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Notable Gifts: VMFA’s crowd-funding campaign raises $61,225 for its exhibitions

posted Oct 27, 2014, 12:21 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Oct 27, 2014, 12:22 AM ]
The first major crowd-funding campaign at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has raised $61,225 for exhibitions, including a $25,000 dollar-for-dollar match from Frank Qiu and Ting Xu of Evergreen Enterprises.

The crowd-funding initiative was tied to the 3-D printing of a scale model of China’s Forbidden City for the exhibition “Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing.”

Giving levels were named for features in the former enclave of Chinese emperors. The $10 level was designated Meridian Gate; $25, Tea Houses; $100, Imperial Gardens; and $500, Imperial Ceremonial Halls.

Matching funds from the Evergreen executives enabled the campaign to easily surpass its $55,000 goal.

“Our aim was to inspire others to contribute — to build a community of support for VMFA that celebrates the arrival of ‘Forbidden City,’ ” Ting Xu said. The exhibition opened Oct. 18 and remains until Jan. 11.

More than 98 percent of the gifts were received online, with donations coming from as close as Bon Air and as far as Barcelona, Spain. The online giving percentage set a record for a VMFA campaign, successfully bridging a gap in generational giving methods, the museum said.
Another significant goal was to engage new audiences in supporting the museum. New donors accounted for more than 16 percent of a virtual donor wall

Third- and fourth-grade students at Collegiate School joined the 253 donors with a $50 contribution. Their teacher, Xin-yi Fergusson, has organized a trip to the museum Oct. 30.

“Our Chinese-language students are very excited,” she said. “They wanted to show their gratitude to the museum for bringing this exhibit to Richmond, so the class decided to gather money from their piggybanks to contribute to the 3-D model of the Forbidden City.”

While the formal campaign closed Oct. 17, the donation site will remain active through the close of the “Forbidden City” exhibition. All gifts support the museum’s Exhibition Fund, which helps bring in exhibitions such as “Forbidden City.”

Martin’s campaign collects $15,489 for FeedMore

Customers at local Martin’s Food Markets donated $15,489 to FeedMore through the grocers’ Bag Hunger campaign at summer’s end.

“A big thank-you goes out to our generous customers who have joined us in the fight against hunger,” said Tom Lenkevich, president of Royal Ahold NV’s Giant-Carlisle division, which includes local Martin’s stores.

“Hunger has become a reality for far too many, and our regional food banks continue to report unprecedented demand and increasing pressure to secure funding and donations year-round.”

Fitness center donates $28K for Fit4Kids programs

Greater Richmond Fit4Kids, which seeks to improve children’s health through physical activity and healthful eating, has received $28,440 from acac Fitness & Wellness Centers.

During September, acac donated the proceeds from its 30-day memberships, which sold for $30 each to celebrate their 30th anniversary in business. The money will support Fit4Kids’ childhood obesity prevention programs.

Richmond Heart Walk

Richmond Heart Walk raises $900,000

The Richmond Heart Walk at West Creek Parkway raised $900,000 to help increase awareness of heart disease and stroke and to support the education programs and research goals of the American Heart Association. Teams represented local businesses, universities and community groups.

“On average, 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular diseases each day — one person every 39 seconds. Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, like brisk walking, will help keep these killers at bay,” said Scott Blackwell, chairman of the Heart Walk and senior vice president at Health Diagnostic Laboratory. “I thank all the walkers, volunteers and sponsors who made this a very successful event.”

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