Grand Teton National Park Foundation
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foundation meets kresge challenge,
receives $500,000 grant

Grand Teton National Park Foundation received $500,000 in grant funding from the Kresge Foundation in June 2007 for Grand Teton National Park's new Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, a public-private initiative. The successful completion of the challenge grant and the resulting monetary award finalized the Foundation's $13.6 million capital campaign.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion national foundation and one of the most respected charitable organizations in the country. It concentrates its core grant-making activity on capital campaigns and uses challenge grants to help nonprofit organizations build vast networks of support. By pledging funds that are only collected if a campaign’s goals are realized, Kresge aims to encourage individuals, businesses, and other foundations to participate in worthy projects.

The challenge grant required the Grand Teton National Park Foundation to reach their fund-raising goal by September 30, 2007 to receive the $500,000 grant. “The Kresge challenge added that extra element of urgency that inspired people to join our effort,” Leslie Mattson-Emerson, president of the foundation, said. Under the leadership of Mattson-Emerson, the board and staff not only completed the all-or-nothing challenge; they reached their goal five months early.

“The excitement from our donors was overwhelming. In fact, we’ve extended the campaign to add an auditorium to the new facility. We’re raising an additional $2.5 million for a total of $16.1 million in private funding,” Mattson-Emerson said. The foundation’s fund-raising efforts are underway for the 100-seat multi-use auditorium that was part of the original plan but later removed due to financial constraints.

The Grand Teton National Park Foundation called upon generous park partners, such as the Grand Teton Association, as well as hundreds of individual and corporate donors to raise the $13.6 million in private-sector funding the project required beyond the $8 million congressional appropriation. The new 22,000-square-foot facility welcomes the four million people who visit the park each year with spectacular views of the mountains and innovative, interactive exhibits.

“The Kresge Foundation has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of the needs within our country’s public lands,” Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said. “The center is garnering national attention as a successful public-private partnership project. Grand Teton National Park owes much to the great work that has been accomplished with solid partnerships forged through a common vision and mission.”

tel: 307-732-0629 fax: 307-732-0639 • mail: PO Box 249 Moose, WY 83012 • location: 25 S. Willow Suite 10, Jackson WY 83001 • e-mail: director@gtnpf.org
© 2010 Grand Teton National Park Foundation