Coalition member organizations with professional fundraisers on staff and an existing cache of major donors used the annual Blooming Art event very strategically, and the smaller organizations began feeling left behind. Tensions rose, as some felt the event donations favored the larger, more established organizations.
In a testament to its strength, the ARTWorks for Kids coalition decided collectively to even the playing field by changing the matching fund rules for Blooming Art. Rather than matching only single gifts of $1,000 or more, group donations of $1,000 could be matched, as well. Smaller organizations could therefore have two or four or more donors pool their funds to reach $1,000, which could then be matched—a change that hugely impact both the success of the event and the cohesion of the coalition.
Coalition members also decided to pair up during the Blooming Art events—a smaller organization shared a booth with a larger one, so that they could talk with donors together. This allowed the more experienced fundraisers to act as mentors for the newer or smaller groups.