On June 27, 2012, The Patterson Foundation and Community Foundation of Sarasota County (CFSC) announced the creation of the Diane McFarlin Season of Sharing Endowment Fund and TPF’s $250,000 challenge to match donations.
The fund was established to honor Diane McFarlin, former Herald-Tribune publisher, for her dedication and leadership to our region. The endowment would ensure a long-term legacy for Season of Sharing, a collaborative community campaign to raise and distribute funds for people on the verge of homelessness.
The match, CFSC and a supportive community, along with the swift success of the match, seeded the endowment with $500,000, ensuring the good work of Season of Sharing continues.
The donation drive started off with three initial gifts of $50,000, along with varying donation amounts from many individuals. After receiving a $92,000 gift from a Venice, Fla., donor in September, the match was reached!
In retrospect, what factors made this challenge such a success? Obviously the renowned respect and admiration for Diane McFarlin, but also important was:
- CFSC’s adept ability to make donors philanthropic dreams a reality
- Understanding the need for financial long-term sustainability (for SoS) through endowments
- The power of TPF’s challenge in inspiring generosity
- Our community’s philanthropic spirit and continued generosity