The Giving Challenge 2020 Reached New Heights in Yesterday's Final Tally

The Giving Coast

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY APR 30, 2020

The Giving Challenge, a unique 24-hour virtual giving event hosted by The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, in partnership with the Patterson Foundation, helps local charities raise funds for the valuable services they provide. Even amidst an uncertain economic downturn, our philanthropic community of avid donors responded with true resiliency, passion and support," says Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. Consequently, the event reached remarkable final results as of noon yesterday: 

58,497 local donors. 687 nonprofit beneficiaries. $10.9 million community raised funds. $7.5 million match from The Patterson Foundation. Early total (not including additional prizes) = $18.4 million. 

From day one, the annual 24-hour giving event online supports fundamental causes from pets, nature and the arts, to the hungry and homeless across Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto and Charlotte Counties. Now in its seventh year running, it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. Jerde noted that the date for The Giving Challenge 2020 was set well over a year ago, but ironically landed in the middle of a pandemic. “As we face this road, we all know it’ll be awhile coming out of this, so this fusion of unrestricted cash these organizations are going to receive is really going to be critical for our nonprofit sector to thrive," she says. 

"We continue to be inspired and proud by our region’s inherent generosity, now more than ever, as these gifts will provide a vital lifeline and much-needed flexibility for our nonprofit partners as we move forward together to address our community’s evolving needs."

With dramatic changes happening globally, even those who are currently unemployed and disrupted in their lives, still stepped up and to give $25. “Givers got to give,” says Debra Jacobs of The Patterson Foundation. “The generosity gene is beaming all over the place.” Across the board, small but meaningful gifts added up to culminate in milestone numbers. Every year it is something meaningful, but it is especially meaningful this year. “When people say, ‘People aren't going to give during a pandemic,’ sorry, but we can prove you wrong, time and time again,” says Jacobs.  

With over 60,000 people coming together collectively—and the infrastructure of the Giving Challenge that the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation have built—the ability to become a part of the #BeTheOne momentum, watching the virtual leaderboard change by the second, it’s easy to see how almost $19 million was raised to make sure our region not only survives, but thrives. “Talk about a ray of hope, a ray of sunshine,” says Jerde. “It’s just a testament to where we live and how much we care.”

Top to Bottom: Debra Jacobs of The Patterson Foundation, Roxie Jerde of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and Judi Gallagher, Livestream Host, celebrate the announcement of the grand total.

Check out the final Leaderboard for The Giving Challenge 2020 here.

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