Match Madness raises over $948,000 for area nonprofits

SALINA, Kan.— The Greater Salina Community Foundation hosted Salina’s 12th annual Match Madness giving day on Thursday, March 23, at Salina Fieldhouse. In 24 hours, over $948,000 was raised for 93 area nonprofit organizations through donations and bonus prizes.

A total of 1,044 unique donors contributed a record-breaking total of $641,556.29 through 3,170 gifts. This is the highest total dollar amount and number of gifts raised in the event’s history.

“This year was a record setting year in many ways and we are thankful to the donors that provided the match pool as an incentive,” said Jessica Martin, President and Executive Director of the Foundation. “To raise close to $1 million in one day to support local nonprofits says a lot about our community and its generosity. The best part is that it was made up of gifts large and small collectively making an impact. That is community!”

The Foundation awarded $7,320 in bonus prizes to 82 organizations who participated in the Bill Grevas Memorial Nonprofit Free Throw Contest, which was sponsored by the Salina Regional Health Foundation, and the Half-Court Contest, which was sponsored by BeWealth. Each participant was given one minute to shoot free throws, and every shot made was worth $10 for their representative organization. Throughout the day, 23 participants earned the maximum $100 prize for their efforts. The Half-Court Contest provided each non-profit the opportunity to make a half-court shot (in 2 attempts). Each nonprofit that made a half-court shot received $100 plus the opportunity to enter the shootout for $1,000. Salina Family YMCA, Salina Education Foundation, Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas, Teen Town Inc. dba “The City”, Saline County Department of Senior services, and Salina Area United Way all received $100 for a made shot and Salina Meals on Wheels received the $1000 grand prize as the winner of the shootout.

Following the event, three bonus grants were awarded to participating nonprofits. Rolling Hills Zoo “Most Donors-1st Place,” received $750 as the nonprofit who had the most donors. Salina Emergency Aid Food Bank “Most Donors-2nd Place,” received $500 as the nonprofit who had the second most donors. Smoky Hill River Festival Legacy Fund received “Most Improved,” awarded to the organization who received a higher number of gifts this year than in 2022.

The “Around the World” Booth contest was held to encourage visitors to visit as many nonprofit booths as possible. Each visitor that visited 5 or more booths was entered to win a prize drawn at random. Doug Randolph was the winner of the 2023 “Around the World” Booth Contest, and received a Match Madness gift basket, plus GSCF made a $100 donation to the nonprofit of Doug’s choice.

Thanks to a donation by Ken and Karen Ebert, we were able to add an exciting new Match Madness addition in 2023. Their donation provided USD 305 fifth graders with the opportunity to attend Match Madness, visit the nonprofit booths and make a $10 donation to one nonprofit of the student’s choice. “The excitement of the fifth graders added a whole new level of energy to the event. Our board has been discussing ways to engage the next generation of givers and what better way than to let students experience it themselves at Match Madness,” said Martin. “We are so thankful to Ken and Karen for this opportunity and look forward to expanding upon it next year.” In total 423 fifth graders participated in Match Madness 2023 and donated to 67 different nonprofits.

The Foundation matched gifts proportionally, up to 47%, from a pool of $300,000. Together, Match Madness donations, bonus prizes and matching funds combine for a total impact of $948,032.46 for the Salina community.