“A third of our income comes from the state, through the Victims of Crime Act,” says Executive Director Debi Koelkebeck. “This funding is very unstable, unreliable. The rest is from donations and fundraisers.” They knew they needed to secure more reliable funding.
“We got excited thinking about building an endowment that could eventually fund a big part of our budget, and the Endowment Match Challenge came at just the right time for us,” Koelkebeck says. “We thought it could be a good test of the waters for a larger endowment-building project.”
Despite fears that fundraising for an endowment would be a tougher ask than a capital campaign with a more visible result, Koelkebeck says it went encouragingly well.
“People jumped in on the endowment! The donors mentioned that they’re so glad we’re looking to the future and that we’re building something that will sustain.” By the end of the fundraiser, JasCo CASA had raised about double the $15,000 it needed to meet the challenge.
Andy Perigo, JasCo CASA’s first board president and a current board member, says the success has inspired the board to make more ambitious plans: “We set a general fundraising goal of $1 million in the next three years and $5 million in five years.”
Since 2017, JasCo CASA has worked with more than 450 children who come from abusive or negligent situations and has helped place them in safer homes. Now, with an endowment that can grow and eventually provide a large part of their operational budget, JasCo CASA can continue its vital mission and ensure a brighter future for the most vulnerable members of its community.
By Matthew Stewart
Read More from Annual Report FY23