LINDSBORG, Kan. – The numbers have been tabulated and the results are clear: The Match Challenge to benefit the Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum surpassed everyone’s hopes and expectations with total giving of $98,750.61 – just $1,249.39 shy of six-figures!
Lenora Lynam, Executive Director of the museum, said it was an outstanding way to wrap up 2022.
“We want to thank the anonymous donor behind the Match Challenge in December for their generosity and their very perceptive decision to connect their gift to donations and memberships from others,” Lynam said. “Not only have they put the museum on a solid foundation going into 2023, but they also revealed just how deep the roots of our support run in both the local community and farther abroad.”
The donor pledged to make a “double match” to one-time donations of any amount and a “triple match” to any new and renewing individual and family museum memberships made before the end of 2022.
It was a significant goal and a true challenge, but museum supporters stepped up in a big way. The full $50,000 of the challenge was secured on December 22, a full nine days before the end-of-year deadline.
Pleased with the success, the donor chose to present a further “Stretch Challenge” – $5,000 available in a one-to-one match for any new and renewing individual and family memberships before the end of the year.
Slightly more than a third of the Stretch Challenge was secured before the end of the year with additional membership. There were also many one-time gifts made – more than $15,000 – that hadn’t qualified for any other matching funds in December because the initial Match Challenge had already been met when they came in. To recognize this impressive level of overall giving, the donor opted to make their full $55,000 donation.
With the challenge wrapped up, then, here’s the full effect of the campaign:
- 122 Individuals, families, and organizations gave under the Match Challenge.
- The museum gained 29 individual memberships for $1,160.
- The challenge brought in 57 family memberships for $3,420.
- This more than tripled the number of museum memberships at the beginning of December.
- Total one-time donations came to $39,170.61.
- Combined with the $55,000 in Match Challenge funding from the anonymous donor, the total raised under the campaign was $98,750.61!
Caroline de Filippis, Community Development Director, said she was impressed by how many people gave under the Match Challenge campaign, and by how much people gave.
“Our supporters were generous,” she said. “And we thank every one of you for answering this call-in support of the museum and the treasures of history here.”
The museum has two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places – the 1904 World’s Fair Swedish Pavilion and the 1898 Smoky Valley Roller Mills. In 2023, the mill building marks 125 years since its construction, and it still roars to life and runs again once per year the first Saturday in May for the museum’s annual Millfest.
The success of the Match Challenge is also helping to provide momentum into the next major goal under the museum’s 2023-2024 strategic plan: adding $1 million to the museum’s endowment fund. Achieving this vision will help provide significant, consistent income for the museum’s annual operating budget.
“The Match Challenge was a great success in an important milestone year,” Lynam said. “We still have a long journey ahead of us in ensuring the future of these wonderful buildings. We hope that our supporters will continue to answer the call to keep us standing tall and to spread the word about what we have to offer.”