Matching Our Excitement: Great Day to Be a Quaker Anonymous Matching Gifts
The power of a matching or challenge gift is simple mathematics, and the power of a well-designed gift was evident at Penn Charter on March 15, 2016, Penn Charter’s first annual Great Day to Be a Quaker.
Amid the fun-filled day online and on campus, two anonymous donors put forward well-publicized fundraising challenges that motivated people to not only celebrate what it means to be a Penn Charter Quaker but to support the school financially.
As the day opened, each new gift was matched dollar-for-dollar by the first donor, up to $20,000. Support from OPCs, parents, faculty and friends quickly rolled in from supporters who recognized that their $50 gift would become $100, their $500 gift $1,000. The double-your-money incentive attracted attention and support, working just as the donor intended.
“I wanted to encourage people to join in supporting the Annual Fund, especially those who hadn’t done so in the past,” said the anonymous donor. “The Annual Fund is one of the most important fundraising activities we have. It bridges the difference between the cost of education at Penn Charter and tuition.”
That difference, or gap, means that the school relies on Annual Fund support to provide an excellent education to every single student enrolled at Penn Charter. “For me, my support of Penn Charter, especially the Annual Fund, has always been about the students,” said the matching donor. “It is about the great opportunities students receive from the school, the dedication of the teachers, and about watching every student grow, develop and then graduate to go on and do great things with their lives.”
The matching gift incentive reached the $20,000 ceiling by midday on March 15, which was when a second anonymous donor stepped up with a new challenge: If 250 people made a gift on Great Day to Be a Quaker in support of the Annual Fund, the donor would unlock an additional $25,000.
“Penn Charter is part of my DNA at this point,” the second donor said. “I am happy with the school, how it is run, and the progress it has made. Great Day to Be a Quaker was a great idea, and I thought the match would draw additional attention and excitement to it.”
And draw attention the match did! With remarkable response to the video announcement featuring Chief Development Officer Jack Rogers Hon. 1689, the Penn Charter community rose to the challenge, reaching 250 donors by the late afternoon. Even then, we kept going, ultimately garnering more than 300 participants.
GO CHARTER! GREAT DAY WAS AN INCREDIBLE BOOST FOR THE ANNUAL FUND.
More than $202,000 was raised for the Annual Fund, from 312 donors. That single-day boost put Penn Charter on the path to exceed the 2015-16 Annual Fund goal of $1,350,000. “I was watching the blog and social media on the day. It was a good feeling to see such a community effort, and to watch the support numbers tick up was interesting and encouraging,” the anonymous donor said. “I think the day was wildly successful.”