Lindsborg’s Old Mill turns vision toward endowment following match challenge

Lindsborg Old Mill Museum
Lindsborg Old Mill Museum(KWCH)
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 12:59 PM CST
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LINDSBORG, Kan. (WIBW) - Lindsborg’s Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum will turn its vision toward an ambitious endowment fund following a successful match challenge.

Officials with the Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum say the numbers are in and have surpassed what they had hoped with a total of $98,750.61 donated to the organization. That is just over $1,000 shy of six figures.

Executive Director of the museum Lenora Lynam said it was a great way to end 2022.

“We want to thank the anonymous donor behind the Match Challenge in December for their generosity and their very perceptive decision to connect their gift to donations and memberships from others,” Lynam said. “Not only have they put the museum on a solid foundation going into 2023, but they also revealed just how deep the roots of our support run in both the local community and farther abroad.”

Officials noted that the donor pledged to make a “double match” to one-time donations of any amount and to “triple match” any new and renewing individual and family museum memberships made before the end of 2022.

The team admitted it was a significant goal and a true challenge, however, supporters stepped up in a big way. It said the full $50,000 challenge was secured on Dec. 22 - a full nine days ahead of the deadline.

Pleased with the success, officials indicated that the donor chose to present an additional “Strech Challenge” - $5,000 available in a one-to-one match for any new and renewing individual and family memberships before the end of the year.

Just more than one-third of the challenge had been secured before the end of the year with additional membership. There were also many one-time gifts made which totaled more than $15,000. To recognize the accomplishment, the donor opted to make a full $55,000 donation.

With the challenge wrapped up, officials said campaign totals are as follows:

  • 122 individuals, families and organizations gave under the Match Challenge
  • 29 individual memberships were gained for a total of $1,160
  • 57 family memberships were gained for a total of $3,420
  • Museum memberships more than tripled since the beginning of December
  • Total one-time donations rang in at $39,170.61

Community Development Director Carline de Filippis said she was impressed with how many people gave under the campaign and by how much people gave in general.

“Our supporters were generous,” she said. “And we thank every one of you for answering this call in support of the museum and the treasures of history here.”

While the Match Challenge has ended, museum staff said it is not too late to support the museum with a one-time gift or an annual membership. The museum ahs two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places - the 1904 World’s Fair Swedish Pavilion and the 1898 Smoky Valley Roller Mill.

In 2023, officials said the mill building will mark 125 years since its construction and it still roars to life and runs again once each year on the first Saturday of May for Millfest.

Officials noted that the success of the challenge will help provide momentum into the next major goal under the 2023-2024 strategic plan - adding $1 million to the mill’s endowment fund. This vision will provide significant and consistent income for the museum’s annual operating budget.

“The Match Challenge was a great success in an important milestone year,” Lynam said. “We still have a long journey ahead of us in ensuring the future of these wonderful buildings. We hope that our supporters will continue to answer the call to keep us standing tall and to spread the word about what we have to offer.”