News & Updates

News & Updates


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

2016 Giving Challenge Raises $13.4 Million for Area Nonprofits
By / September 21, 2016
2016 Giving Challenge Raises $13.4 Million for Area Nonprofits

SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s 2016 Giving Challenge has raised more than $5.6 million through 63,567 gifts, with an added $7.5 million in matching funding from The Patterson Foundation. More than $200,000 in grant prizes from partner foundations will be awarded to the organizations receiving gifts from the highest number of individual donors, organizations with the highest total of returning dollars and the highest total of new dollars, and a variety of other “Best Of” prizes. In total, $13,386,909 was raised to support 559 local organizations located in or serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties on Sept 20 & 21, noon to noon.

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 t he gifts, 49% were less than $50. 23% of total gifts were $25. This year, The Patterson Foundation is incentivizing donations from both new donors –individuals who did not donate to a particular organization during the 2015 Giving Challenge – and returning donors – individuals who did support a particular organization during the 2015 Giving Challenge. This opportunity encourages organizations to engage new online donors as well as loyal returning supporters during this year’s event. The Patterson Foundation will provide support in two ways:

  • A 2:1 match for each new online donor’s contributions – up to $100 per donor, per organization.
  • A 1:1 match for each returning donor’s contributions – up to $100 per donor, per organization.

“The response from donors during these 24 hours was fantabulous, and it is a testament to the hard work and outreach efforts of the regional nonprofits that participated in the 2016 Giving Challenge,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “As exciting as it has been to watch these organizations innovate and share their stories, The Patterson Foundation is most eager to witness how the new and renewed connections with donors formed through the Giving Challenge will strengthen their invaluable services in our community.”

“Wow! What an amazing community we call home,” says Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “As foundations and local nonprofits take a larger role in defining a sense of community, belonging, direction, and higher purpose for their region’s citizens, the Giving Challenge has become an essential opportunity to spread the spirit of generosity in our region over the past 24 hours. What a community pride point knowing the impact on so many lives that will be the result of the outpouring of generosity by our community. We truly thank everyone who took the opportunity to be the one to make a difference.”


  • Highest grossing 24-hour Giving Day in all of Florida & the South-Eastern United States
  • Average Gift: $90
  • 42% of gifts were exactly $100
  • Organization that received the first gift: Family Promise of Sarasota - $100
  • Organization that received the last gift: Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School - $100
  • 63,567 Gifts from 45,206 Unique Online Donors
  • Last year's total gifts was just over 36,417, meaning participation this year was increased by 74.55%

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 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.

For more information, contact Murray Devine, Communications Project Manager at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, at (941) 556-7122.

About the Community Foundation: The Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of over $292 million in more than 1,300 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling more than $16 million dollars this past year in the areas of education, health and human services, the arts, animal welfare, and the environment. Since our founding, more than $160 million has been invested back into the community through grants and scholarships. For more information, visit  


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Community Foundation of Sarasota County

2635 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota FL 34237
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