Crowdfunding Compassion

Guest Correspondence

BY ROXIE JERDE SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY AUG 1, 2015

Isn’t it exciting to live in a time when people from around the world have never been more connected? Thanks to advances in technology, smart minds from all walks of life and locations are sharing ideas, opinions, current events and money at an astounding rate.

If you’ve opened up a web browser in the last year or two, it’s hard to miss “crowdfunding” dedicated to charitable endeavors in action—people coming together to make something “big” possible with a collection of smaller donations, making it possible for anyone in the world to feel that they can improve the human condition. A variety of websites and online platforms have opened up for people to contribute to diverse causes—whether they are close to home or somewhere across the globe.

This model especially embraces Millennials and those who have smaller resources to give, while also leveraging social sharing and awareness building as capital. At the heart of it, crowdfunding fuels the “everybody can be a philanthropist” spirit that we love at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County!  

While it’s a beautiful thing that so many people are being connected to multiple causes around the globe through crowdfunding, it can be easy to forget about the needs in our own backyard. Local Giving Days have sprouted up all across the nation to bring the focus back home and still keep the tradition of collective philanthropy alive. Hosted by a local community foundation, these powerful 24-hour online fundraising events unite people to raise money for regional charities, spread awareness about local choices in giving and inspire pride in one’s community.

Crowdfunding opens up exciting new avenues for people to give and learn about interests and causes around the world and at home, but it’s important to keep caution in mind.

There are numerous examples of individuals using crowdfunding to exploit good-willed people, giving birth to the term “crowdfrauding.” These crowdfunding platforms don’t offer true insights into what donors are being asked to support. Trust your instincts when you look for information. As with all forms of well-intentioned giving, making your donation to an organization that values and demonstrates transparency will increase the likelihood your dollars will make a difference.

Unique to our community’s Giving Challenge, each qualifying nonprofit has taken many hours to complete and update a profile in The Giving Partner, www.thegivingpartner.org, an online tool that helps you understand the programmatic impact of the organization as well as its leadership, financial history, needs and planning priorities.

Over the last three years, local nonprofits serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties have raised more than $8 million in our region’s own Giving Challenge. That’s an incredible testament to crowdfunding and to the power of the individual donor. Nearly 70 percent of last year’s gifts were $50 or less.

Mark Sept. 1 and 2 from noon to noon on your calendar and join the community movement! The Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation, with support from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, have some special ways you can help your favorite causes double their traction.

SRQ Daily columnist Roxie Jerde is the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Learn more about The Giving Partner here.

« View The Saturday Aug 1, 2015 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

What Will Single Member Districts Really Mean?

Among the litany of issues Sarasota County voters consider this year will be whether to switch to single-member districts when electing county commissioners. It’s fairly easy to see why this inspires sharp partisan divide. Democrats lament no one from the blue team has won a seat on the com

Jacob Ogles | Oct 13, 2018

District 72 Remains Region's Hottest House Race

An unexpected contest and surprising upset this year turned state House District 72 into the center of the political world in February. This November, voters weigh in again, and while the race this time will be one of many in the region, it remains one of the marquis battles in the region.

Jacob Ogles | Sep 22, 2018

Letting Go at Ringling

We have had the great pleasure at Ringling College of Art and Design this past week of welcoming the largest incoming freshman class in the history of our institution. That’s right, over 500 new young people, representing 42 different states and 30 diverse countries, arrived in Sara

Dr. Larry Thompson | Aug 25, 2018

Good and Graham Swinging for Glass Ceiling

As the woman who could become Florida’s first female governor stumped in Sarasota this week, she turned to the region’s biggest Democratic star for a boost. State Rep. Margaret, D-Sarasota, took the stage at the Francis Thursday to throw her personal support behind gubernatorial candi

Jacob Ogles | Jul 28, 2018