Matching Funds as a Private Giving Strategy

Fundraising campaigns can leverage major gifts in several ways. One of the most successful strategies is to issue ‘matching ‘ challenges, where a key donor promises to match funds raised, usually to a specified level and within a certain timeframe. The arts organization can then galvanize their base of smaller donors by telling them that their donations will be doubled if they contribute by a certain date. Some arts organizations have tripled a seed donation by using this leveraging strategy:  i.e., by working a large government grant into the equation along with the large private gift, or finding another private donor or two to match the initial gift if the organization is successful in its campaign with smaller donors.

This fundraising strategy is an excellent approach to building towards a financially secure future while taking care of immediate operational and programming needs. The original gift may be held in a long-term fund, with the matching funds put to immediate use. Arts organizations often find that this approach helps them attract the kind of donor who is interested in building a legacy in the arts world and takes a strategic approach to deploying their philanthropic capital.


Donor Testimonial:
Wuchien Michael Than

Persistence and Passion:  A Donor's Story

The Wuchien Michael Than Foundation Fund was established by Michael Than in partnership with the Ontario Arts Foundation in 2013. Funding began in 2013 and contributions continue to grow the fund and support a granting program. Michael Than created the Fund to help create opportunities for the creation, development of Asian-Canadian theatre and to develop new works by Asian-Canadian playwrights.


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