Charlotte, Manatee Community Foundations Multiply Charitable Giving Through "Season of Sharing"

Categories: COMMUNITY CARE: Preventing Homelessness, Season of Sharing, The Patterson Foundation, Response and Recovery, Manatee Community Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation,

Local gifts made to the regional campaign expand emergency relief from Parrish to Punta Gorda.

SARASOTA, FL – Since spring of 2020, community foundations across the country have come together to immediately make an impact by addressing emergency and short-term needs caused by the pandemic, while also planning for longer-term, strategic charitable giving. Notably, leadership at both the Charlotte and Manatee community foundations recognized the opportunity for gifts in their communities to go further by encouraging support of and contributing to “Season of Sharing,” a community-wide campaign led by a partnership between the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Herald Tribune Media Group.

For more than 20 years, “Season of Sharing” has provided stability to households in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties facing emergency needs by provided one-time support for rent or mortgage payments, utilities, transportation or childcare bills. Through Jan. 31, 2021, for every $500,000 raised, longtime philanthropic partner The Patterson Foundation, will donate another $100,000. The funds raised will be used throughout 2021 to help neighbors in need.

“The support of this critical network by our fellow community foundations their boards of directors, and individual donors speaks volumes about the trust there is for Season of Sharing to be a resource for families and individuals during their most challenging times,” said Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

During the final weeks of 2020, Charlotte Community Foundation directed a leadership gift to “Season of Sharing,” knowing the gift would be amplified thanks to The Patterson Foundation, making additional support available for Charlotte County residents.

“We recognized the opportunity Season of Sharing offered to our community and knew this partnership would not only maximize but leverage each dollar to come back multiplied,” said Ashley Maher, CEO of the Charlotte Community Foundation. “2020 was a year of tremendous change, challenges and need to come together collectively to entrust our community members are all able to thrive collectively.  We are fortunate that this will be another opportunity to see that through.”

Over two decades Season of Sharing has provided more than $29 million for neighbors in need. There are no administrative fees and 100 percent of gifts goes to supporting people and families with timely assistance. Individuals or families needing support can contact 2-1-1 or any human services program to request support in the four-county region.

Manatee Community Foundation donor advisors Steve and Sara Bayard also provided a leadership gift to Season of Sharing, as well as direct support for nonprofit organizations and contributions to the Manatee County COVID19 Community Response Fund, established by Manatee Community Foundation to assist health and human service organizations. Through all their charitable giving, the Bayards hope to inspire others to join them in supporting their communities.

“It is our community and what we each make it,” Steve Bayard said. “One of the greatest joys in life is sharing with others, making life more enjoyable and easier for both the giver and receiver. The disruptions to the lives of many fellow citizens, caused by the pandemic, are an opportunity to spread the benefits of one’s good fortune. Season of Sharing is one of the best ways to make your holiday season happy and rewarding for you, the giver.”

Susie Bowie, Executive Director, Manatee Community Foundation, said the safety net of “Season of Sharing” is an important way donors can respond to the pandemic while assuring their dollars are directed to families in their own communities.

“With a potential eviction crisis in southwest Florida in early 2021, Season of Sharing is playing an even more critical role in local recovery, one family at a time,” Bowie said. “We are fortunate to have this emergency support as well as other vehicles for smart giving.”

Donations to Season of Sharing can be made throughout the year at any level. Gifts can be made online at any level at or by sending a check (payable to Community Foundation of Sarasota County) to Attn: Season of Sharing, 2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237. All donations are tax-deductible.

For 20 years, Season of Sharing has empowered neighbors to help neighbors, whatever the crisis, be it hurricanes, Red Tide, economic downturns, or even global pandemics. Built on collaboration and trust, the community-wide campaign is a partnership between the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Herald-Tribune Media Group, with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation. To read stories from families and individuals who have been helped throughout this year by Season of Sharing, visit


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 $421 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $48.9 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 $323 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.