Giving Challenge boosted by $2.9 million match from The Patterson Foundation

Giving Challenge boosted by $2.9 million match from The Patterson Foundation

Posted on September 03, 2015 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation

It’s no surprise that the 2015 Giving Challenge successfully harnessed our community’s generosity on a grand scale – as it has done consistently since 2012. What made this year’s event so remarkable was the scope of what this caring community achieved: nearly $6.7 million raised over 24 hours for 449 nonprofits throughout the region -- making it the highest grossing Giving Day in Florida’s history!

This year, The Patterson Foundation is contributing $2.9 million in matching donations to the 2015 Giving Challenge, which saw more than 27,000 unique donors provide over 36,000 gifts to organizations making a difference in our region.

The beauty of philanthropy

Donors have no shortage of ways to contribute to causes they support. The options to engage are as diverse as the variety of missions carried out by nonprofits in our region. From caring for animals and promoting the arts among our youth to funding life-changing research and preserving the environment -- the beauty of philanthropy is in the freedom of choice and the freedom to honor one’s passions.The power of the Giving Challenge lies in how it amplifies the voices of hundreds of unique organizations listed on The Giving Partner for 24 hours of impact.

From 2012 to 2014, The Patterson Foundation invested $1.2 million total to bring the Giving Challenge and The Giving Partner to the region. In previous Giving Challenges, which are administered by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, The Patterson Foundation contributed matches capped at predetermined amounts. Along the way, we’ve learned how enthusiastic donors were about these matches – we saw matches of nearly half a million dollars expended in as little as seven minutes!

Building long-term capacity

This year, The Patterson Foundation chose a matching model that would encourage donations throughout the entire 24 hours while introducing donors to causes beyond those they supported during last year’s event. All new online donations were matched dollar for dollar up to $250 per donor, per organization -- that’s with no cap on the final match.

Additionally, The Patterson Foundation provided $35,000 in prizes for organizations that cultivated the highest totals of new online donors. Those organizations included:

Small Organizations

Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association - $10,000 prize

Urbanite Theatre - $5,000 prize

Loving Hands Ministries - $2,500 prize

Large Organizations

Honor Sanctuary - $10,000 prize

Cat Depot - $5,000 prize

Phelan McDermid Syndrome Foundation - $2,500 prize

The response was tremendous. More than $1.3 million in donations to be matched were contributed within the first six hours alone, eclipsing our cumulative investment for the previous three years combined! Organizations continued to use creative outreach strategies and campaigns – some months in the making – to educate and mobilize new donors for the remainder of the event period, prompting the $2.83 million total.

While the financial impact is noticeable, the long-term benefits of the match holds an even greater potential value: the opportunity for these mission-driven organizations to build lasting relationships with new donors garnered during the Giving Challenge.

Inspiring incentives and a powerful outcome

The Patterson Foundation’s new-donor contribution was one of many incentives available during the Giving Challenge. Donors who gave to nonprofits they supported previously were eligible for additional prizes from other Giving Challenge partners, motivating longtime proponents of these causes to continue their support.

Online leaderboards and imaginative engagement on social media sparked further donations. Early analysis shows that seasoned Giving Challenge organizations benefited with 70 percent of contributions coming from donors who did not support them in last year’s Giving Challenge.

The Giving Challenge, which has generated more than $14 million total for nonprofits in our region over the past four years, demonstrates how change is possible when many unique charitable efforts are promoted through a cohesive movement and using a national model of informed giving.

Follow The Giving Partner on Facebook and Twitter for additional highlights from the 2015 Giving Challenge.

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