Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Two on a match

If you're ever lucky (or good) enough to get a big donor on the hook for your school or education group, why not get more bang for your buck by turning any offered gift into a matching grant?

Just look at what happened recently at North Carolina's East Mecklenburg High, as reported by the Charlotte Observer:

"Two years ago, Bob Silver of Montclair, N.J., a 1973 East Meck grad, told administrators he'd donate $500,000 for a program to help teachers, if the school matched it.

"Last month, it did -- raising $505,000. That means more than $1 million for the All Star Teacher Initiative, a program unique in North Carolina funded largely by alumni and parents of current students.

"Friday, on East Meck's homecoming, the school has invited thousands of graduates to a red-carpet celebration for a program that has already begun to make a difference. ...

"The fundraising officially kicked off last February at a luncheon of parents and graduates. Organizers expected a crowd of 200. More than 500 showed. 'That's when I knew we'd hit a nerve,' said Silver, who did well on Wall Street, realized the impact East Meck teachers had on his career and wanted to give back. 'The outpouring blew me away. I knew then they'd meet the challenge.'"

Wow. Now there's a story to share with your wealthy alums with fond memories of the old alma mater...

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