The 36-Hour Giving Challenge – a first of its kind online fundraising event in Southwest Florida made possible by Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, and The Patterson Foundation – raised $2,401,601 on March 27 and 28, 2012.

The challenge generated 10,705 donations in support of 109 area charitable organizations enrolled participating in The Giving Partner program. The Foundations pledged $501,000 in matching dollars and special grant prizes. The one-to-one match, up to $1,000 per donor per organization, was met in the first four minutes.

“The moment we saw contributions in excess of 11,288 per hour, we knew we were in for an amazing giving event,” said Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “While we knew what a generous community we live in, the level of giving truly exceeded our high expectations. Supporting nonprofits that are doing terrific work to better the quality of life is very inspiring. We’re thrilled with the success of our first Giving Challenge.”

“This Giving Challenge showed what we can do as a community when individual donors, nonprofits, and foundations join together in the spirit of philanthropy,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “What might not have happened on its own–more than $2 million in local charitable giving in just a day and a half–was achieved because of that teamwork.”

“The campaign was a tremendous outpouring of support for the charitable programs which contribute so much to the well-being and quality of life in our community,” said Marilyn Howard, executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation. “We succeeded in our goal of raising money for nonprofits, while also reaching new donors. The success of the event also demonstrates the progress our nonprofits are making in reaching out to their supporters using social media and online technology.”

The ultimate reach of the event extended beyond Southwest Florida, with donors coming from all 50 states and 24 countries, including the UK, Spain, Russia, Peru, Australia, Mexico and Canada.

Janene M. Witham, Executive Director of Manatee Players said, “The Manatee Players received 732 donations totaling $188,091 during the 36-hour online event. With these generous donations we will be able to provide the region with a state-of-the-art new performing arts center.”

“The New College community clearly rallied behind its favorite liberal arts institution. Through these gifts, we can ensure future generations of scholars will continue to benefit from small class sizes, personal relationships with professors, and an Ivy League quality education at a public college price,” said Clint Monts de Oca, Interim Executive Vice President, New College Foundation.

“The heart of philanthropy in our region beats with vibrancy and strength of generosity,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “Just as inspiring is the informed decision-making made possible by a 24/7 web platform that spotlights our local nonprofits.”

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.


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