• Past Initiatives

    Past Initiatives

    Since 2009, The Patterson Foundation's journey through our initiatives has informed future work and our approach to philanthropy.
    Learn more about our past initiatives:

Advancing Mission Thrivability

Advancing Mission Thrivability was 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 were 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 had the chance to receive 1:1 consulting support from No Margin, No Mission.

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.

Aging Mastery Program®

Developed by the National Council on Aging, the Aging Mastery Program® offers community-based organizations a clear path to engage and strengthen the physical, financial, and emotional wellness of older adults through an innovative education program.

Aging with Dignity and Independence

To honor the legacy of Dorothy Patterson, who remained independent as she aged, The Patterson Foundation worked with SCOPE and USF Sarasota-Manatee on the Aging with Dignity and Independence initiative. During this collaboration, the organizations explored aging in our Florida community and presented findings to local officials and organizations and at state and national conferences.

Arthritis Foundation – Florida Chapter

The Patterson Foundation collaborated with the Arthritis Foundation – Florida Chapter to inspire philanthropy statewide by using technology, communications, and strategic consulting resources. Nearly $1.7 million was generated for vital research and education programs that improve the quality of life for people with arthritis while honoring the legacy of Dorothy Patterson, who lived with arthritis.

Aspirations Journalism

Through a partnership between journalism and philanthropy, Aspirations Journalism was 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 focused on motivating, innovating, and collaborating through the lenses of The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives.

Aspirations to Actions Stepping Forward Book Circles

As an investment in our community through the Aspirations to Actions Initiative, The Patterson Foundation brought Rich Harwood back to the region to discuss his new book, Stepping Forward. In conjunction with the author’s visit, The Patterson Foundation supported registered Book Circles throughout Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

Bringing Science Home

By understanding, creating solutions, and teaching others about life with diabetes, Bringing Science Home improved the lives of people with chronic conditions and those who care about them.

Caregiver Connect

Working with Share the Care, a nonprofit organization that provides community-based support for family caregivers, The Patterson Foundation explored new ways to connect caregivers with needed resources. The Caregiver Connect initiative yielded valuable lessons about financial thrivability and planning that continue to enrich other endeavors.

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.

Clawback Recovery Challenge

Through no fault of their own, several organizations in Sarasota County, Florida, were unexpectedly affected by a clawback of funds. The Clawback Recovery Challenge helped those organizations raise funds through a recovery plan without disrupting their vital work in the community.

Collaborative Partnering

The Collaborative Partnering initiative provided to nonprofits technical assistance that promoted connecting in innovative ways and encouraged learning successful approaches to collaborate, merge, or operate more effectively.

Collaboratory at Ringling College of Art and Design

At the Collaboratory — a first-of-its-kind experience at an art school nationwide — Ringling College of Art and Design students put their skills to work in a professional setting by providing businesses and brands with creative, innovative, and relevant solutions.

COVID-19 Response

At the dawn of the new decade, COVID-19 emerged as an unprecedented disaster that disrupted individuals, organizations, and communities near and far. The Patterson Foundation worked with community advocates across Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties to inform and engage people around preventing COVID-19 and the precautions necessary to achieve a healthy, thriving Suncoast.


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

Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life

The Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life initiative explored the realities of this phenomenon by connecting with experts and efforts underway to understand its effects. As it learned from their research and experience, The Patterson Foundation aspired to share its findings in various ways, including the creation of a repository of science-based, easily accessible data on rising water levels in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

Honoring & Onward

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

HundredX Pilot Project

The Patterson Foundation piloted a project to connect regional nonprofits with HundredX's Express Feedback for Good™ program. HundredX is a mission-based data and analytics company. In its desire to help nonprofit organizations within its business model, HundredX created the Express Feedback for Good™ program. Through the program, nonprofit organizations can generate funding by inviting stakeholders to answer a brief series of strategic questions to aid consumer research. As a pilot, the foundation offered this opportunity to organizations that previously worked within its Nonprofit Thrivability initiative to explore how this might evolve into a proven model nonprofits in the region can use.

Legacy of Valor

Through 100 community partnerships over 13 months, our caring community rallied around the more than 100,000 veterans and their families who live and work in Southwest Florida during the Legacy of Valor campaign. This enthusiasm lives on at Patriot Plaza as our community uses the space to honor veterans and their stories for generations to come.

National Council on Aging

Each day the National Council on Aging works to improve older adults’ health and economic security by bringing together the nation’s leading organizations to create alliances and partnerships to achieve a society in which each of us, as we age, lives with dignity, purpose, and security. As an enterprise funder, The Patterson Foundation supports the National Council on Aging’s mission as a national thought leader, and locally, The Patterson Foundation works with External Stakeholders to strengthen the lives of older adults in Florida’s Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

New Media Journalism

To honor the Patterson family's legacy in the journalism industry and bolster the flow of information that is essential to democracy, The Patterson Foundation worked with Knight Digital Media Center to support a business-mentoring program for community news organizations. The initiative included creating an online platform that community journalists used to share ideas and discuss new concepts about the profession.

Recoding Organizational DNA

The Patterson Foundation developed Recoding Organizational DNA as a way for organizations to address complex community issues — such as homelessness — through a series of labs to help transition agencies to engaging, system-centric, and outcome-measured organizations.

Sarasota County Health Safety Net System of Care Collaboration

This collaboration continues to bring local healthcare providers together to address the challenges of providing health care for uninsured and underinsured individuals in Sarasota County, Florida.

Self-Management Alliance

Managing one’s own healthcare, especially multiple chronic conditions, is essential in order to stem increasing healthcare costs in America. The Patterson Foundation participated in the Self-Management Alliance, a tri-sector collaboration created by the National Council on Aging that explored how self-managed care might be approached to improve health.


The SPIRE CoLab was a partnership between philanthropy and journalism to inspire communities to take action through solutions journalism, which focuses on responses to social issues.

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