Officials from the Lutheran Elementary School Association said today that the organization received a $2 million challenge grant from the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis .
Money raised through the challenge will create an operations and programming endowment for the association to help fund numerous services and resources for its members. The association is a service organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod that represents more than 30 elementary and high schools in the St. Louis Metro Area.
In 2005, a similar challenge grant from the Lutheran Foundation created LESA’s Building Blocks Scholarship Fund Endowment, which has provided thousands of need-based scholarships to families facing financial difficulties.
The grant challenge is a dollar-for-dollar match.
“That means that when a supporter donates any amount to LESA, the Lutheran Foundation will match that exact donation,” LESA’s COO Sue Nahmensen said.
In addition, for the next two years, the Clara and Spencer Werner Fund will donate an additional 20 cents for every dollar raised toward the endowment goal. The grant challenge runs through December 2016.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, based in St. Louis, ranked fifth on the St. Louis Business Journal’s list of the largest nonprofit organizations by operating budget. Its operating budget for fiscal 2011 was $76.7 million. It has 600 local volunteers, 623 full-time employees and 49 part-time employees.