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Reflecting on the Community Built With Philanthropy

March 10, 2013

“Goodwill to fellow members of the human race” is one way of defining philanthropy in simple terms.

Friends from Circus Sarasota, pictured with Lori Larson of GuideStar and the staff of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, stopped by to visit us during the Challenge.

Friends from Circus Sarasota pictured with Lori Larson of GuideStar and the staff of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County during the 36-Hour Giving Challenge

If you consider it broadly, the philanthropy we witnessed in Southwest Florida over the last week materialized in countless ways: supporting one another’s teams in times of stress and pride; making a personal gift; affirming your support for the issues you care about; rallying for the causes important to your friends and family.

During the 36-Hour Giving Challenge, people in our community and far beyond showed up for us big time.

They came because you asked them to do it. Online giving represented the power of many, but relationships–online and in person–made it possible.

There was the “time philanthropy” too. Lots of it. You spent time sitting behind computers; getting out and visiting your business partners, clients and volunteers; making that old-fashioned phone call. Some of you even dressed up in wild and crazy costumes to grab our attention with your bold approach to creativity.

Leveraging all of the talents around this big, smart table of our community, you pulled people together who had all kinds of contributions to enhance your campaigns.

Your persuasiveness encouraged people to engage in something outside of their daily routines, whether it was using time, talent or treasure.

The results of all this–whether your organization achieved its funding goals or not– is that you have built a sense of community around your cause. Going forward, remember that your community of supporters is not defined by a 36-hour event. And it doesn’t live exclusively online.

When we give our dollars, our time, or our smarts to the causes we care about most, I think we become a little closer to ourselves. Thank you for creating this opportunity for those you inspired to give. It happened more than 17,600 times.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County

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