On April 28-29, our entire local nonprofit community took part in an online 24-hour giving event connecting nearly 700 nonprofit organizations with donors to support diverse causes in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties.
The Giving Challenge has been held seven times since 2012, but this year was different. Never before has the event called our community's generosity to action in a global pandemic, amidst job losses on a scale not seen since the Great Depression.
Considering the injurious effects of unemployment and public health concerns, a timid philanthropic showing would have been understandable. But it turns out, quite the opposite occurred. The 2020 Giving Challenge saw a stunning 57% increase in fundraising, compared to the last Challenge in 2018.
This entire initiative is thanks to two of our region's largest foundations. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County hosts, markets, researches, trains nonprofits, and is the fiscal home of the event. The Patterson Foundation provides the key overall incentive to inspire giving with an incredible dollar-for-dollar match for all unique donors giving under $100. This year, that match puts The Patterson Foundation's commitment over $8 million.
As for Glasser/Schoenbaum's commitment, we made a decision to dedicate all funds raised from the Giving Challenge to directly support the 19 tenant partner agencies on our campus (see our event page here). Our Shapiro Memorial Fund provides a $1,000 grant to each agency for any mission-related expense they need. In the past, we have seen these dollars go to specific needs like school supplies for clients, but also to needs that are harder to fund with restricted grants and donations: technology fees, marketing assets, professional development.
Recently, a survey was conducted to assess nonprofits' needs in relation to the COVID-19 crisis. The survey found that an alarming 46% of our local health and human services nonprofits have three months or less in operating reserves. This striking statistic throws into relief the crucial need to fund nonprofits' general operating expenses with unrestricted dollars.
That's why we couldn't have been more pleased during those exciting 24 hours, as we watched our goal met, and then surpassed, reaching a total of $25,214!
Some GREAT stats:
- 147 unique donors
- $14,332 in individual donations
- $10,882 eligible in matches by The Patterson Foundation
- 126% of our total matched goal was met, equal to $25,214
- $575,209.21 collectively raised by all agencies on the campus
We're grateful to our community, our donors, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, The Patterson Foundation, and all of those who supported our agencies in so many generous and creative ways. We are so proud to see that when put to the test, our community is strong, agile, and caring.