$3.75 Million Secured for Region’s Arts and Cultural Organizations

Tremendous outpouring of gifts demonstrates the high value that individuals place on arts and cultural activities throughout southeast Michigan.

Detroit, MI, August 20, 2009 --(PR.com)-- In just 11 hours, more than $3.75 million was raised to support arts and cultural organizations in southeast Michigan. This tremendous outpouring of gifts demonstrates the high value that individuals place on arts and cultural activities throughout the region.

Of the $3.75 million, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan contributed $1.25 million, increasing an initial promise of $1 million in matching funds. Due to the overwhelming response, the initial $1 million match was exhausted in less than six hours. More than 10,000 potential donors went online promptly at 10 a.m., creating technical challenges with the site. As a result of the frustration many donors experienced while completing their gift, the Foundation added another $250,000 in matching funds, which went live at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and were quickly depleted by 9 p.m.

The 75 participating arts and cultural organizations mobilized supporters from around the region and across the country, responding with enthusiasm and generosity.

“We are pleased that the arts and cultural organizations will have more than $3.75 million in new operating support, all received in just 11 hours,” said Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan President Mariam Noland. “This far exceeded our expectations. Although all the matching funds have been committed, you can continue to give to the participating arts and cultural organizations. This was a groundbreaking experiment. We applaud the many donors and apologize to those who experienced delays and other challenges and making gifts.”

“The response to the Challenge proves how much our community values arts and culture,” said Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan Executive Director Maud Lyon. “Regardless of whether they like music, theater, museums, history, science or nature, these donors have stepped up to support these nonprofits in these challenging times.”

In addition to the importance of securing general operating support, the Community Foundation Challenge – Arts & Culture, helped these organizations learn about social media and online giving as a means to expand their organizational outreach online. The participating nonprofits used email, Facebook, Twitter and other social marketing tools to engage their audiences, donors, friends, family and new supporters. These tools also will continue to enable the organizations to broaden their reach and connections to those who want to participate and support the organizations.

Although the Foundation’s $1.25 million match has been exhausted, donors are still encouraged to continue giving to participating organizations through the Community Foundation Web site www.cfsem.org. To facilitate this, the Web site for the program will remain open until August 31, 2009. However, contributions will not be matched.

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
Mike Ingberg
Theresa Fraley
(313) 961-6675