Nonprofit Industry Prepares for The Giving Challenge

Todays News

How much money will flow to charities in the region this week? The Community Foundation of Sarasota will host The Giving Challenge once again from noon on Tuesday to Wednesday. During that period of time, some 670 participating organizations in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DoSoto counties will raise unrestricted dollars with the promise of matching funds.

The Giving Challenge has been held seven times before since 2012, during which time more than $59 million has come to area nonprofit organizations.  The last event in 2020 raised $19.1 million in 24 hours. The way the challenge works is that donations of $25 to $100 made through The Giving Challenge online portal will be matched by The Patterson Foundation.

“It’s particularly important because these are unrestricted dollars,” said Mischa Kirby, vice president of strategy and communications for the Community Foudnation of Sarasota. “That provides flexibility for organizations as they need to adapt."

“In 2020, the whole world changed, and if you remember back, people were trying to figure out how to work remotely, to secure PPE or how to keep people employed," says Kirby. "In 2022, it’s been two years but I think the long-term effect everyone was anticipating and looking toward are now here, whether it’s mental health or changes in education or how people work. In 2020, The Giving Challenge helped in a crisis. Now in 2022, The Giving Challenge will help organizations rise to that next new normal.”

A host of organizations have already started promoted the donations and encouraging funds during the event. Theatre Odyssey sent out an email blast promoting its 18th season. “One thing that you may not know is that Theatre Odyssey is completely operated administratively by volunteers,” the email states. “So, all the money we receive from ticket sales, and from donors--all of it--goes to support our mission.”

The Suncoast Humane Society sent out a blast touting the story of a particular adoption. That organization also promised a second match on donations of up to $500 for each unique donor. That means a $500 could result in $1,100 in donations with both the Patterson and Humane Society matches.

Similarly, The Florida Center has an anonymous donor also matching funds between $25 and $100. “Your support can help change the life of a child, like Oliver, who was born with a rare brain disorder that caused him to have partial paralysis on one side of his body. Thanks to you, he has make great progress working with his occupational and mental health therapists,” reads an email from CEO Dr. Kristie Skoglund.

These organizations are just a few working to drive interest and donations during the challenge. Throughout the day, The Giving Challenge will provide updates on new donations and post a leaderboard on those organizations raising the most and doing the greatest goods. Kirby said this year, an addition $250,000 in gifts will be awarded to groups in a range of contests like best use of social media, best commercial and so forth.

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