We love to see our grants being used to do good works in the community. But we love even more to see them being used as a lever — to multiply our grant into even greater impact. Providing matching grants is one way we help organizations become stronger at raising funds on their own. We also work with them to build their own fund-development and leadership programs. Making the agencies and organizations we serve better fund-raisers and leaders adds new layers — of protection, of results, of possibilities.
UNITED WAY OF MIDLAND COUNTY
United Way of Midland County works to advance the common good by focusing on the building blocks for a good life — education, health and self-sufficiency. One of their goals is to recruit and inspire the people and organizations that provide the passion, expertise and financial resources required to achieve this.
In 2013, payments totaling $275,000 on three separate grants were made to United Way of Midland County. Two of these grants were matching contributions which were instrumental in helping to leverage additional dollars during the annual community campaign. The challenge grants have been one of the most effective means of motivating donors to increase their support of the United Way by investing at the Leadership Circle level, which is a donation of $1,000 or more.
This matching grant opportunity resonates with local corporate employees. Within the top four corporate campaigns, 68% of employee donations are at the Leadership Circle level. Of the total Midland County community campaign, 39% are Leadership Circle donations.
Our shared goal to advance the common good allows for sustainable and increased program funding and support for basic needs.
TRAVERSE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
In 2013, a three-year matching grant of $150,000 was made to the Traverse Symphony Orchestra (TSO) to fund operating expenses in a campaign entitled 'A Note-Worthy Challenge.' The funds received from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to match gifts from new donors is significantly impacting the financial health and sustainability of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.
Between 2009 and 2012, the TSO experienced a period of deficits due to declining income and contributions. In 2013, the first year of the match, news of The Foundation's matching challenge brought new visibility to the TSO organization, providing local media attention and opportunities for personal conversations with donor prospects and community leaders. The community was also motivated, resulting in contributions from new as well as past donors. The effects of this grant are being felt as orchestra sizes have increased and consistent, world-class repertoire has been added to the programming as well as the addition of many talented guest artists. With financial stability comes increased donor trust, the continuation of arts education programs and the opportunity for artistic growth.