CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action

A Twist on Matching Gifts

Alex Abrahams, Team Captain of Team Young Onset of Westchester thinks BIG – whether it’s his fundraising on behalf of PUW or fishing for tuna.

February 24, 2013 - When most of us think of matching gifts, we think of matching funds from corporations and ask our friends and family if their employer will match their donation. We should continue to ask that question but also consider adding another dimension to matching gifts – asking a donor of means to use their personal donation to match others. Read about Alex’s twist on matching gifts.

Helaine Isaacs
PUW Event Director

Even if we are not wealthy ourselves, many of us know someone – a friend, relative or colleague – who has the ability to be extremely generous. I gave a friend of mine the opportunity to support the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. I asked for and received a $5000.00 commitment to match other donations to my fundraising efforts, dollar for dollar. I asked for this donation as a way of motivating others to give to the Unity Walk and know that their donation will have double the impact. Most people of means give to charities that are meaningful to them. If you ask, you provide them with the opportunity to say “yes.” By requesting a substantial donation that would match others, I was able to leverage their generosity. When I approach new people for a donation and they see what has already been committed, there is an underlying motivation to jump on the band wagon and donate generously.   

According to Maimonides, the pre-eminent Jewish philosopher from the Middle Ages, giving anonymously is the highest form of charity. The donor, who committed to match donations to my personal fundraising efforts, chose to give anonymously as a way of maintaining their privacy and still motivating others to give generously.

It can feel awkward and uncomfortable to ask people to give to your cause. Just remember you are not asking for yourself. You are asking on behalf of the entire Parkinson’s community. Think about the philanthropic people you know who might be in a position to offer a matching gift and ASK.

Good luck and good health,
Alex Abrahams
Team Captain, Team Young Onset of Westchester