At one point or another, all of us have turned to our friends and said: “Now you’re speaking my language.” We say this not in the literal sense, but because those close to us share common interests, passions, and experiences in ways that make us feel like we belong, like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. The question is: how can we replicate this same sense of belonging with others?
In only a few days, nonprofit organizations across our community will find answers to this question as they meaningfully connect with donors during the 2020 Giving Challenge, an exciting online 24-hour giving day in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties. From photo contests to digital scavenger hunts, over the course of seven giving challenges participating nonprofits have refined their strategies to reach, engage, and empower communities of all backgrounds to grow their involvement with causes close to their heart. To achieve this, speaking their language is crucial and, sometimes, literal.
As part of a larger effort to ensure all communities have the tools to be a part of the 2020 Giving Challenge, two nonprofit organizations – Fair Food Standards Council and Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County– were invited in early March to an interview with Mercedes Soler, President and Co-Owner of Solmart Media, an independently owned Southwest Florida Spanish-language media company. Below, each organization discusses the importance of the Giving Challenge and its pivotal role in maximizing their impact. Below are excerpts from their interviews, which originally aired La Zeta 105.3 FM and La Numero Uno 99.1 FM | 1280 AM.
Victor Yengle, Associate Director, Fair Food Standards Council
The Giving Challenge has helped – and we expect will continue to help – build public awareness in Sarasota County for our mission and work. It has allowed us to continue the hard work of developing our individual donor base and provided meaningful connections with the Giving Partner/Challenge community.
Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC) has been involved in the Giving Challenge since 2014. We continue to participate every year because of the generous support we have received from donors, the awareness it cultivates in the local community, and the opportunities it has provided us to connect with other nonprofits in the Sarasota area. This year, we will share a select few of the hundreds of stories from farmworkers that highlight the uniquely prompt and effective Fair Food Program complaint mechanism that exists within the Fair Food Program (FFP). The real-life stories of people whose lives have been significantly improved by the FFSC and FFP will be powerful calls to action for our growing donor base.
Funds generated by the Giving Challenge enable FFSC to hire and train more Fair Food investigators who, in addition to conducting audits of all FFP farms, keep the 24/7 confidential complaint line staffed. The complaint line allows farmworkers to report any issues, which are swiftly investigated and resolved without fear of retaliation by their employers. With farms joining the Fair Food Program – both in new crops and geographic areas –FFSC’s responsibilities are anticipated to grow this year. Funds from the Giving Challenge fuel this growth.
Having an interview in Spanish is highly meaningful, as it affirms and values our community. The FFP and FFSC provide a real voice to workers in the fields, dignity for women in the workplace and a respect for human rights. Solmart Media is a perfect partner to communicate this message and help us reach a wider audience.
Patricia McMahon, Office Manager & Development Coordinator, Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County
The 2020 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.