Stewardship story

Matching gifts for Katie’s Fund

Vision to match dollar-for-dollar donations doubles Katie's Fund giving in the Northwest/Lower Michigan Synodical Women's Organization.

 Photo by Emma Crossen  

Almost 18 months ago, Women of the ELCA set a goal to grow Katie’s Fund to $1 million before the start of the triennial gathering on July 24, 2014. For June Keysor, Debbie Viele and Roxanne Montague, of Northwest/Lower Michigan Synodical Women’s Organization (SWO), this challenge inspired a question: “What if our SWO pledged to match, dollar-for-dollar, every donation to Katie’s Fund that comes from within the synod?”

On September 27, 2013, they brought this question to the synodical convention in the form of a resolution. It passed.

Since that day, thanks to the vision of these Michigan women, the synodical organization has matched $1,063 in donations to Katie’s Fund. The original donations all came from individuals and congregational units within the synod. The synodical organization has pledged to match all donations sent prior to July 24, up to a total of $2,500.

For June Keysor, the inspiration for matching funds was Katie Luther, herself. Women of the ELCA established Katie’s Fund as an endowment in 1997 to honor the legacy of Katharina von Bora Luther. Each year, the interest supports ministry in three areas: leadership development, global connections, and living theology. “When I think of who is my heroine, who I want to live like, it’s Katie Luther,” June said. “She was ahead of her time and so strong.”

Prior to recommending the matching-funds resolution, June was struggling with how to promote Katie’s Fund. “I wrote articles in the newsletter,” she said, “but there wasn’t much response.” In fact, in the 12 months preceding the September convention, only $366 came to Katie’s Fund from Northwest/Lower Michigan synod. Since instituting the matching funds, Katie’s Fund donations from the synod have increased more than 500 percent!

The synodical women’s organization used existing funds, reserved from previous years, to match the donations. Now, instead of leaving those dollars unused in a bank account, the synodical organization has put the money to work, supporting ministry through Katie’s Fund.

If you live within Northwest/Lower Michigan synod, there is still time to have your donation matched. You can donate online today or send a check to Women of the ELCA, PO Box 71256, Chicago, IL 60694-1256. Write “Katie’s Fund” in the memo line. All donations from an address in the synod will be counted!

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