The Merger and the MatchThis donation challenge has ended, but you can still Donate Now

At the 2013 Spring Meeting, two loyal supporters, who wish to remain anonymous, announced a dollar-for-dollar match for all gifts received between the 2013 and 2014 Spring Meetings up to $80,000, resulting in a gift of $160,000 after the match.

This program celebrates the merger of Westar Institute and Polebridge Press, and pays tribute to scholars lost in recent years who made important contributions to Westar scholarship, including Dick Arthur, Ed Beutner, Marvin Meyer, Daryl Schmidt, and Walter Wink.

The matching period for this challenge was to run from March 2013 to the March 2014 meeting. But due to a tremendous response from Westar donors, we not only met the challenge six months early, we surpassed it!

The donors were so pleased that they announced an additional challenge to help carry this momentum through the year. They offered a new $15,000 match if Westar could raise an additional $30,000 in unrestricted donations from October thru December. Once again, Westar supporters rose to the occasion and raised the needed funds. This additional gift will be dedicated to assisting scholars with travel costs to attend Westar Meetings, a critical need for Westar to fulfill its unique mission to foster collaborative scholarship of religion in the public eye.

Longtime Westar Members Elsie and Alvin Dunn Offer Third Challenge

Inspired by the news of the matching grants, long time members Elsie and Alvin Dunn called at the beginning of December 2013 to say they would like to offer a matching challenge grant of $15,000. Both the grant and the matching monies would be unrestricted, but they agreed to Westar's proposal to focus on the monies on the expenses related to launching three seminars within an eighteen-month period: These are the Christianity Seminar, the God Seminar—The State and Future of a Big Question, and the reconfiguring of the Bible Seminar to focus on the Bible in America. The hope is to complete this third match by the Spring meeting in March 2014.

Elsie Dunn grew up in Malasia and Alvin in South Korea. They have participated in various Westar meetings and JSORs throughout their more than fifty years living in Southern California. Alvin has a special interest in neuroscience and religion.

"It is impossible to underestimate how vitally important these three grants are to the success of Westar as we move through this thirtieth year since our founding," said interim executive director Lane McGaughy. "I know Bob Funk would be absolutely delighted that his dream continues to flourish and inspire cutting-edge scholarship. This is largely because of friends like the Dunns, who are willing to step forward and invest in Westar's mission."

Help us meet this third challenge!