Playing in Season of Sharing's Sandbox

Posted on May 03, 2012 by The Patterson Foundation

When The Patterson Foundation partners with another entity,  it’s a win-win for everyone who will be “playing in the sandbox” and beyond.

A great example of this is the collaborative Season of Sharing (SoS) campaign. Think of who is at the table: media partners, nonprofits, businesses, foundations, human service agencies and generous community donors. 

It’s a community coming together to help those on the edge of homelessness in Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto and Charlotte counties.

For every player involved in the campaign, there are benefits:

  • Leveraging of funds through TPF’s $500,000 matching challenge, as well as  resources provided for greater capacity
  • 100% of funds go directly to those who need it (no administration fees)
  • Real-time impact with donations
  • Community collaboration
  • Everyone can be a philanthropist (in 2011 75% of donations were under $100)
  • …and just doing the right thing...

The Season of Sharing campaign encompasses all of these, and more.

This community-wide fundraising collaboration, founded by the Herald-Tribune Media Group in 2000 and administered by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County (CFSC), has for the past three years exceeded the $1.5 million donation mark. TPF first partnered with Season of Sharing in 2009. Every year since, TPF has matched up to $500,000 and helped inspire unprecedented public generosity.

This season, it resulted in $1.7 million, a record breaking amount in the SoS campaign’s history! With 12 human service agencies working with SoS in distributing the funds to those who need it most, and who need it now!

When you have local media – who on an average day are in competitive mode with one another - come together and bring their expertise for the greater good of a community, word and accolades spread like wildfire! One example is The Observer Group’s First Place Award (Community Service Award, Promotional), one of 17 awards they won, in the international 2011 Editorial Contest for their SoS coverage.

As TPF’s President and CEO Debra Jacobs shared, “…everybody can still be successful in their business but can come together (to help the community).”

On CFSC’s website, the real-life stories of those whose lives have been touched, and literally transformed, by Season of Sharing brings a heartfelt impact to a donor’s pledge. Like the family of five who lived in a car for a month and now have a home again, or the mother of two escaping domestic violence to start a new life.

This collaboration goes further than our “sandbox.” Its success continues to inspire others across the country to see what’s possible and “what can be” through partnering and leveraging of funds for community transformation. It’s a testament to the boundless public generosity and willingness to share that resides in all of us.

Yes, indeed…isn’t it wonderful to know the heart of philanthropy still beats strong, in fact even stronger during these tough economic times?


  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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