Lindsborg Museum Gets Challenge Gift

An anonymous donor is putting $50,000 on the table to encourage others to give to Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum before the end of 2022.

Lenora Lynam, Executive Director, said she is thankful for the unexpected gift from an area Smoky Valley resident. Lynam called on those who care about the museum to give generously to meet the donor’s year-end challenge.

“This is a big deal, and this is a fitting way to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the mill in 2023,” Lynam said, “But it is going to take many more generous people to ensure we don’t leave any part of this large gift unclaimed. Right now is the best time to give and help ensure the future of the museum and its treasures.”

According to the organization, the generous commitment means that now until December 31, donations of any amount will receive a “double match” under the terms of the donor’s challenge gift.

So, for example, a one-time gift of $100 before December 31 will secure $200 from the donor, for $300 total to the museum.

People can make their year-end gift to the museum go even farther, however, with a special “triple match” on new or renewing individual and family museum memberships for 2023.

This means that someone purchasing a 2023 individual membership at $40 will secure $120 from the donor – for $160 total.

Purchasing a family membership at $60 will guarantee a whopping $180 from the matching funds – or a total of $240!

Memberships can be purchased online at, by calling 785-227-3595, or by check or cash in person at the museum – 120 Mill St. in Lindsborg.

Adam Pracht, Marketing and Communications Director, described the benefit of giving under the match challenge another way.

“It means that every donation before the end of the year stretches incredibly far,” he said. “Our donor is essentially making it so that every dollar of a one-time donation is worth three dollars to the museum. It’s even more amazing for encouraging memberships!”

Pracht explained that every time someone purchases their 2023 anniversary-year museum membership before the end of the year, it basically will have a quadruple effect, equal to four new 2023 annual memberships. That is, one for the actual museum member, and then the dollar value of three memberships from the anonymous donor.

Guaranteeing the full challenge gift will require any combination of total one-time donations of $25,000; or individual and family memberships totaling just a bit more than $16,600.

Ensuring the entire $50,000 gift is secured before the end of the year represents a massive step toward the preservation and growth of the historic buildings of the museum – which include the 1898 Smoky Valley Roller Mills, the 1904 World’s Fair Swedish Pavilion, and an 1870 homestead cabin.

Caroline de Filippis, Community Development Director, expressed her gratitude for the donor’s generosity and leadership with this gift.

“This is amazing news,” she said. “Apart from the dollar amount, what is wonderful about this challenge is that it allows all of our community supporters to show how much they value the museum. No matter your means, no matter how much you can give, this allows you to make a difference!”