In March, OLLI members were challenged to raise $10,000 before June 30, 2018, as part of a Matching Gift Challenge. OLLI is excited to announce that it’s members stepped up to the plate in a big way, raising more than $11,000 in only four months! These funds coupled with the matching gift, the one time gift from the College of Education and Health Professions and all other donations made prior to the matching challenge, have taken OLLI over it’s annual fundraising goal of $25,000. This is the most successful fundraising effort since OLLI’s establishment at the U of A in 2007. What a great achievement and a wonderful way to close out the 10th anniversary year!
August 2017 marked the beginning of the 10th anniversary of OLLI at the University of Arkansas. In recognition of this milestone year, Trisha and Lou Beland generously offered a matching gift challenge in March 2018, to support OLLI’s programs and infrastructure improvements. The Belands agreed to match gifts—made before June 30, 2018—up to $10,000. Additionally, the Dean of the College of Education offered a onetime gift of $2,500 to support program costs if the matching challenge was successful. The support will help to stabilize OLLI as it continues to grow and reach a broader demographic in Northwest Arkansas.
It is important to see the bigger picture of running an Osher Institute, and specifically OLLI at the University of Arkansas. That picture includes ensuring that OLLI is financially and operationally sound. At most Osher Institutes, and especially here at OLLI – U of A, the fees don’t cover the full cost of the benefits members enjoy (actually only 60%). If the entire cost of membership was to be charged, that fee would likely be unaffordable for some members. OLLI – U of A, just as most institutes in the Osher Network, operates using multiple resources and revenue streams, including in-kind contributions. Between the diverse contributions of the host college/university, the volunteer contributions of instructors and leaders (including our hard working committees), the fees from members, and the earnings from the Osher endowment, OLLI programs need all those different resources to keep running. Our Annual Campaigns are great ways to direct member’s cash contributions solely to fund the institute and the matching gift challenge is an opportunity to make a significant impact on the program. Like so many other philanthropic efforts, it isn’t the amount of each contribution that matters most, it is the act of many members showing their support, regardless of the amount of their gift. To see a large percentage of members contributing is a sign that we have a solid program backing. And it shows that current members care about the future of the program – strengthening it for enduring sustainability.
Gifts to OLLI can be made outright through cash, check, or credit card or even through a planned giving vehicle that will allow you to conveniently integrate a charitable gift into your financial, tax, or estate plan. Gifts could also be increased through a matching program from a current or former employer. Please consider making a gift online or by sending cash or check to the new OLLI offices at: 211 E. Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR 72701.
Thank you to all our members and stakeholders who participated in the challenge. Your participation is a sign that we have a solid program backing AND it show
s that current members care about the future of the program – strengthening it for enduring sustainability. A special thank you goes to the Belands for providing us
this opportunity. Their dedication and support is not only shown with their generous gift but through their engagement in programs, their time volunteering and the countless hours they spend encouraging others to join us in lifelong learning!