The Power of One

Categories: Giving Challenge, CEO Message,

Many of us can look back and recall a person that had an enormous impact on our life. These special people may have been ordinary in many ways, but their kindness and generosity at a time when it was needed might have rewritten the chapters of our lives. Maybe it was a special teacher, a work colleague, a family member, a complete stranger. What matters is that the action of that one person had an effect that was meaningful and long-lasting.

With the Giving Challenge coming up in just eight days—from noon to noon April 9 and 10—it’s impossible not to think of how powerful the actions of a single person can be. This encourages each of us to be the one to impact a cause, make a change, help our community become stronger, and safeguard its many treasures.

For each of the 728 participating nonprofit organizations, the Giving Challenge shines a bright light on the transformative work they are doing every day. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness and vital funding to continue pursuing their missions.

In 2022, when this community raised $16.2 million in just 24 hours, nonprofits each raised an average of $14,356, which, for many, offered new possibilities for pursuing their missions, expanding reach, and enhancing their potential.

The impressive fundraising in 2022 was made all the more significant thanks to the generous matching funds that our friends at The Patterson Foundation contributed to all unique donations from $25-$100 per organization. That 1:1 match overall accounted for $6 million of the $16.2 million, illustrating its enormous influence to strengthen giving.

For some, the generous match became an opportunity to leverage it to the maximum extent. Joe and Mary Kay Henson, a local philanthropic couple, donated $100 to each of the nonprofits that took part. This turned their donation of $66,700 into $133,400. The Hensons have repeated that “100 Percent” strategy again this year, inspiring others along the way to join them. Their donation of $72,800 will become $145,600. So far, two additional donors have joined the unofficial “100 Percent Club”—advisors for the Frank G. Berlin Foundation and trustees for the H. Gladstone McKeon Trust have followed suit.

Think of that: the Hensons’ strategy ignited a trend in others. Now, days before the clock strikes noon on April 9, we’ve already received nearly half a million dollars to be distributed among our vital nonprofits participating in the Giving Challenge. One person can make a difference and inspire others.

While these gifts are awe-inspiring, the whole purpose of the Giving Challenge is to democratize giving. Each one of us should have the opportunity to help our community become a better place, and with the match, everyone can double their impact. The Giving Challenge is that opportunity to “Be The One” who helps create positive change in our community.

When you think of the important work our robust nonprofit community does to enhance the quality of life for all of us—from providing vital human services, educational opportunities, and affordable healthcare to protecting and preserving our coastal environment and vibrant arts and culture scene—it’s clear that these nonprofit organizations are deserving of support and need our support.

Supporting them in turn strengthens this place we call home, one donation at a time.

About Author

Roxie Jerde

President and CEO