Nonprofits Gear Up for 2016 Challenge



The biggest philanthropy event for the region is just two weeks away, and foundation leaders right now are encouraging nonprofits participating in the Giving Challenge to gear up campaigns. More than $15 million has been raised in the last four years for nonprofits through the giving event, and officials for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County say they expect to break records once again when the 2016 Giving Challenge kicks off at noon on September 20.

“Not only does this event provide much-needed support for local nonprofits, it also gives them the opportunity to share the impact of their mission through focused communication and donor outreach, resulting in new donors and more revenue to support their missions,” says Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation.

More than 550 organizations in the four-county region—Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto—will participate this year. The concept of the challenge is to have the organization engage in a friendly competition to raise as much funding in 24 hours as possible. The challenge will end at noon on September 21. In addition to honoring the organizations raising the most money, there will also be prizes awarded to nonprofit campaigns for such categories as Best Board Member Engagement and Best Business Partnership. This year, nine grants will be issued by the Manatee Community Foundation and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through the Manatee Millennial Challenge, recognizing the best engagement of Millenial staff, volunteers and donors. 

The Patterson Foundation once again will match donations from new donors two-to-one and returning donors one-to-one (up to $100 per organization). And officials there have been encouraging organizations to employ best practices and creative techniques as the challenge nears. “This open-ended opportunity really allows and encourages organizations to flex their imaginative planning muscles,” says Debra Jacobs, president of The Patterson Foundation.

But since the Gulf Coast giving effort has been the most successful such challenge in the country for several years running, it’s also clear many of the best practices for nonprofits are being developed right here. And since part of the challenge is the creation of an up-to-date database with The Giving Partner, it encourages nonprofits to be transparent, something that benefits donors year-round.

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