We just completed a fundraising campaign that will almost double the entire budget of the Rutherford Housing Partnership, a small nonprofit in Rutherford County (about 70 miles west of Charlotte) that provides urgently needed repairs for low-income homeowners.
We provide materials; volunteers provide labor. This campaign kicked off last May with a challenge from an anonymous donor from the West coast who saw a report on NBC Nightly News about the Rutherford Housing Partnership’s famous volunteers – the Women Roofers.
She saw the sincerity of a group of middle-aged (and older) women helping neighbors in need and decided to match all donations to a 20th anniversary campaign, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000. Our entire budget for 2014 was only $200,000.
Our West coast angel suggested we set a goal we thought might be obtainable, but still a stretch. She didn’t want us to feel we failed if we missed our goal. We knew $80,000 was a stretch; we have never raised that much money.
The community rallied to the idea that someone from outside the county was interested in helping us. When we got a commitment from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem for $20,000, we raised our goal to $100,000.
We raised $111,925 – plus an additional $18,620 from donors who pledge to give monthly throughout 2015. (We have a strong cadre of locals who support us faithfully, and we wanted their participation in this campaign.)
We surpassed our donor’s $100,000 limit on Jan.28. I’m the executive director of the Rutherford Housing Partnership, and you can see our new website and new video – all paid for by our benefactor – at RutherfordHousingPartnership.com. Nell Perry Bovender, Rutherfordton