Categories: Giving Challenge, The Patterson Foundation, CEO Message,

One of the great joys and excitements of the Giving Challenge is the numbers. The ticker rapidly rolls for 24 hours, a mesmerizing sight. Many people find themselves fixated by the leaderboards, watching organizations rise in positions.

It makes sense that numbers are an important factor of the Giving Challenge—once again, this community came together to raise $17.2 million, an enormous lift. In a single day, 53,305 friends and neighbors used their resources to support the vital nonprofit community that we can credit for our quality of life. This achievement showcases the best of our community.

This year’s Giving Challenge has been a record-breaking triumph in several areas. We had more funds committed going into the official 24 hours than ever before, thanks to an outpouring of support by our foundation donors who hold funds here, including four generous entities who were part of the unofficial “100 Percent Club,” which was initiated last Giving Challenge by Joe and Mary Kay Henson. They repeated the strategy this Challenge and inspired others to join. Each member of the “club” donated $100 to all 724 nonprofits. Before the ticker began to roll at noon on April 9, we’d already raised more than a half million dollars—an astonishing achievement!

A record number of nonprofit organizations participated this year, indicating enormous trust in the Giving Challenge, The Giving Partner, and our Community Foundation. While this year’s grand total and number of donors did not break records, both stats are second only to the 2020 Giving Challenge, when the world was experiencing the first terrifying weeks of the pandemic, driving a surge in charitable giving as catastrophes often do.

We’re grateful for The Patterson Foundation and the critical partnership we’ve had over nine Giving Challenges. The 1:1 match on all donations $25-$100 inspires donors and accounts for $6.7 million of the grand total this year alone and an impressive and greatly appreciated $36.7 million since the Giving Challenge began in 2012.

The Patterson Foundation match inspires giving from everyone, democratizing philanthropy and providing the impetus for our motto, Be The One, encouraging everyone that collective individual action adds up.

It adds up to something remarkable: since the first Giving Challenge in 2012, $92 million in unrestricted funding has been raised for around 700 nonprofit organizations. Those dollars have helped these organizations carry out their missions, where they reach tens of thousands of people (and animals!) to provide new possibilities and safeguard the assets and values our community holds dear.

This year, as we examined the outcomes of the Giving Challenge, one fact stands out: whether these organizations provide human services, arts and cultural offerings, environmental protection, religious freedoms, or animal welfare, they had passionate supporters. They all won—every single organization received donations. Our Community Indicators Dashboard can shed light on how this giving will help address critical needs and support points of pride in our community.

There’s no way to quantify some things, and the sense of belonging, joy, and comfort that these nonprofit organizations bring to their champions is one of those immeasurable factors. The affirmation of coming together for a united purpose is another result of the Giving Challenge that can’t be simply calculated, just felt.

With that, there are two words that express my heartfelt sentiment, and which are necessary. In the aftermath of the Giving Challenge, for me these two words are everything:

Thank you.