Challenge Grant Benefits!

Thanks to your generosity and vision, we were able to take this project out into the community and secure the funds (in what I think was an astonishingly short time) needed to complete the restoration. It is exciting to me that the funds that were contributed came from all across Indiana and from thirteen different states. In an effort at full disclosure, I know I must have initially sighed and wished that the Jeffris Family Foundation had simply written us a check for the full amount. I now believe that would have been a mistake for the project. In at least five ways, the challenge grant benefitted our agency.

  1. By issuing the challenge grant, we were able to take our project to our existing constituents and also build a base of new supporters. The fact that we had significant support from beyond our immediate environs is proof that we were able to make a case to a larger audience. We had a targeted donor base, but almost from coast to coast individuals generously stepped up to contribute who were not on our immediate radar.
  2. The challenge from an agency outside of Indiana also raised awareness of the importance of the project. On a number of occasions we were able to visit with local donors and state that this project had raised the enthusiasm of a major donor from Wisconsin! In doing this, the significance of this building in their backyards was elevated. Local donors saw the Study in a new and fresh light.
  3. This challenge grant also allowed us to visit with major local gifting sources with the concept that with their gift, every dollar contributed assured a matching contribution. It was not long before we could tell donors that thanks to the challenge grant, each gift was matched dollar for dollar—this proved to be a great incentive.
  4. Thanks to the challenge grant, we now have donors that have a vested interest in the Study and museum. We have kept them informed about our progress along the way and they are increasingly engaged by their personal relationship with the project, Lew Wallace and the Staff here at the museum. As we move forward with other projects, I believe these individuals will be future supporters at a meaningful level.
  5. The challenge grant allowed us an opportunity to market the museum as a tourist destination. We have had something new and unusual to talk about in our social media, on our website and in the community. It has not only brought visitors—it has almost assured repeat visitors who are anxious to see the finished project.


Larry Paarlberg, Executive Director

Lew Wallace Study Preservation Society
Crawfordsville, Indiana