Friends of the Arboretum July 2018 Newsletter

Matching Gifts Help Grow the Arboretum

Do you know if your employer – or past employer if you are retired – has a charitable matching gift program?

Each year, Corporate America, makes $2-3 billion in donations to the charitable organizations “their people” support. Take a look at these impressive statistics compiled by “Double the Donation”:

  • 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs.
  • Over 18 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs.
  • An estimated $6-$10 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed per year.
  • The median employee participation rate for matching gift programs is only 9%.
  • 3% of total corporate cash contributions went through corporate matching gift programs.
  • Technology companies gave the highest proportion of matching-gift contributions as a percentage of total cash gifts at 17.3%.

Matching gift programs take on many forms. Most match cash donations, and a growing number will make a cash donation as a “match” for volunteer service! Some have small limits; some have much larger limits, but just think about what these gifts could mean for the Arboretum.

Please take a few minutes and check with your company to see if they have a matching gift program for cash gifts and/or volunteer service. These programs will double your donation – or more!

Here are some of the donations that qualify as charitable gifts and for corporate matching:

  • All donations
  • Friends of the Arboretum membership dues (100% tax-deductible)
  • Gifts to the “Growing to Inspire” Capital Campaign to build the new Visitor Center (100% tax-deductible)
  • Purchase of a paver in the Haake Celebration Terrace (100% tax-deductible)
  • Purchase of a bench for the Arboretum or sponsorship of a flower bed (100% tax-deductible)
  • The “charitable donation” part of the price of a ticket to Stems: A Garden Soirée (all but $50 per ticket).

Here is information you may need to begin the process:

  • Name of Organization: The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park, Inc.
  • Official Address: 8500 Santa Fe, Overland Park, KS 66212
  • Mailing Address: P. O. Box 26392, Overland Park, KS 66225
  • EIN: 48-1171599
  • DUNS: 004278427

Thank you in advance for inquiring about a matching gift for any recent or future gifts!

Vicki Lilly

Executive Director

The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park

(Friends of the Arboretum is part of The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park.)

List of Top US Corporate Matching Gifts Programs

Volunteer Spotlight: Phyllis Grootemaat

I thought this month’s featured volunteer seemed like a positive, uplifting individual, and interviewing her for this article solidified that. Phyllis Grootemaat is a cheerful, hard-working volunteer who deserves to be recognized for her dedication and sunny disposition.

Phyllis has been volunteering at the Arboretum since the spring of 2013. She moved to Overland Park in the fall of 2012. She remembers visiting the Arboretum with her daughter and grandsons in previous trips so volunteering was always on her list of things to try – and boy, are we glad she did. She says she had no idea how much she would love it and she began looking forward to her Tuesday mornings.

She says many people ask her why she moved here from Florida, she states, “I grew up in Milwaukee and love the Midwest. I like the four seasons, well sometimes three, and like ‘real trees’, not just palm fronds. I do miss all my bromeliads and orchids though”. After marrying in 1955, Phyllis was a stay at home mom. She and her family moved, on average, every 2-3 years – allowing them to experience different areas of the US. In Tulsa, she was active with the Tulsa Garden Center and worked part time. In Dallas, she worked at one of the very early Tuesday Mornings (1980-82). An opportunity came in 1984 for she and her husband to purchase a small business in Ft. Myers, FL (move #15 since 1955). She shares this fun fact, “if any of you picked a Japanese pearl oyster at a theme park or beach shop and had the cultured pearl inside mounted on a piece of jewelry, well, that might have been our business. We were the middle man selling to parks and shops.” When her and her husband Tom retired, they spent summers sailing to the Bahamas and living aboard their 39 foot boat for 4-5 months at a time. They enjoyed this activity for 20 years until as she states, “The advent of GPS on boats brought too many power boats to our once quiet anchorages, so we sold the boat and moved to Naples where so many of our non-boating activities were located.” Phyllis became very active in the Naples Garden Club and helped start the Naples Botanical Garden. “Now you can see why being at the Arboretum was a must” she says.

I’m sure you can guess that gardening is one activity that makes her happiest, “I love gardening and flowers; perhaps not always the weeding, but the company on Tuesday morning and the setting at the Arboretum make it a time I look forward to. There is such a variety of things to do no matter what your age or agility. The staff and other volunteers make this ‘job’ one of my top favorites.” Phyllis tells the story of a young mom calling ahead of time to confirm Tuesdays were free. Phyllis verified they were in fact free and the woman expressed gratitude and said she would be up. When the woman arrived, she was carrying a birthday cake and 5 children in tow – she explained to Phyllis that it was her daughter’s 10th birthday and that she couldn’t afford a party because she had just lost her job. A great reminder that we don’t necessarily have to have things perfect, we just need a beautiful place to make memories. Phyllis realizes that as the Arboretum gains popularity, we are seeing larger crowds at special events as well as just in our daily attendance. She thinks it’s important to grow our volunteer pool – and we agree. “There are so many volunteer needs at the Arboretum. I just wish that seniors who are looking for something to do would try it. Even helping with one or two events would be wonderful.”

Thank you, Phyllis, for promoting volunteerism at the Arb. We appreciate your time, dedication and positive attitude. You are a super star and we are so lucky to have you as an Arboretum volunteer. Thank you!