A Warsaw organization that supports the orthopedics industry has fallen more than $2 million short in an attempt to obtain a $3.5 million donation from the Lilly Endowment.
The deadline is today for OrthoWorx to raise $3.5 million toward a dollar-for-dollar match from the Indianapolis nonprofit organization.
As of Monday afternoon, less than $1.5 million had been raised, said Suzie Light, executive director of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation. Light also serves on the OrthoWorx board.
“Not reaching that goal is not a failure,” she said, referring to the goal as a challenge. “People have responded, and we’re excited about it.”
Despite being unable to claim the full $3.5 million in matching money, OrthoWorx will receive a match from Lilly for every dollar donated by people and entities with industry ties, including manufacturers, employees, shareholders, vendors and relatives.
Nonprofit OrthoWorx sent emails to everyone on its distribution list to solicit tax-deductible support for the matching-gift campaign.
The Lilly Endowment recently donated $4 million through the Orthopedics Capital Foundation toward OrthoWorx’s mission – to strengthen the surrounding community – with no match required. The endowment is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 to support religion, education and community development in Indiana.
Founded in 2009, OrthoWorx initiatives have included training for high-tech orthopedics manufacturing jobs and lobbying for legislation that benefits the industry. The organization also supports Warsaw-area arts and recreation programs, which are considered draws for orthopedics executives.
Kosciusko’s orthopedic industry produced a $3.7 billion impact on the economy in 2009, according to a 2011 study by the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University.
Warsaw is home to the orthopedic industry’s Big Three: the DePuy Synthes Cos., Zimmer Holdings Inc. and Biomet Inc.
Besides the money given by ortho-related donors, OrthoWorx received pledges to its Perfect Match campaign from unrelated sources.
Any money donated toward OrthoWorx’s mission helps, even if it doesn’t trigger a match, Light said.
“There are no little gifts,” she added.