2020 Giving Challenge Raises $18.4 Million to Support Nearly 700 Nonprofit Organizations

Categories: BELONGING AND CULTURE: Uniting Community, COMMUNITY CARE: Emergency Needs & Disaster Relief, Donors, Giving Challenge, Nonprofits, Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation,

Unrestricted funding raised during the Giving Challenge provides critical flexibility and assistance to nonprofit efforts to address evolving community needs

SARASOTA, FL – Within 24 hours on April 28 and 29, donors across the community united with an outpouring of support for the 2020 Giving Challenge, raising $18.4 million for 686 participating nonprofit organizations in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties. With $10.9 million provided in community support and prizes from 58,947 donors and 106,570 total gifts, along with $7.5 million in matching funds from The Patterson Foundation, the 2020 Giving Challenge set a new standard for community generosity, outperforming the previous six challenges.

The seventh of its kind presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the 2020 Giving Challenge was an online, 24-hour giving day that connected those with the means to give with causes and nonprofit organizations close to their hearts. While this year’s Giving Challenge remained focused on increasing awareness about local choices in giving, it also served as an opportunity to strengthen the local nonprofit community during these difficult times.

“In the face of unprecedented challenges, our caring community responded with true resiliency, passion, and support during the 2020 Giving Challenge,” said Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “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. Thank you to everyone who joined us during this year’s Giving Challenge – all of you are truly the heartbeat of our community.”

As a way to engage and strengthen the community’s philanthropic spirit during the Giving Challenge, The Patterson Foundation generously provided a 1:1 match for all unique donations, up to $100 per donor, per organization, which amounted to $7.5 million in additional funds for local nonprofits. While this matching opportunity encourages participation in charitable giving at all levels, it also helps define the Giving Challenge as one of the most unique giving days in the nation.

"The 2020 Giving Challenge’s record-breaking total of $18.4 million emphatically affirms The Patterson Foundation's belief in the resiliency of our caring community," said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. "The hours of collective effort committed by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the nonprofits were strengthened by The Patterson Foundation’s contribution to activate our region’s vibrant generosity gene."

A hallmark of the Giving Challenge is its “Be The One” philosophy, which reflects the Community Foundation’s belief that everyone can be a philanthropist and have the potential to impact a person, cause, and community. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, that philosophy expanded to include “We Are One,” culminating in a collaborative video project with nearly 150 participating nonprofits that was released the week leading up to the Giving Challenge.

Moreover, participating nonprofits are eligible for more than $260,000 in prize opportunities, ranging from “Most Unique Donors” to “Best Online Event.” These prizes are made available through the generosity of local foundation and media partners.

“While the results of the Giving Challenge are marvelous testaments to our community’s generosity, at the heart of this event are meaningful relationships and connections, of being a part of something that unites all of us,” says Jerde. “The collaboration behind the Giving Challenge reminds us of the countless possibilities we have to come together and spread a ripple-effect of kindness throughout our region, no matter the gift. We are beyond grateful to partner with The Patterson Foundation to inspire this philanthropic spirit within so many, now and in the future.”

Since 2012, the Giving Challenge has acted as a catalyst for connection, helping donors throughout our region show their love for local nonprofit organizations by providing more than $58 million in unrestricted funding through seven Giving Challenges to support their missions. All participating nonprofit organizations demonstrated a commitment to transparency by developing an in-depth profile in The Giving Partner, an online resource that helps donors make informed decisions through holistic information on a nonprofit’s core mission and needs, programmatic impact, leadership, planning, and financial health.

The Giving Challenge was presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation. Prize support came from Manatee Community Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, Harbor Style Magazine, the Herald-Tribune Media Group, iHeart Radio, Observer Media Group, Sarasota Magazine/Sagacity, SCENE Magazine, SNN TV, Solmart Media, SRQ Media, WUSF, and WWSB-TV/ABC7.


About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County 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 $418 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $21.5 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $274 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.