WILL Pressroom

Illinois Public Media announces its largest matching gift


On Tuesday, April 10, Illinois Public Media is hosting their 2nd annual WILL Marathon fundraising event. The goal: Race to fit a whole week’s worth of fundraising into just 26.2 hours. After a very successful inaugural event in 2017—with a 40 percent increase in the money raised as well as an increase in the number of donors—the station has been working hard once again to engage listeners, viewers, and the broader community in their mission.

Newman's Own Foundation logo

As part of this year’s efforts, Illinois Public Media is thrilled to announce they have received a $35,000 matching grant from the Newman’s Own Foundation to inspire viewers and listeners to support local public media. And thanks to additional matching gifts from Illinois Public Media’s major donors, there’s a total of $70,000 to offer as a dollar-for-dollar match during the WILL Marathon.

“As an avid runner who has completed many races, including two marathons, I am delighted that Newman’s Own Foundation is offering a matching challenge grant to help keep public media running during the WILL Marathon,” says Kelly Giordano, managing director of Newman’s Own Foundation. “Now more than ever, it’s so important to affirm the value of independent media and civil dialogue, and celebrate culture and the arts on public radio and television.”

“We hope this Marathon Matching Fund inspires our viewers and listeners from around central Illinois to either become a new Friend of WILL or increase their current giving level,” says Danda Beard, director of development at Illinois Public Media.

I keep public media running

The WILL Marathon runs from 6:49 AM on Tuesday, April 10 to 9:01 AM on Wednesday, April 11, and this year Illinois Public Media is shooting for a personal best of $130,000 raised with more than 600 donations. There will be a Friends Finish Line coffee and bagel party in Friend’s Plaza outside Campbell Hall (corner of Main St. and Goodwin Ave. in Urbana) from 7-9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11.

Paul Newman founded Newman’s Own, the food and beverage company, in 1982 with a commitment to donate 100% of the profits to charity. Today, Newman’s Own Foundation is the sole owner of the company and continues this charitable promise. Together, Paul Newman and the Foundation have donated more than $485 million to thousands of charities around the world. More information about Newman’s Own Foundation is available at http://newmansownfoundation.org.

More information about the WILL Marathon is available at will.illinois.edu/team.