News & Updates

News & Updates


News, Updates, and Future Developments of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

2015 Giving Challenge Raises $6.7 Million For Area Nonprofits
By / September 2, 2015

SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s 2015 Giving Challenge has raised $3,844,839 through 36,417 gifts, with an added $2,830,000 in matching funding from The Patterson Foundation. In total, $6,674,614 was raised  to support 449 local organizations located in or serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.

During the 24-hour Giving Challenge, nonprofit organizations encouraged their supporters and the public to make charitable contributions online at, with the minimum gift amount set at only $25.  Of all the gifts, 56% were less than $50. 23% of total gifts were $25. This year The Patterson Foundation matched gifts made by donors who gave to organizations they did not support in last year’s Challenge up to $250. 

"The Giving Challenge continues to demonstrate that lasting impact is attainable through short-term, focused and inspiring efforts,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “Our aspiration is that The Patterson Foundation’s contributions have introduced nonprofits to new donors with whom they can build relationships."

“With over 36,000 gifts, how exciting is it to see that our community demonstrated that everyone can be a philanthropist,” says Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “We are glad that we can provide the opportunity for local organizations to participate in the Giving Challenge, but it is truly the nonprofits, donors, and media partners that make this a truly community owned event. Due to this collective effort, our region has risen to new heights!”


  • Highest grossing Giving Day ever in the state of Florida
  • Average Gift: $105
  • 17% of gifts were exactly $250
  • Organization that received the first gift: Sarasota Christian School - $50
  • Organization that received the last gift: Phelan McDermid Syndrome Foundation - $50
  • 36,417 Gifts from 27,042 Unique Online Donors
  • Last years total gifts was just over 20,000, meaning participation this year was increased by 82% 

$70,000 in grants from partner foundations will also be awarded for the organizations receiving gifts from the highest number of individual donors. 

For months leading up to the Giving Challenge, participating local nonprofits laid the groundwork by working with their staff and board members to develop fun, informative, and moving campaigns to rally support from the community. Organizations shared stories, photos, and videos about the impact they are making in the areas they serve, and many created new relationships within the nonprofit community, with the business community and with numerous media outlets to enhance their efforts as well.

Local organizations that participated in the Giving Challenge all made a commitment to transparency by having published profiles in The Giving Partner, an online tool that helps donors make informed decisions by providing comprehensive and in-depth information on an organization’s needs, programs, financial history, governance and management structure. 

The 2015 Giving Challenge is made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation with support from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Manatee Community Foundation.

For more information, contact Susie Bowie, Vice President of Philanthropic Education and Marketing at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, at (941) 556-7104.

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Community Foundation of Sarasota County

2635 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota FL 34237
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