GuideStar, the Meaning of Life and Other Giving Challenge Essentials

February 27, 2013


Lori Larson, Senior Director of DonorEdge, GuideStar USA, will visit our community for the 36-Hour Giving Challenge

Whether you believe the meaning of life is love, family, the newest phrase on coffee mugs at Elysian Fields, or just mastering the art of making it from one day to the next, the overall point of your existence may cross your mind every once in a while.

“Meaning of life” questions put things into perspective, don’t they?

Deep in the midst of Giving Challenge details, there are plenty of things that could be keeping you up at night: your final e-mail reminder to supporters, the backup plan for alarm malfunctions on the morning of March 5, and your Giving Partner profile page online at www.thegivingpartner.org vs. the donation site online at www.givingpartnerchallenge.org.

We don’t want the overall meaning of this opportunity to get lost.

Let’s go back to the beginning of this story.

GuideStar is a national nonprofit organization revolutionizing philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency in the charitable sector.  (This is the site where you can pull up the IRS Form 990s and other information about millions of nonprofits across the country.)

The Giving Partner is a GuideStar tool fitted just right for our community. It currently includes profiles for nearly 300 local organizations, enabling donors, foundations, businesses, interested citizens and others to learn more about the causes they care about in Southwest Florida and to make more informed choices about their philanthropy.

It is nonprofits that have taken the time to develop these in-depth profiles detailing their management, governance, impact, finances and needs in The Giving Partner that are eligible to participate in the 36-Hour Giving Challenge.

Six funders in our region—Community Foundation of Sarasota County in partnership with The Patterson Foundation, along with sponsors Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation and the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation—have come together to support this online fundraising campaign for three main reasons:

  1. To engage our entire community in giving.
  2. To inspire philanthropy on all levels.
  3. To elevate The Giving Partner as tool to empower informed charitable giving.

Many people think of GuideStar as a website. But it is an organization powered by great minds. We want you to meet one of them next week.

Lori Larson, GuideStar’s senior director of DonorEdge, will be in Sarasota for the 36-Hour Giving Challenge. You can find her with us in the “Donor Lounge” at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, 2635 Fruitville Road, on March 5 and 6.

We invite you to come by, meet her and learn more about GuideStar’s role in revolutionizing philanthropy. Lori would love to say hello, chat with you and see your organization’s profile.

The Giving Challenge is an opportunity to increase your visibility in the community, raise funds, engage your donors in a fun and exciting way to give, and showcase your transparency. The transparency piece may not sound like the sexiest thing in the world, but it’s so important to donors. Way to go for making it possible.


-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County



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