Does creativity in philanthropy pay off?

March 25, 2012

“Another word for creativity is courage”   – George Prince

CYD HeroesAs Southwest Florida prepares for a first-of-its-kind 36-Hour Giving Challenge in our region, extreme creativity reigns.

One hundred nine charitable organizations of every mission focus and operating budget have taken great time and care to complete profiles in The Giving Partner, our local brand for GuideStar’s DonorEdge.  The reward is a more sophisticated way to communicate with funders and the growing number of donors who want to know more about the charitable investments they are making.

To launch The Giving Partner, each of these organizations has an opportunity to claim its share of $501,000 in matching funds and special grants, made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and Manatee Community Foundation—with support of The Patterson Foundation.

If an organization spends a few moments contemplating how small or how big it is and what an advantage or disadvantage that can be, it’s a few moments too many—time that could be better spent creating a good strategy to romance new donors and embrace existing ones. It has been amazing to watch the videos, web designs, e-mails, partnerships with businesses, event planning and social media strategies unfold—but surprising? Not in the least.

Our tri-county area boasts some of the best arts, health and human service, animal welfare and environmental organizations in the country—with so many innovative leaders, program staff, development and communications professionals.  It’s only natural to expect some of the entertaining, poignant and compelling ways this 36-Hour Giving Challenge is being leveraged.

From Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County’s clever and hilarious Inspector Gadget video, decoding the 36-Hour fundraising mission to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s announcement of a dunking booth with museum staff and community members, creativity is alive and well.

We’ve kept up with We Care Manatee’s video campaign featuring doctors sharing why it’s important to give and Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center’s videos, introducing volunteers and staff members stocked up on 5 hour energy drinks.

Community Youth Development is enticing its supporters to be superheroes.

Realize Bradenton Ladies Wake Up EarlyRealize Bradenton’s classy ladies dressed up in their PJs and face cream in a fun photo shoot illustrating their anticipated early morning. Their website promo rocks.

Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County and Loveland Center have each been sharing their own thoughtful approaches to coordinated campaigns, complete with fabulous digital media components, events and messaging.

Humane Society of Sarasota County’s adopted pooches are sporting their best Giving Challenge attire.

It’s not about size, it’s about the courage to put your best foot forward and see what happens. The payoff of creativity in philanthropy is inspired giving. But creativity also gives us the drive to stick with compelling but tough missions in the best and the worst of times.

Let’s all enjoy watching the 36-Hour Giving Challenge unfold this week, knowing that at the end of the day, we’ll make history together on March 27 and 28, 2012. Thanks to all of our local nonprofit heroes for doing your best to encourage informed giving.  You’ve been awesome.

-Susie Bowie, Director
The Giving Partner
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


One Response to “Does creativity in philanthropy pay off?”

  1. saradesota Says:

    At the end of the day, the Historical Society is also enjoying seeing what its NFP peers are doing. We’ve learned so much from them, and been amazed by the creativity and enthusiasm that we’ve seen. Just think: we all take the same info, and have 100 different ways to get it across not only to our known supporters, but to those in the community who would like to make a difference, but are unsure where. Bravo/ brava to all of The Giving Partners… we should have a gala get-together after the dust has settled to have a group HUG 😉 !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: