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Challenge Grant FAQs

Eligible Gifts

What types of gifts to our organization count toward meeting our Circle of Service Foundation challenge grant?
We generally match contributions solicited and collected after we notify an organization of the challenge grant award. We count only contributions from: (a) new private donors or (b) current private donors who increase their donations.
Who is a new private donor?

A “New” Private Donor is a Private Donor who has not made a donation to you during the previous Fundraising Year or during the current Fundraising Year prior to the beginning of the Grant Term. The Fundraising Year refers to your organization’s fundraising year. The entire amount of a gift from a new donor counts toward the challenge.

Example: Your Fundraising Year is January 1 – December 31. Donor A made a $50 donation in December 2019 and did not donate during Fundraising Year 2020. Your Grant Term begins April 2021 and Donor A makes a $50 donation in May 2021. Donor A is considered a New Donor and the full $50 is eligible to be matched.

Example: Your Fundraising Year is July 1 – June 30. Donor B made a $50 donation in December 2020. The Grant Term begins April 2021. Donor B makes another $100 donation in May 2021. Donor B is not considered a New Donor because the donation occurred in the same Fundraising Year. The donation may be considered an increased donation, which is eligible to be matched (see below).

What does COSF mean by “Fundraising Year"?

Fundraising Year” is your organization’s fundraising year, which might be your fiscal year, the calendar year or another time frame that you use to track your fundraising.

You define a new donor as someone who has not made a donation to our organization during the prior Fundraising Year. How do you define the prior Fundraising Year?

If your Fundraising Year is January 1 – December 31, and you receive a grant that started in April 2021, we define the prior Fundraising Year as January 1 – December 31, 2020. If a donor gave during that period, they would not be considered a new donor. If they gave any time prior to January 1, 2020, and then make a donation during your current grant year, they would be considered a new donor. However, in this example, if a donor gave in February 2021 (during your current Fundraising Year but before the start of your Grant Term), they would be considered a current donor, not a new donor.

If your Fundraising Year is July 1 – June 30, and you receive a grant that started in April 2021, we define the prior Fundraising Year as July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020. If a donor gave during that period or any time afterward, they would not be considered a new donor.

Who is a current donor?

A “Current” Private Donor is any Private Donor who has donated to you during your previous Fundraising Year. For the first year of a grant, any Private Donor who has donated to you during the current Fundraising Year prior to the beginning of your Grant Term is also considered a Current Donor.

What counts as an increased donation from a current donor?

An increased donation refers to the additional amount that a current donor gives over and above the largest total annual amount the donor gave in the Fundraising Year prior to the date we notify you of the challenge grant award. For current donors, only the increased amount counts toward the match.

  • Example: Donor A gave three donations to you totaling $100 in the Fundraising Year prior to the Grant Term, and then Donor A gives two donations to you totaling $150 during the Grant Term; the Incremental Donation is $50.
  • Example: Donor B gave three donations to you totaling $100 in the Fundraising Year prior to the Grant Term, and then Donor B gives two donations totaling $75 during the Grant Term. In this case, Donor B’s donations during the Grant Term are not eligible to be matched.
  • Example: Your Fundraising Year is July 1 – June 30. The Grant Term begins April 1, 2021. Donor B gave three donations to you totaling $100 from July 1, 2020 – March 30, 2021 (the current Fundraising Year, prior to the Grant Term), and then Donor B gives two donations totaling $175 April 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021 (current Fundraising Year, during the Grant Term). Donor B is not considered a New Donor because their donations occurred in the same Fundraising Year. In this case, $75 of Donor B’s donations are eligible to be matched as an Incremental Donation.
Do you match in-kind donations or fees for services?
No.
Can we solicit all the funds from one donor to satisfy the challenge grant?
No. An eligible donation is capped at 25% of the annual amount of our challenge grant. Example: We award an organization a challenge grant of $10,000. A new donor makes a $5,000 donation to the organization. We will match $2,500 of this donor’s gift.
We already have a challenge grant from another donor. Can we count future gifts towards both our existing challenge grant and the COSF challenge grant? Can the COSF challenge grant be applied to meet our other challenge grant?
If you have a challenge grant from another donor at the time you receive the COSF challenge grant, then the gifts that meet the other challenge grant may not also be used to meet the COSF challenge grant. Additionally, our challenge grant cannot be used to satisfy another challenge grant.
 

Timeframe

How long do we have to raise funds to fulfill the challenge grant, and when does the clock start?
To count towards the challenge, pledges and payments must occur within the term of the grant.  Payments received during the grant term in fulfillment of pledges made prior to the grant term do not count. Also, pledges received during the grant term do not count to the extent they are paid after the grant term.
 

Special Events

Can we count ticket prices or proceeds from raffle tickets, a silent auction or a live auction?
No.
Will you match proceeds from a “paddle raise” in which the donor receives no goods or services?
Yes.
 

Other Rules

Are there any other rules or restrictions?
The particular terms of your grant are set out in your grant terms letter.  If your grant letter says something different from what is described here, the letter governs.