USFSM thanks supporters for 2016 Giving Challenge

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: September 22, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2016) The results are in from this year’s Giving Challenge and it turns out USF Sarasota-Manatee owes a big thank-you to 86 donors, along with a special note of gratitude to The Patterson Foundation.

After the annual 24-hour fundraising event, which ended noon Wednesday, USFSM tallied its contribution total at $6,825. However, because of generous matching grants from The Patterson Foundation, that amount jumped to $18,775. In all, 86 people and organizations supported USF Sarasota-Manatee.

USFSM thanks supporters for 2016 Giving Challenge

USF Athletics is trying to establish a NCAA women’s rowing team at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

“This event is so important to us and I cannot stress enough how grateful we are to receive the generous support from all of our donors,” said Andrea Stephens, assistant director of development at USFSM.

The communitywide Giving Challenge is the area’s largest fundraiser. This year, 559 local charities, schools and other non-profit organizations signed up to participate. Altogether, 63,567 gifts were made totaling $13,386,909, which includes donations from The Patterson Foundation, which matched every gift up to $100 from first-time donors by 2:1 and every returning donor gift up to $100 by 1:1.

USFSM students, staff and faculty played their part as well. Students, in particular, showed their spirit. Starting noon Tuesday when the challenge launched, a dozen USFSM Student Ambassadors with school mascot Rocky fanned out across Sarasota and Manatee counties to visit local businesses to urge support for USFSM.

Other Student Ambassadors operated a Giving Challenge command post at the campus to tally up the donations and post instant “thank-you” messages to donors on social media. The students produced a video message as well.

Every dollar collected during this year’s challenge will go toward helping USF Athletics establish an NCAA Division I women’s rowing team at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

“We are so fortunate to live in a generous and giving community,” Dr. Sandra Stone, USFSM regional chancellor, said. “The Giving Challenge helped us to launch a fundraising campaign to bring an NCAA women’s rowing team to this region, a sport that is close to the hearts of many who live and work in the Sarasota-Manatee area. Thank you to all who participated.”

The Giving Challenge is made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from the Manatee Community Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.

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