$1 million raised!

gw-endWe are thrilled to announce that we have met our goal to raise $1 million for the Greensward project! We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of nearly 1,000 donors from all over the country, but mostly right here at home. If you ever wondered how much Memphians love and value Overton Park, the last two months have answered that question in a big way.

Here are some numbers from the campaign:

  • More than 90% of donations came from here in Memphis, with 28 zip codes represented. The top five by volume were 38104 (Midtown), 38112 (Evergreen/Hein Park), 38111 (High Point, Joffre, Chickasaw), 38107 (VECA), and 38117 (East Memphis).
  • That other 10% came from around the country, with every state and the District of Columbia represented except for South Dakota! We know you’re out there, South Dakotan park lovers…it’s not too late to donate!
  • The most popular gift level was $100, and 82% of donations were $250 or less. We had some amazing grassroots support for the park with this campaign.
  • More than half of all the donations came from people who had never given to Overton Park Conservancy before, and 42% came from people that weren’t on our mailing list at all. We’re very pleased to meet all you new folks, and we hope you’ll stick around! Perhaps you’d like to become a member and keep the park beautiful year-round?

We are particularly grateful to those generous donors, including the Hyde Family Foundation, Bob Richards, and several anonymous supporters, who offered matching gifts to encourage grassroots giving. Special thanks also to groups like Park Friends, VECA, and EHDA for hosting fundraising events, and to MEMPopS for donating a dollar from each pop sold in the park over the last two months. We love our community!

So what’s next?
We’ll attend the next Memphis City Council meeting on June 20, and we expect that at that time Council will vote to accept funding from the Conservancy and Memphis Zoological Society. This would clear the way for the City’s engineering department to execute a contract with Powers Hill Design to begin the design phase of the project.

Is the campaign officially over?
Not yet. We won’t know the full project costs until after the design phase has been completed and cost estimates are released. We anticipate that total costs will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million, and the Conservancy is responsible for half of the design and construction expenses. So we anticipate having to raise more money, which is why the www.overtonpark.org/greensward page will continue to accept donations.

We’ve had an overwhelming response to this campaign, and that’s truly wonderful. However, meeting this huge goal has meant that we’ve spent very little time raising funds for everyday park operations, and we’ve only raised about half of what we need at this time of year. If you would prefer to make your next gift to the Conservancy one that goes directly into park maintenance (and things like cleanup from the recent storm), visit www.overtonpark.org/give. Thank you for your support!

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