More than a month has passed since 15 local nonprofit organizations took part in Give 8/28, a national fundraising day for Black-led and Black-serving nonprofits working towards a more equitable society. In the span of 15 hours, these organizations not only garnered more than $20,000 and competitive spots on the leaderboard, but also provided a proactive way for individuals and communities to actively shape and invest in our shared future.
Within the spirit of Give 8/28 lies a steadfast truth: that small steps taken by each of us can combine to drive macro changes for generations to come.
To celebrate the many accomplishments seen and felt on Give 8/28, we have invited our local nonprofit participants to share why it was valuable to participate and what it means to those they serve. Here are their stories.
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
We had a fabulous experience with Give 8/28! Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (WBTT) has received a total of 101 donations since giving started, for a total of $11,166 in donations. 97% of the donors chose to pay the donation fees, and 2 donors set up recurring monthly donations for WBTT. We also won the 8:00 AM prize for most donors, and came in 2nd place in overall funds raised.
We kept WBTT patrons informed about Give 8/28 through a series of eblasts, Facebook and Twitter posts. We sent a personal email thank you to each donor, and had some really wonderful interactions as a result. We heard back from a donor who had just moved to Sarasota for her daughter to participate in the performing arts program at Booker Middle School. She didn’t know about our Stage of Discovery summer program, and is now very excited about getting her daughter involved. Another WBTT future star? You just never know, this young lady could be another youngster to start on the WBTT stage that makes her way to Broadway!
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe took to Twitter to spread awareness and inspire action through Give 8/28.
We appreciate the opportunity we were given to participate in Give 8/28. While we are grateful for the much needed donations we received, we are just as grateful for the chance to share our story on such a broad platform that reaches so many.
Truly Valued would like to thank the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Goldijean and Alan Turow Donor Advised Fund for their support during the Give 8/28 campaign. 2020 has been a year of uncertainty when it comes to nonprofit programming and fundraising. We entered with such determination to accomplish our programmatic goals; however, we were met with a pandemic that forced us to re-evaluate how we conducted programming, cancel community events, and fundraising events. Participating in the Give 8/28 campaign provided needed operational support that enabled us to continue developing and fostering relationships with our community leaders and businesses to provide quality services to the youth that we serve throughout Manatee, Sarasota, and abroad.
Local youth participating in one of Truly Valued's programs.
Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative
It is with deep appreciation Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative wishes to thank the Goldijean and Alan Turow Donor Advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for believing in our mission and investing in the work our organization believes strongly in for the future of our community.
It was an exciting privilege to engage with other Black organizations in an opportunity to be recognized and raise funds to support vital programs in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives for encouraging growth and systemic change in the arts and cultural organizations in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Our one day outreach in the Give 8/28 fundraiser realized a few dollars short of $4,000. As a new organization this was our first effort to raise funds so you can imagine our thrill with the outcome. We believe the motto of YoungBlackGivingBack is Magic!
The program we anticipate implementing with the funds raised will be a series of four panels on Arts and Racial Justice the first being held on December 7th in partnership with Florida Studio Theatre Diversity Forums as the host site.
Our purpose is to work to increase knowledge, visibility, and appreciation of the innovative works produced by Black artists to be appropriately represented throughout our artistic landscape in the Suncoast. The Arts and Justice Panel Series will provide a forum for dialogue with local arts and cultural organization leaders, community leaders, and artists to define racial equity goals for arts organizations in the region. The panel series will expand the understanding and commitment to racial equity and identify action steps to create a more just engagement with African American artists and artists of color. We anticipate making a video of each panel session as a way to learn and reflect on the conversation.
This is a very exciting period for the arts and our country as a whole. We hope for new strides in equality for all and a healthier and positive community where all races and ethnic groups begin to share in a new level of creativity.
Thank you for your gift of believing in new missions and initiatives.
Sarasota Bradenton Kappa Alpha Psi Project Guide Right
The three pictures below capture what the Sarasota Bradenton Kappa Alpha Psi Project Guide Right does and why your donations and support are important. We thank both the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Goldijean and Alan Turow Donor Advised Fund, and the Give 8/28 organizer Young, Black, and Giving Back Institute for the vision that bolsters our efforts in the community. What do these donations mean to those we serve?
Scholarships to deserving young men of lower income levels but high academic achievement to attain their dream of obtaining a college degree, sometimes the first in their family.
Leadership and mentoring programs for disadvantaged youth in the community. We provide assistance, coaching and the teaching of life skills & development to help them achieve their aspirational goals in life.
And finally we bring joy and smiles to the children with our annual community "Give-back" programs at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with toy give-a-ways, meals, and reading programs.
This is what your support means and provides to the Sarasota-Bradenton Project Guide Right Foundation and the communities we serve. Thank you!
D.I.V.A.S. of Sarasota
D.I.V.A.S. of Sarasota was so excited to be a part of the Give 8/28 initiative! This type of exposure is vital for small nonprofits such as ours to recieve the financial backing needed to operate effectively and efficiently. We were overwhelmed with the generosity of the individuals that gave to us. The gift of the $250 from the Community Foundation sent our gratitude over the top!
In efforts to expose young girls to secondary educational institutions, we have to rely on donations. We feel this exposure is vital to the development of tomorrow's leaders. The generosity of Give 8/28 put us closer to our goal of making this happen! Thanks and we are looking forward continuing to serve our community.
Howard Club of Southwest Florida
The Howard Club of Southwest Florida was organized in 2006 with the mission of providing scholarships to young men and women from Florida who want to attend Howard University. With the motto of "Rays of Light", the Club held it first fundraising activity as a Scholarship luncheon in March 2006. This tradition continued annually on the third Saturday in March until disrupted by the COVID-19.
Over the years we have had community-wide support for our luncheons. In 2020 the Community Foundation of Sarasota has given its support. We became partners with the Community Foundation through its Agency Fund and that connection made it possible for us to participate in the Give 8/28 campaign. That campaign generated support from the community as well as a generous donation from the Foundation. Such community support makes reaching our goal more doable.
Our first scholarship was awarded in 2008. The goal was established to award a scholarship to at least one student and make an award to that student each year until graduation, provided the student continues to meet the requirements. In 2021, we will have achieved that goal with the graduation of Marquita Walker, who received her first $5,000 award as a freshman.
Marquita Walker, a scholarship recipient of the Howard Club of Southwest Florida.
The Multicultural Health Institute
The Multicultural Health Institute (The-MHI.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit under the direction of Dr. Lisa Merritt, M.D., has a track record of over 15 years of serving communities in Southwest Florida and other parts of the country. Its core mission is to address health disparities in the medical system and redirect and target care to the affected communities. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, MHI mobilized early (i.e., in March 2020) to distribute masks among the people of the two-county Sarasota-Manatee area, with particular focus on the area’s Black and Latinx communities.
With the recent formation of the Multicultural Action Team (MAT) as part of the broader MHI Cares Coalition (MHI-CC) dedicated to preventing spread and complications from COVID-19 among vulnerable populations, MHI continues its aim of enrichment throughout the community in service, empowerment and unity. Powered by a world-embracing vision of advancing the human family, the Golden Rule finds expression in "each one help each one." MHI, along with its MAT Partners, is positioned to address the social determinants of health (SDOH) that drive disparities in socioeconomic and health outcomes. Both long- and short-term aims of the MAT are captured in the PEARLS: Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Research, Linkage-to-Care, and Sustainable Solutions and the vision of replicating the best outcomes.
Participating in the annual Give 8/28 fundraising campaign allowed the Multicultural Health Institute (The-MHI.org) to showcase its strength during Black Philanthropy Month and share in the revival of an almost forgotten history of "giving black."
Now that we have moved forward with the Civil Rights Movement and much of the nation is embracing the nobility of human oneness and realizing that what affects one portion eventually affects all, efforts to resolve health inequities can call upon the resilience of African Americans, Latinx, and Indigenous groups as we work in partnership with a variety of allies to realize the change we all wish to see come forth in the world.
We appreciate your support.
To learn more about Give 8/28 and view results, visit https://www.give828.org.
Are you a local nonprofit who participated in Give 8/28? We invite you to share your story with us. We welcome creativity in your storytelling, so feel free to share any photos, videos, press releases, articles, blog posts, or other unique ways that highlight your mission and impact.