Compared to the cost of wheel chair ramps, induction loop equipment is relatively inexpensive–one leading manufacturer’s largest unit will loop 5400 square feet (say a church that seats 400) for just $1100 plus installation. Nevertheless, we reasoned that audiologists and hearing specialists would be most likely to routinely advise T-coils for their patients if their community offered many uses–in churches, school auditoriums, courts, council chambers, community theatres, and so forth.
To motivate many community institutions to adopt the technology all in the same year, we solicited local corporations and a family foundation for a one time gift, to be administered via our Community Foundation (which itself could have been approached for additional funds, if needed). The appeals proved compelling–an opportunity to serve people with hearing loss, for modest cost, with no organizational or staff expense, and with the promise that we would never return with further requests for ongoing support. Once our initiative was completed, our need for funding would cease.
The effort was seeded by a family foundation that offered $200 or 20 percent (wherever was greater) of the cost of installation in church worship centers, school auditoriums, courts, council chambers, community theatres, nonprofit senior center TV or banquet rooms, and so forth. Two corporations together matched this amount, enabling us to offer $400 or 40 percent.
Institutions did not need to apply–they needed only decide whether to accept or refuse this offer of support. If they accepted, they arranged for installation—we suggested a local audio engineering firm that was trained by Ampetronic and which offered church installations for nearly half off their normal commercial rate—and the installer billed the Community Foundation for $400 or 40 percent and the institution for the remainder.
The offer was made to every nonprofit institution within the Holland-Zeeland postal region (which includes some 100,000 people) that would make a commitment for installation within four months (more than enough time to allow them to request and receive an estimate and for their committees to reach decisions). Installation could take place within the following year, which allowed them to postpone their part of the expenditure until the following budget year.