Broadening Challenge Reach



Today marks the return of The Giving Challenge to Southwest Florida, more than a year after Gulf Coast philanthropists showed themselves to be among the most generous in America. Over a 24-hour period beginning at noon today, 449 participating nonprofits will work together to raise funding for a variety of missions, and hopefully connect with new donors. 

Murray Devine, communications project manager for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, said the challenge is done with The Giving Partner and offers a chance to showcase a resource for finding detailed information on the financials, leadership and program offerings of participating organizations.“The Giving Challenge is about celebrating transparency,” Devine said, “but also the fact that with the minimum amount given at $25, it’s also about the collective philanthropy of our community.” 

In 2014, the challenge resulted in $3.12 million being raised. The challenge day last year was held in May concurrent with a Giving Day organized by Kimbia, and Sarasota ended up raising more money than any other community participating in the country. This year, Sarasota leaders opted against holding the day in conjunction with the national event, but only because local nonprofits felt doing an event in September at the start of season made more sense in this region. That could mean a bigger bounty this year, especially as some 100 new nonprofits are participating in the event.

And each of the organizations has been promoting the challenge. Many are partnering with other foundations to boost the quantities. Urbanite Theatre, for example, announced that The Patterson Foundation agreed to match all gifts by new online donors up to $250. The Jazz Club of Sarasota similar announced contributions will be doubled thanks to partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Knight Foundation, Selby Foundation and other groups. 

And many groups stressed the donations were critical to operations. Officials with the Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office, which is participating in the Challenge for the first time and also has matching grants promised through Patterson, say the donations help make workshops, educational panels and other services funded by small development grants possible. 

The event begins today at noon and continues through noon of Wednesday. Visit to learn more.

The Giving Challenge

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