Editor's Note: Murray Devine is the Manager of Communications and Marketing at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s 2018 Giving Challenge has raised more than $6.1 million through 74,682 gifts from 49,207 unique donors, with an added $5 million in matching funding from The Patterson Foundation. More than $260,000 in grant prizes will be awarded to the organizations receiving gifts from the highest number of individual donors and a variety of other “Best Of” prizes. In total, $11,733,241 was raised to support 636 local organizations located in or serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties on May 1 & 2, noon to noon.
During the 24-hour Giving Challenge, nonprofit organizations encouraged their supporters and the public to make charitable contributions online at www.GivingPartnerChallenge.org, with the minimum gift amount set at only $25. The average gift made was $82.
This year, The Patterson Foundation incentivized donations from both new donors and returning donors to the Giving Challenge by matching every gift up to $100 per donor, per organization they supported. This opportunity encouraged organizations to engage new online donors as well as loyal returning supporters during this year’s event.
"Over the past many months, hundreds of nonprofits have undergone training and immersed in imaginative planning to attract donors," said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. "By engaging staff, board and external partners, each organization has built their own philanthropic muscle. The Giving Challenge is about so much more than the 24 hours, and The Patterson Foundation was proud to strengthen everyone’s effort with the matching opportunity."
“I know the sun is already shining, but I feel like it’s shining even brighter today thanks to the generosity of so many people in our community,” said Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “We are forever grateful to The Patterson Foundation, truly an opportunity like this doesn’t happen anywhere else around the country.”
Fruitville Elementary School PTO was the first organization that received a gift at the kick-off of the campaign. Truly Valued Inc. received the last gift made during the 2018 Giving Challenge just before noon on May 2.
For months leading up to the Giving Challenge, participating local nonprofits laid the groundwork by working with their staff and board members to develop fun, informative, and moving campaigns to rally support from the community. Organizations shared stories, photos, and videos about the impact they are making in the areas they serve, and many created new relationships within the nonprofit community, with the business community, and with numerous media outlets to enhance their efforts as well.
Local organizations that participated in the Giving Challenge all committed to transparency by having published profiles in The Giving Partner, an online tool that helps donors make informed decisions by providing comprehensive and in-depth information on an organization’s needs, programs, financial history, governance, and management structure.
During the last Giving Challenge in September 2016, 63,567 individual gifts were made by 45,206 unique donors.
Since 2012, donors throughout our region have shown their love for local nonprofit organizations by providing $40 million in unrestricted funding to support their missions through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Giving Challenge.
The 2018 Giving Challenge was presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation. Prize support came from Manatee Community Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, the Herald-Tribune Media Group, iHeart Radio, and Harbor Style Magazine.