Unrestrained Unrestricted Giving: Why I made a $10M challenge grant to Rare

November 23, 2021

By Dorothy Batten
Chair, Rare Board of Trustees


Unrestricted funding is the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. These are the funds that make possible the essential functions which underpin the programs delivering mission impact. And especially in Rare’s case, they actually enable program innovation, experimentation, and data-informed risk-taking too. All of Rare’s programs today were started using unrestricted funds. These funds are also the hardest ones for an organization to raise. I believe philanthropists need to trust the organizations we support by making unrestricted donations.

The next five years are critical for our planet. Now is not a time to be timid. Now is the time to be bold, to be courageous, to give this everything we can. Those of us with means and privilege must invest in solutions with a serious sense of urgency. Can humanity safeguard the world’s lands, waters, and atmosphere on which life depends in the next decade?

Those of us who are able should invest all we can in the organizations that bring the best solutions to our challenges.

That’s why I have pledged the largest donation I’ve ever made: a challenge grant to Rare of $10 million in unrestricted support, matching new and increased unrestricted gifts through December 2022.

Why Rare? I believe in Rare, in its mission, its people and its promise. I want Rare to be the most effective organization at motivating and inspiring engagement toward collective action for good. Where people step up, contribute, and change their behavior. I love how Rare empowers people to make decisions for themselves in the most appropriate way and does not try to impose strict rules and regulations on them. I love that Rare is a really flexible, adaptable organization that listens to people and allows them to design solutions for themselves.

As the Chair of Rare’s Board, I’m privileged to work alongside my fellow Trustees to advise Rare’s staff, and to see close-up the impact of the work we do.  Rare has a truly ambitious strategic vision, it has the creativity, expertise and acumen to step up to the challenge. And I really believe that Rare’s work is the right answer to this moment in time.

So I invite you to join me, in providing unrestrained and unrestricted support to this remarkable organization.


Dorothy Batten is the Chair of Rare’s Board of Trustees. She is also the founder of iThrive Games, a non-profit initiative that fosters the adoption of positive psychology and social-emotional learning in video games and apps to promote resilience, self-awareness, and emotional well-being for adolescents.

Rare relies on people like you—who want to see social change, who want to take personal action to heal the planet, and who can give as part of that action—to fund our work.


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For a limited time, The Batten Challenge is matching, dollar for dollar, all new and increased donations to Rare. There has never been a better time to support Rare’s mission.