In the nonprofit world, the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation and their coveted Mabee Challenge Grant, represent the pinnacle of capital campaign fundraising success. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Mabee Foundation was founded by John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie E. Mabee in 1948 with an aim to fund charitable organizations in the South and Southwestern United States. Today, they have awarded more than $1.1 billion to various educational, religious and charitable institutions.

What Makes It Special?

What makes the Mabee Challenge Grant so special is that it’s made on a challenge or conditional basis, providing  incentive for the support of other donors. The grant recipient must raise whatever balance is needed to assure full project funding within the challenge period. The general philosophy of the Foundation has been to help those who help themselves and to encourage additional gift support. This approach has worked wonders for many nonprofits engaged in capital campaigns that need one final push to reach their fundraising goal.

This year, with the help of our expert consultants, two Byrne Pelofsky clients have been awarded the Mabee Challenge Grant – Developing Potential, Inc. (DPI) and Sherwood Autism Center.

Rising to the Challenge – Developing Potential, Inc.

Developing Potential, Inc. serves adults with developmental disabilities throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. They provide quality day habilitation and support services to enable these individuals to reach their potential and achieve a dignified, adult lifestyle. In late 2018, DPI’s waiting list jumped to 70 individuals, all seeking support and care at the Lee’s Summit site. In order to meet the demand for their services, DPI engaged Byrne Pelofsky to prepare, plan and execute a $3,250,000 capital campaign.

We are delighted that DPI was awarded $650,000 challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation, which will help them reach their $3.25 million campaign goal. This major win for the campaign inches us closer to building the community-oriented, universally-designed institution that their constituents desperately need.

Rising to the Challenge – Sherwood Autism Center

Byrne Pelofsky is also celebrating another win on behalf of Sherwood Autism Center. Sherwood’s mission is to empower children and adults with autism and related disabilities to maximize their potential in family and community life. The organization provides high-quality services for both children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a wide range of developmental disabilities in the Kansas City area.

Sherwood Autism Center engaged Byrne Pelofsky to conduct a fundraising feasibility study for a capital campaign for a building renovation. Based on that performance, Sherwood subsequently engaged us to provide campaign planning and positioning services for the $3.5 million capital campaign.

We’re delighted to report that Sherwood Austism Center was awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation. They are now $528,000 away from achieving their fundraising goal!

What Do Our Clients Think?

“Developing Potential is grateful for the opportunity to work with the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation to complete our capital campaign over the course of the next 12 months.  We appreciate their generosity and commitment to ensuring individuals with developmental disabilities in Kansas City have the services they and their families need and desire.  We look forward to sharing this challenge with institutional funders in the Kansas City community as well as our families and supporters,”

Rebecca Case, DPI Executive Director

“We couldn’t have done it without the leadership and support that we have received from Byrne Pelofsky + Associates. Thank you for all you do for our KC community!”

Laci Maltbie, Sherwood Autism Center CEO

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