Salem, Ore. – Oregonians increased their investment in culture by more than 4 percent in 2014, donating a record $4.3 million to the Oregon Cultural Trust.

“It’s an incredible outcome given it was a year of significant transition for the Trust,” said Executive Director Brian Rogers, who assumed his role in July. “We welcomed new Trust Manager Aili Schreiner in August and were without a full-time communications manager until October. We worked very hard to ensure all was in place for year-end giving, and these results are really rewarding for all of us.”

“This speaks to the strength of the relationship donors have with the Cultural Trust,” added Trust board member Bob Speltz, who completed three years as chair in December. “While we are constantly refining our marketing, the loyalty of our donors is unquestioned.”

It will be a couple of weeks before full analytical data is available, said Schreiner, but staff is hopeful the increase – the largest in the Trust’s history – is due to growth in new donors and online giving. “We diverted more of our marketing dollars to digital advertising and creating a mobile application for our website,” she said. “We also focused the campaign exclusively on the last three months of the year, which is historically when the donations come in.”

A total of $678,331 in donations was received on Dec. 31, more than 15 percent of the total dollars raised. There also was a significant increase in donations received through the Willamette Week Give!Guide, which raised $295,680, more than $50,000 more than the year before.

The Cultural Trust distributes $.42 of each donor dollar in grants and puts $.58 into a permanent fund, currently valued at just over $25 million. In 2014 the Trust awarded $1.8 million in grants to its statewide partners, 45 county/tribal cultural coalitions and 51 cultural nonprofits through a competitive grant program.

# # #