The Indiana Bar Foundation’s campaign to raise more unrestricted dollars has exceeded original expectations and is continuing to bring in contributions.
To date, the mid-year campaign is within $5,400 of reaching $100,000 by the time the fundraising effort concludes at the end of September. Charles Dunlap, executive director of the Indiana Bar Foundation, described the fundraiser as being “extremely successful.”
“We’re really excited,” he said. “It really did what we hoped it would.”
In the spring of 2016, the foundation launched its new Keystone Society to bring in donations that could be used to support the expansion of the civic education and pro bono programs. The society will recognize individuals who have donated $1,000 or more annually at a special dinner celebration planned for December.
The foundation kick-started the new donor group with a special fundraising campaign that offered to match any gift of $500 or more. Barnes & Thornburg LLP partner Timothy Abeska gave $25,000, which the foundation used to make the dollar-for-dollar matches.
The response quickly exhausted Abeska’s gift. Since people were still interested in participating, the foundation allocated an additional $25,000 to match the donations that are still arriving.
Dunlap characterized Abeska’s gift was crucial to attracting donors. “I don’t think this campaign would have been nearly as successful without a person like Tim saying, ‘I support this,’” he said.
Abeska, who works in Barnes & Thornburg’s South Bend office, did not expect his gift to be matched as fast as it was, he explained, since attorneys are often asked to contribute to a number of worthy causes.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Abeska said. “I think the response is nothing short of overwhelming.”
After this launch initiative is completed at the end of the month, the Keystone Society will continue accepting annual donations from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Dunlap acknowledged the foundation will have to affirm to donors their gifts are helping programs grow and reach more people.
“I’m optimistic based on the response for this initial effort,” Dunlap said.