Philanthropy's secret sauce? Transparency and Community Synergy.

Philanthropy's secret sauce? Transparency and Community Synergy.

Posted on November 26, 2012 by Nancy Henry, office manager for The Patterson Foundation

It's a stellar combination of partnering, leveraging, communicating, and learning that resulted in transformational GIVING this past spring. It's what happened during The Giving Partner's first 36-hour challenge to uplift the  nonprofit sector and encourage informed philanthropy in the Sarasota region.

During Southwest Florida's first giving event, the community raised more than $2.4 million - and broke many records, too.

Here's a look at how our community came together to make this a success.

1) Support and collaboration from foundations

We (The Patterson Foundation) were happy to partner with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Manatee Community Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation - all providing resources in various capacities to bring The Giving Partner, an online site to inform and engage donors and share information about nonprofits in our community, to Sarasota. The Patterson Foundation issued a dollar-for-dollar match to help spur donations early on in the challenge.

2) Media Support 

With generous support from print and broadcast media, awareness for the challenge sky-rocketed. We are so fortunate they are so generous with supporting events that uplift our community!

3) Nonprofits and Donors

Both nonprofits and community donors alike got creative when it came to rallying support and donations during the challenge, which included several "prize" incentives and a match from The Patterson Foundation.

The $2.4 million raised by the end of the exhilarating 36 hours was the highest ever raised in the U.S., according to DonorEdge, the makers of the web platform. The Sarasota region even raised more than San Diego - a city five times our size.

The number of donations processed - 10,704 - was also the largest number in a single giving event with more than 70,000 unique page views. Since The Giving Partner's launch, there have been more than 50,000 visits to the site. Here are some more highlights in The Giving Partner's Report.

But behind these amazing results and community support was the incredibly intuitive web platform that made it possible. Quick, easy, fun (yes, I said “fun”!) and open for access 24/7. You can search for an organization by name, or by focus/mission. With more than 200  profiles (and growing!) now on the website, you’ll be sure to find one or more that personally resonates with you. Create an account and save your favorite nonprofits, which are then displayed on your home page for quick reference…and easy giving.

If you haven’t visited the website yet, each profile’s information is clearly displayed and at your fingertips. You'll find financials, 990’s, overviews, program details, mission statement, board information, etc. Documentation for every profile posted has been verified by CFSC, with the ultimate goal of helping you, the donor, make an informed decision.

The 36-Hour Giving Challenge is a true embodiment of how TPF carries out it work - through technology, financial thrivability and communication.


• Profile transparency, 24 hour access and ease of use to TGP’s online web-platform assisted donors in making informed decisions

• A unique foundation partnership that resulted in deep community impact, through innovative financial leveraging (ie. TPF’s matching challenge, which was a first for this type of an online event!)

• Embracing technology and building connections through social media and strategic communications for philanthropic good!

Combined with the collaboration that happened on so many levels, this two-day philanthropic extravaganza exceeded all expectations and has prompted TPF to support next year’s challenge!

Whether it’s your first time, or as a returning TGP philanthropist, we hope you’ll participate in the 2013 36-Hour Giving Challenge”on March 5-6 and make it another record-breaking giving event!

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


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