2020 Giving Challenge Soars Past Adversity to Reach New Heights

2020 Giving Challenge Soars Past Adversity to Reach New Heights

Posted on April 30, 2020 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation
Over $19 million raised by nearly 700 nonprofit organizations from 58,947 unique donors. Pause for a moment and allow the magnitude of those numbers to sweep over you. Your thoughts might soon return to those of the pandemic-focused reality those staggering numbers blocked out, if ever so briefly. Now remind yourself that this monumental impact was generated amid the backdrop of that same pandemic. I hope you’ll find — as we at The Patterson Foundation have found — your spirits noticeably lifted to heights long unreached.

Those of you following our blog and social media — or anyone connected to one of the hundreds of nonprofits listed on The Giving Partner, for that matter — are well aware of the excitement and enthusiasm surrounding each iteration of the Giving Challenge, presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The Patterson Foundation has supported each iteration of this 24-hour celebration of our caring region and its equally caring nonprofits, contributing to a wide range of matches and prizes offered by other donors, including Manatee Community Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and Charlotte County Community Foundation. The incentive of a cap-less match for unique donations up to $100 and $51,000 in prizes for the organizations that garner the highest totals of those donations during the 2020 Giving Challenge exemplifies The Patterson Foundation’s focus on strengthening people, organizations, and community by fostering widespread participation.

The COVID-19 pandemic made the 2020 Giving Challenge’s immense potential for widespread good all the more vital, as our invaluable nonprofit organizations adapt to today’s reality while continuing their missions and serving our community amid ever-changing circumstances. With so many nonprofit staff and donors living day in and day out in the safety of their homes, this digitally focused event afforded an exceptional way to strengthen nonprofit futures during a time when our capacity for more direct support is hindered by the demands of this public health crisis. While that might give rise to tempered expectations and concerns over the ability of donors and organizations to seize this opportunity during a time of unprecedented hardship, The Patterson Foundation held firm to its belief in the resiliency of their generous spirit and creative approach toward making new connections while strengthening existing ones through the event.

The 2020 Giving Challenge’s record-breaking total of $19.1 million — generated through the $10.9 million contributed by 58,947 unique donors and nearly $7.5 million in matching dollars from The Patterson Foundation — emphatically affirms that belief. The hours of collective effort committed by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the nonprofits were strengthened by The Patterson Foundation’s contribution to activate our region’s vibrant generosity gene. The innovative outreach of the 686 participating nonprofits and the unwavering commitment of our caring community combined to fuel the most successful Giving Challenge in our region’s history!

While COVID-19 will continue to create obstacles as well as opportunities for the nonprofits in our region, their tireless efforts and steadfast dedication to doing good makes them uniquely poised to identify and meet both head-on. Thanks to our caring community, they now have $19.1 million in unrestricted dollars to strengthen their capacity as they see fit toward fulfilling their missions and the aspirations of those they serve. With this latest total, The Patterson Foundation has now contributed more than $23 million over nearly a decade in collaborative support for these nonprofits. The informed risk of this commitment continues to be offset by the impact we’ve witnessed these organizations generate through this support in previous years. Now, as we each have a hand in creating our next normal, The Patterson Foundation looks forward to the good this support will help our nonprofits create for our region.

The impact of the 2020 Giving Challenge, combined with our region’s enthusiastic contribution to the more than $2 million raised in less than one month to the reactivated Season of Sharing campaign — representing upwards of 60,000 generous donors total — serves as an invigorating source of light at a time when many are searching for one. The generous spirit behind the success of both efforts is as much a part of our region as the arts & cultural offerings and natural beauty we are known for worldwide. The Patterson Foundation and I invite the world to find strength and hope in what our caring community has achieved during these inspiring 24 hours.

Comments (5)

  • Kim Bailey

    Kim Bailey

    30 April 2020 at 11:39 | #

    Feeding Empty Little Tummies is so grateful to participate in the Giving Challenge. Not only did we raise much needed funding, we raised awareness of the great needs in our community. We are so blessed to live in a community that has empathy for others - especially homeless and food insecure children.??❤️??


  • Suzy Brenner

    Suzy Brenner

    30 April 2020 at 13:33 | #

    How lucky we are on the Gulf Coast to have a visionary like Debra Jacobs at the helm of The Patterson Foundation. This year's Giving Challenge could not have come at a better time! And the match is that little extra incentive that - for many people - turns 'I'll think about it' into 'I'm so glad I gave!'


  • Sue Seiter

    Sue Seiter

    02 May 2020 at 08:35 | #

    Thank you, Debra and Patterson Foundation, for your outstanding and unfailing belief in the generosity of our community! The Library Foundation has participated in the Giving Challenge since the beginning - and this was our most successful year yet, both in dollars raised and number of donors.

    We made a 180 degree pivot in our campaign focus less than four weeks before the Challenge and can now make a much-needed emergency grant to our libraries to help meet the 49% increase in demand for online resources during the COVID crisis.

    Thank you, Patterson Foundation for being one one to make all this goodness possible!


  • Cheryl Johnson

    Cheryl Johnson

    01 June 2020 at 12:37 | #

    The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch send a big THANK YOU to the Patterson Foundation for their generosity and their reassurance that the Challenge should go on. We were overwhelmed by the out pouring of donations for all the non profits, proving that people do come together during difficult times! Thank you for making this all possible!


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