Matching Gifts to Inspire Generosity

Jul 21, 2023
Matching Gifts to Inspire Generosity

Long practiced in generosity themselves, Wind River's President and CEO Jamie Baisden and his wife Patty have discovered the power of matching gifts. Challenging communities toward greater giving has become one way the Baisdens and Wind River are inspiring harmony. Sister Andrea Verchuck from the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, recalls one of those powerful moments of challenge. For twenty years, the Benedictine Sisters operated BARN, a 501c3 organization that provided transitional housing to and intensive case management services to homeless mothers and their children. Several years ago, the organization faced a significant funding gap.

At the annual BARN fundraising gala, Jamie and Patty surprised the crowd by taking the microphone and offering a $10,000 donation – if others in attendance would raise at least $10,000 themselves. The room, Jamie says, was already filled with people passionate about the organization. They just needed a little push to increase their pledge. The challenge worked beautifully. By showing up and personally issuing the invitation to share more generously, the Baisdens became a catalyst for many regular donors to increase their pledges. Together, the gathered supporters closed BARN's funding gap that evening.

The experience was so powerful that offering matching gifts has become a regular practice for the Baisdens. They've used matching gift invitations to support several worthwhile organizations, challenging their fellow donors to give to their fullest capacity. Sister Andrea characterizes this kind of generosity as a way of inspiring harmony: We can all work together, she says. We can all help one another.

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