• Current Initiatives

    Current Initiatives

    The Patterson Foundation encourages connecting and collaboration to strengthen people, organizations, and communities.
    Learn more about our current initiatives:

    (Access the PDF file of the entire "Current Initiatives at a Glance" overview to download it.)


Advancing Mission Thrivability is an opportunity presented by The Patterson Foundation for regional nonprofits to learn a mission-centric, economically informed approach to decision-making for their programs, products, and services. Participating organizations are introduced to this decision-making approach over a series of online learning opportunities led by No Margin, No Mission, a national consulting firm and social enterprise. Following the online sessions, organizations with demonstrated interest, opportunity, and preparedness to dive deeper into the work have the chance to receive 1:1 consulting support from No Margin, No Mission.

Advancing Philanthropic Leadership

Aspiring philanthropic leaders have the opportunity to catalyze innovations to strengthen people, organizations, and communities around the world. While the potential for these innovations is vast, harnessing it takes leaders who have the willingness, capacity, and foresight to drive long-term change — ones able to create a shared vision within their organization while engaging and collaborating across sectors to achieve our shared aspirations. Investing in nonprofit leadership development is an effective way to equip the next generation at the helm of our vital nonprofits and foundations with the experience, approach, and skills necessary to guide their organizations toward positive outcomes.

Age-Friendly Sarasota

Age-Friendly Sarasota is a countywide effort in Florida to promote active, engaged, and healthy living for people of all ages. Sarasota County is the first community in Florida to be recognized as an age-friendly community by AARP and the World Health Organization (WHO) and is part of a global network. AFS has developed a comprehensive sustainability plan by addressing WHO's 8 Domains of Livability. This action plan is currently in its implementation phase.

Aspirations Journalism

Through a partnership between journalism and philanthropy, Aspirations Journalism is an initiative to share information and engage communities through stories that encourage people to be part of the solution and take action. While examining relevant social issues, Aspirations Journalism focuses on motivating, innovating, and collaborating through the lenses of The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives.

Aspirations to Actions

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that teaches and coaches people and organizations to solve pressing issues and change how communities work together. Using this institute’s approach, Aspirations to Actions provides opportunities for teams in Florida’s Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties to learn and apply time-tested and proven techniques to evolve community dialogue into positive actions in order to achieve aspirations within the region.

Census 2020 Education

Every ten years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States, known as the census. This information is used to allocate annually distributed federal funds based on each community’s population. Each community across the country must be accurately counted to ensure that they receive the funds needed to support critical programs such as public education, healthcare, and housing.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) prioritizes its work on the recovery and risk reduction phases of disasters. The Patterson Foundation strengthens CDP’s efforts to be a resource to the philanthropic community by connecting the organization with others and by providing capacity-building support that enhances the organization’s ability to provide timely and relevant advice from experts with in-depth knowledge of disaster philanthropy.

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 is an unprecedented disaster that has disrupted individuals, organizations and communities near and far. As our world continues to come to terms with the reality of the pandemic, it will continue to face unforeseen challenges. While there is much uncertainty through which to navigate, The Patterson Foundation aspires to work with partners to help those who find themselves still coping as we explore new opportunities to innovate and shape our next normal.

Digital Access for All

Digital Access for All explores the efforts of multiple sectors working to enhance access to technology that connects people in ways that foster inclusion and well-being.


Compelling research shows that experiential learning and hands-on exploration are two of the most beneficial ways for increasing student engagement and sustained learning. These authentic learning experiences teach students in a way that strengthens their ability to retain information and make connections.

Giving Challenge

The Patterson Foundation supports strengthened giving during the Giving Challenge by providing matching funding and prizes that encourage people to be generous. Building awareness about The Giving Partner — an online tool providing comprehensive and in-depth information — and encouraging the tool’s use strengthens philanthropy in Florida’s Charlotte, Desoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties by helping donors make informed decisions. With the minimum gift amount set at $25, the Giving Challenge, held over a 24-hour period, furthers the idea that anyone can be a philanthropist.

Honoring & Onward

Honoring & Onward is a celebration of The Patterson Foundation’s decade of impact through people, organizations, and communities while continuing to connect, learn, share, evolve, and strengthen its efforts to realize shared aspirations.

Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Partnerships: Continuing Education for Early to Mid-Career Professionals

Philanthropic leaders have the power to chart a sustainable course for their organizations toward lasting impact. Beyond on-the-job experience and practice, continuing education opportunities offer a dedicated platform for these professionals to evolve their approach to leadership and change-making, resulting in stronger futures for their mission, organization, and community.

Margin & Mission Ignition

By engaging No Margin, No Mission, a national consulting firm and social enterprise, The Patterson Foundation is igniting interest in earned-income possibilities. Margin & Mission Ignition (MMI) is an initiative where nonprofits who have demonstrated leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture are invited to undertake a 30-month rigorous business-planning, implementation, and coaching process that builds thrivability and strengthens their organization in countless ways.


Partnering with the world’s largest nonprofits and with technology innovators across the globe, NetHope is a catalyst for productive collaboration, innovation, and problem-solving to reimagine how technology can improve our world. Through catalytic funding, The Patterson Foundation supports NetHope’s information communications technology responses to disasters worldwide. The Patterson Foundation works with NetHope to improve information sharing and data-management strategies between NGOs, communities, and governments in locations around the world affected by disasters.

Patriot Plaza

In 2014, through a first-of-its-kind partnership, The Patterson Foundation donated Patriot Plaza — a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery in Florida — to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Patterson Foundation connects the community, including schools in Charlotte, Desoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, with Patriot Plaza by working with the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, which facilitates Patriot Plaza Tours and EdExploreSRQ EdExplorations. The Patterson Foundation realized that the primary concern for educators when selecting any EdExploration is transportation funding. As a result, The Patterson Foundation began funding these field trips to Patriot Plaza for any school in the four-county area.

Season of Sharing

Season of Sharing is a partnership between the Herald-Tribune Media Group and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County that inspires the caring community to donate to help families in Florida’s Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties who are on the verge of homelessness. Season of Sharing provides individuals and families with the critical assistance they need to get back on their feet and stay in their homes, covering emergency expenses like medical bills, rent, child care, and transportation. Each year, The Patterson Foundation provides unique matching opportunities to spur further displays of generosity from community donors throughout Season of Sharing by strengthening the impact of their gifts.

Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a four-county effort in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties to help children from birth through 3rd grade, especially those from asset-limited families, succeed in life by ensuring they read on grade level. Part of a nationwide movement, the region is focused on addressing the most common issues and obstacles that impact a child’s ability to read through five solutions areas: school readiness, attendance, summer learning, family engagement, and health determinants.

Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition

The Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC) is a regional coalition made up of representatives from major healthcare organizations, schools educating nurses, and community members in Florida’s Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. The grassroots group is working with the Florida Action Coalition to develop resources and help implement recommendations from the 2010 Institute of Medicine report entitled The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which recommends increasing the percentage of BSN-prepared nurses to 80 percent and doubling the number of nurses with doctorates in the United States by the year 2020 to positively influence the outcomes of patients in the nation.

The Bay

Fifty-three acres of bayfront in Sarasota, Florida, are designated for legacy development. The Patterson Foundation initially supported the work of this multi-sector community strengthening effort by providing expertise to the team of volunteers who developed the framework to create the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization. Following the positive response from Sarasota City Commissioners in 2016, The Patterson Foundation expanded its support by providing catalytic funding and consulting support benefiting the planning organization’s formation and work. With its continuing interest in helping the community achieve its aspirations through The Bay, the foundation has engaged a consultant to provide strategic expertise to the master-planning process.

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