On Dec. 1, the Loudoun Literacy Council Inc. received a phone call from an anonymous donor who pledged to match up to $10,000 for every dollar raised by the Council before 6 p.m., Dec. 31.
Acting executive director Cynthia Harvey said the council's staff sent out e-mails, made phone calls and stood in front of local stores and restaurants looking for donations.
"We stood outside of Baja Fresh and Caribou Coffee asking for money," Harvey said. "We had to get actual donations from people. That is the only way the donor would match our money."
Under the terms set by the anonymous donor, the council could not accept donations from foundations or grant money for this fund-raiser. Even so, the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation donated $10,000 to the council, which does not count toward the matching pledge.
"When we called them to tell them we could not put their money toward the project, they told us to go ahead and keep it," Harvey said.
By Dec. 30, the Loudoun Literacy Council Inc. raised $11,000. The anonymous donor awarded the organization $10,000. In total, in all the council raised $31,000 in December.
"We will use the money for operational costs and some of it will go toward books and supplies for students," Harvey said.