• FAQs

    Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to view its answer. If you have specific questions about an initiative, please visit that initiative's page on our website.

What is The Patterson Foundation?

The Patterson Foundation is a fully endowed charitable entity. Dorothy Patterson, the foundation’s benefactor, entrusted direction and decision making to those who worked with her and the foundation’s leaders who would follow.

What does The Patterson Foundation do and what is its focus?

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address mutual aspirations, foster wide participation, and encourage learning and sharing.

We would be delighted to make a presentation about The Patterson Foundation at one of your organization's upcoming meetings or events. Please fill out the Speaker Request Form, and we will contact you within two business days of receiving your completed form.

How does The Patterson Foundation approach its work?

The Patterson Foundation believes that philanthropy strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities. Strong communities thrive in the face of adversity and work together to achieve shared aspirations. That is why we focus on helping people engage with each other, providing expertise, encouraging learning, and sharing promising practices.

We encourage you to find out more about our approach.

How does The Patterson Foundation allocate its resources?

Rather than having grant cycles, The Patterson Foundation invests in strengthening communities. Support through the thoughtful use of assets takes time and intention. That is why we focus on helping people engage with each other, providing expertise, encouraging learning, and sharing promising practices.

While we do not accept funding requests or unsolicited proposals from individuals or organizations, opportunities do exist to receive support from community movements and related organizations touched by our initiatives, such as the Giving Challenge, Margin & Mission Ignition, Season of Sharing, Student Emergency Fund, and EdExploreSRQ.

The Patterson Foundation’s future work evolves from existing engagements and initiatives. With more than 10 initiatives at any time, the foundation determines when and where there might be alignment for future endeavors and does not accept requests for new initiatives.

How is The Patterson Foundation set up?

The Patterson Foundation is a fully endowed charitable entity that was established in perpetuity. Northern Trust is the trustee, continuing the business relationship Dorothy Patterson enjoyed during her lifetime. Through the leadership of the Governing Board, President and CEO Debra Jacobs administers the foundation.

Who is the “Patterson” of The Patterson Foundation?

The source of The Patterson Foundation’s funds can be traced back through four generations of the Patterson family to Joseph Medill, who became the owner of the Chicago Tribune in 1855. The foundation’s benefactor is Dorothy Clarke Patterson, the wife of Medill’s great-grandson James J. Patterson.

How large is The Patterson Foundation?

After Dorothy Patterson’s estate was settled in 2009, The Patterson Foundation’s endowment grew to more than $200 million.

Where is The Patterson Foundation located?

The foundation is based in Sarasota, Florida:
2 N. Tamiami Trail
Suite 206
Sarasota, Florida 34236

How can I contact The Patterson Foundation?

Begin by exploring this website, which has extensive information for those interested in learning more about our approach and work. Learn more about how to connect with us.

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