Record High Donations Fuel 2019 #ILGIVE Matching Grants Program

Record High Donations Fuel 2019 #ILGIVE Matching Grants Program

Posted Jan 31, 2020

The seventh year of the Coleman Foundation’s #ILGIVE Matching Grants Program resulted in record fundraising by participating non-profit organizations.  Seventy Foundation grantees collectively raised over $3.1 million during the program period which ran from November 1 to December 3 of last year.  The Foundation awarded matching grants which totaled $715,800, the highest amount in program history.

Through seven years of matching awards the Coleman Foundation has created incentives for its grantees to learn how to raise funds from individuals in new ways, especially online and via social networks.  In the face of last year’s estimate by the Giving USA Foundation that charitable giving by individual Americans in 2018 suffered its biggest drop since the Great Recession of 2008-09, the Foundation committed significantly greater resources to its matching grants activities.

In 2013, the Coleman Foundation began experimenting with different forms of matching grants on and around Giving Tuesday in an effort to identify match structures that more effectively aided its grantees in raising funds and helped it to more efficiently use its own resources.  Through experience informed by the work of its grantees and associated research efforts, it has deployed matching grant dollars to generate donations for its grantees at higher rates.

Organizations were invited last fall to choose one of two matching grant offers to make to prospective donors.  Each offer would promise a match by the Foundation of a gift that met or exceeded a specific dollar amount or “threshold.”  These thresholds were identified based on research tests conducted as part of the Foundation’s 2017 matching grants program.

In the first offer, the Foundation would provide a $1,250 matching gift for up to ten gifts to the nonprofit of $1,250 or more.  This relatively high match threshold, providing an incentive to donors to make larger gifts to an organization, was projected by researchers to result in the greatest amount of total funds collected in a matching grants campaign.

The second offer was positioned to result in the greatest number of donors who would give more than they would have if no matching offer was available.  Under this scenario, the Foundation would match at $175 any donations of $175 or more which are received by the non-profit organization.  In both scenarios, Foundation awards would be capped at $12,500 per organization.

Each of these threshold matches were set at levels intended to motivate donor behavior.  Prior research indicated that dollar-for-dollar matches are unnecessary and, in many cases, depress donation levels.  Donors may have an intended amount in mind that they wish the nonprofit to receive.  The availability of a dollar-for-dollar match often results in them giving less, often half, of what they might otherwise donate.

33 organizations chose the $1,250 gift threshold and 37 chose the $175 threshold.  41 organizations reached the $12,500 cap (28 of whom chose the $1,250 threshold).  The 4:1 ratio of funds raised from donors to the Foundation’s total matching grant payout (derived from $3.1 million in gifts made to 70 grantees and $715,800 in matching grants awarded to them) represented the highest (i.e. most efficient) match ratio in the history of the program.

The Coleman Foundation’s matching grant recipients for the 2019 program are as follows:

Almost Home Kids

 $7,525

The Arts of Life

 $12,500

Aspire of Illinois

 $12,500

Aspiritech

  $6,650

Association for Individual Development

 $9,800

Avenues to Independence

 $12,500

Barbara Olson Center of Hope

 $7,000

Blue Cap

 $12,500

Children’s Oncology Services, Inc.

 $12,500

Cancer Support Center

 $12,500

Cancer Wellness Center

 $12,500

Cara

 $12,500

Center for Enriched Living

 $12,500

Center for Independence through Conductive Education

 $8,050

Center for Independent Futures

 $9,100

Chicago Artists Coalition

 $12,500

Clearbrook

 $12,500

Cornerstone Services

 $12,500

CTF Illinois

 $4,025

Designs for Dignity

 $12,500

Donka, Inc.

 $2,100

Easterseals Metropolitan Chicago

 $12,500

Economic Awareness Council

 $5,950

Elim Christian Services

 $12,500

Empowering Gardens

 $12,500

Envision Unlimited

 $12,500

Esperanza Community Services

 $1,400

Exponent Philanthropy

 $12,500

Family Farmed

 $12,500

Fox Valley Hands of Hope

 $2,100

Future Founders

 $7,175

Gateway to Learning

 $12,500

Gilda’s Club Chicago

 $12,500

Good Shepherd Manor

 $10,325

Have Dreams

 $12,500

Helping Hand Center

 $12,500

Home of Hope of the Rock River Valley

 $12,500

Imerman Angels

 $12,500

JourneyCare

 $12,500

L’Arche Chicago

 $12,500

Latino Alzheimer’s Alliance

 $3,750

Leukemia Lymphoma Society – Illinois Chapter

 $12,500

Leukemia Research Foundation

 $12,500

Little City Foundation

 $11,375

Maine-Niles Association of Special Recreation

 $4,375

Misericordia

 $12,500

Oak-Leyden Developmental Services

 $3,500

Opportunity Knocks

 $12,500

Orchard Village

 $11,250

Our Place of New Trier

 $12,250

PACTT

 $12,500

Park Lawn Association

 $12,500

PAWS Chicago

 $12,500

Riverside Foundation

 $  8,925

Sarah’s Inn

 $1,400

Search, Inc.

 $11,375

Sertoma Centre

 $11,725

Shore Community Services

 $12,500

Soaring Eagle Academy

 $12,500

St. Coletta’s of Illinois

 $7,875

STARS Family Services

 $12,500

Teaching Together Chicago (Center for Independence through Conductive Education)

 $3,675

The Douglas Center

 $2,275

Trinity Services

 $12,500

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation

 $12,500

Twist Out Cancer

 $12,250

UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago

 $12,500

Urban Autism Solutions

 $6,475

WDSRA

 $9,625

Wellness House

 $12,500