Giving Challenge Sets State Record



The Giving Challenge raised more funds than have been raised in any 24-hour fundraising giving day event conducted by a community in the state of Florida. The effort, spearheaded by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, pulled in an excess of $6.67 million from some 36,417 gifts made between noon Tuesday and noon Wednesday, according to preliminary estimates.

That includes roughly $2.7 million in matching funds given out by The Patterson Foundation, according to Susie Bowie, vice president for Philanthropic Education and Marketing for the Community Foundation. She said the numbers may in fact go up as more late donations are calculated into the final total. Bowie also noted that the money was raised through small donations—the average value of the gifts was $112 and some 56 percent of the donations were for $50 of less. “It makes it really exciting when you can see the power an individual can have,” she said. 

Success for the 449 participating nonprofits was broad and could be measured in different ways. Honor Animal Rescue, for example, raised just over $72,000, but perhaps more importantly was able to raise its donor network by pulling in funding from more than 1,000 donors. And while St. Stephen’s Episcopal School relied on a smaller network of just over 400 donors, they pulled in nearly $79,000. Meanwhile, many first-time participants like Urbanite Theatre, which earned attention with a creative marketing campaigning painting words to describe the new venue on human bodies, benefited from being part of a high-profile event, bringing in more than $32,000 to a fledging operation. A leaderboard at has estimates on number of gifts and on amounts raised, but both of those statistics could increase further as final accounting is completed.

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