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    Just a few weeks into the final year of the 2020 Olympic quadrennial, newly named National Rowing Foundation Executive Director Tracy Brown is leading the drive to meet this year’s all-important funding goals with a push to take advantage of a match grant drive begun at the end of last year with an offer from Boston Rowing Federation’s Chuck Pieper.

    After an original offer of a match grant of up to $250,000, Pieper told the NRF he believed the grant should be double what he was offering, and challenged the nonprofit and USRowing to find enough additional donors to bring the final match grant offer up to $500,000.

    “His comment to us when he made the initial match was that this needs to be bigger, that he was thinking more like $500,000, so that the amount raised toward funding the national team would be more like a million once we had everyone in.”

    Brown said enough additional donors were identified to bring the potential match to $500,000, and now the drive is on to raise the amount necessary to take advantage of the offer. Brown, who was officially named the association’s executive director on Dec. 20 after serving as interim director since 2018, said the drive is well under way, but needs to be completed much sooner than the NRF’s normal funding drives, which continue closer to the end of the year.

    “It will be a quick effort,” Brown said. “We need to bring this in before the team leaves for the Olympics. A lot of the expenses affiliated with the Olympics are coming in now, with reservations for travel to [World Rowing Cup regattas] and all the other things that have to be funded for this summer. We are in a full-on effort now to find that additional $500,000 so that we can fully fund the match,” Brown said. 

    According to Brown, the NRF and USRowing already has several donors ready to commit, but said the organization is hoping the match drive will spur new donors from across the community to chip in and help meet the funding goals.

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