FORT WAYNE — The United Way of Allen County got a big boost to its community campaign Monday with a $1.12 million grant from the Robert Goldstine Foundation.
The grant will be used as a matching source for donations of at least $1,000 and will be spread out over the next five years, said Jeff Miller, United Way’s campaign chairman.
“This is a great example of what an individual can do to make a difference,” Miller said.
The campaign goal between now and April is to raise $5.4 million, which is about 6 percent above what was raised last year, Miller said.
Not only new donations of $1,000 or more will be matched dollar for dollar, Miller said, but renewed donations of the same value also will be matched.
Robert Goldstine was a longtime Realtor and land developer in Allen County, serving as chairman of Joe Goldstine & Son Inc., a real estate company founded by his grandfather.
The company is now part of BND Commercial Real Estate.
Goldstine served on a number of boards and is probably best known for his fight to save Embassy Theatre from demolition in the 1970s.
The Robert Goldstine Foundation was formed after Goldstein died in 2001.
The grant will average about $225,000 a year and guarantees a minimum of $75,000 and a maximum of $375,000 a year over the next five years, based on new or increased donations.
An employee of BND who worked with Goldstine for years said United Way was one of Goldstine’s priority causes.
“Bob (Goldstine) was very concerned about United Way moving forward and getting financial support,” said Stephen Wesner, senior broker at BND Commercial and board president of the foundation.
“I was hired by Bob and his dad in 1961, and I knew him a long time,” Wesner said. “He never took credit for what he did. He was very giving and supportive of the United Way and investing in Allen County.”
Over the last decade, the Goldstine Foundation has contributed nearly $2 million to United Way, including last year’s campaign gift of $375,000.
United Way’s leadership gifts of $1,000 to $9,999 will now be recognized as the Robert Goldstine Leadership Society, joining two other leadership levels – the Beacon Society and the Tocqueville Society – for donations of more than $10,000.
Another grant from the Indiana Association of United Ways matches gifts of $1,000 or more in addition to the Robert Goldstine grant.
Donors now have a chance to leverage their gift with a “triple play” donation, said Chris Rouse, United Way’s director of resource development.
“If a person gives $20 a week for a year, that becomes $60 with the matching grants,” Rouse said.