largest foundations, most influential organizations and passionate philanthropists. Sixty percent of participating organizations reported gifts from new donors and one quarter reported gifts from 25-50 new donors. This kind of excitement—broadening horizons for giving and making donors aware of their choices—makes a big impact for everyone.”

TPF’s matching challenge of $334,000 assisted in raising $2.4 million in 36 hours! And $25 donations accounted for nearly 40% of all gifts received!

A challenge can present itself in many forms. Whether it’s tackling an unfamiliar task, questioning a situation or statement, or in this blog's case being positively spurred to action for a philanthropic cause -- it should always be seen as an opportunity for personal growth, becoming informed, providing community support, or better yet… being part of something bigger than yourself and making a positive impact in someone’s life.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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