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The Giving Partner: Exemplary Leadership in Collaboration and Long-Term Strategy for Increasing Philanthropy and Building Community in Southwest Florida

The Giving PartnerI was fortunate to be invited to represent GuideStar and experience the live-action excitement of The Giving Partner’s 2013 36-Hour Giving Challenge on March 5-6, 2013. Although this was only the second Giving Challenge event, the Southwest Florida community surpassed 2012 numbers of:

  • 10,700 donations
  • to 100 nonprofits
  • totaling $2.4 million

for a 2013 total of more than: Leaderboard

  • 17,600 donations
  • to almost 300 nonprofits
  • totaling $2.7 million!

These are fantastic numbers especially in the context that community population and number of nonprofits in Southwest Florida is smaller than several other larger cities that had giving events, achieving lower dollars results and a smaller percent of nonprofits receiving donations.

But the story gets more meaningful and sweeter--success for long-term social change is more than dollars. Below are just a few examples of action and “how they roll” in Southwest Florida!

  • Board members stepped up their giving commitments and community outreach.
  • Businesses aligned their brands and values with nonprofits important to their employees.
  • Key nonprofit messaging was refined.
  • New relationships were made and existing ones strengthened.
  • Social media presence of the nonprofit community exponentially increased.

The Giving Partner’s Giving Challenge is just one brick in the road when it comes to increasing philanthropy and positive social change in Southwest Florida. The 36-hour event was essentially an invitation for donors, citizens, and businesses to participate and engage in the long run with the nonprofit community and awareness of local issues.

The Giving Partner is Southwest Florida’s brand of the technology platform nationally known as GuideStar DonorEdge. Each nonprofit profile contains five major areas of nonprofit information about effectiveness, in addition to video and social media:

  • Programs
  • Leadership and Management
  • Governance
  • Financials
  • Disaster Programs

The Giving Partner is an extraordinary model of collaboration and thoughtful investment of building community, increasing charitable giving, and providing community information needs made possible through the efforts and energy of these community foundations:

with support from The Patterson Foundation

and sponsorship from Charlotte Community Foundation and William G. and Marie Selby Foundation

and premier media partner Herald-Tribune media group.

Because of the collaborative efforts, commitment, hard work, and creative energy of these organizations, the nonprofit community, businesses, generous donors, and the media, philanthropy is making a difference and improving the quality of life in Southwest Florida.

The Giving Partner is ultimately about engaging the entire community in charitable giving, inspiring philanthropy at all levels, providing nonprofits an opportunity to showcase their critical contribution to community and society, and empowering donors to make informed decisions about their charitable giving.

Congratulations to our partners in Southwest Florida on the success of The Giving Partner's 36-hour Giving Challenge! And even more importantly, congratulations on how your community has come together to increase charitable giving, affect social change, and improve the quality of life in Southwest Florida through your leadership, commitment, and The Giving Partner!

If you are interested in learning more about DonorEdge or the DonorEdge Learning Community, please contact Lori Larson, senior director GuideStar DonorEdge,

Topics: Nonprofit Leadership and Practice