As we analyze non-profit organizations, charitable donors, and the main issues in our region, we recognize the commitment of many people in office. Local donations made to the regional campaign expand Parrish's emergency aid to Punta Gorda. During the pandemic and during the recovery, some organizations had to reconsider the advantage of labor donated in normal times (increasing the capacity to serve food to people in need, for example).There are nearly 750 community foundations in the country, and each of them works with generous people in a geographic area to create and pool charitable funds that invest in local nonprofit organizations to make a significant impact. Manatee Community Foundation donor advisors, Steve and Sara Bayard, also provided a leadership gift to Season of Sharing, as well as direct support to non-profit organizations and contributions to the Manatee County COVID-19 Community Response Fund, established by the Manatee Community Foundation to help health and social service organizations. For more than 20 years, “Season of Sharing” has provided stability to households in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties facing emergency needs by providing one-time support for rent or mortgage payments, utilities, transportation, or child care.
At Manatee Community Foundation, it is an honor to serve the people who live and donate in Manatee County, Florida and beyond. In some cases, local organizations were able to attract a wider national audience to program and raise funds through virtual platforms. In addition, more foundations such as the Manatee Community Foundation partnered with grassroots organizations that their neighborhoods and people of color trust. Wages haven't been keeping up with the cost of rent and mortgages, and affordable housing isn't just an issue for the most vulnerable people in Manatee County but also for many families with two adults who have multiple jobs. Susie Bowie, executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation, said that “Season of Sharing” is an important way that donors can respond to the pandemic and at the same time ensure that their money goes to families in their own communities. It should be noted that the leaders of the Charlotte and Manatee community foundations recognized the opportunity to receive gifts in their communities to go further by encouraging support and contributing to “Season of Sharing” - a community campaign led by a partnership between the Sarasota County Community Foundation and the Herald Tribune Media Group. Knowing that donors care about many different charitable causes (human services, the environment, animal welfare, health care, civic participation, social justice, the arts, education), community foundations provide personal, flexible vehicles for people to consolidate their donations and make a difference in the way that is most meaningful to them.
For example, training for adoptive parents increased thanks to digital offerings - a positive result when Manatee County continues to have one of the highest child expulsion rates in the state of Florida. The influence of charitable organizations on local communities is undeniable. From providing emergency aid during times of crisis to offering training opportunities for adoptive parents - these organizations are making a real difference in Manatee County. Donors can make sure their money goes towards helping those in need by contributing to campaigns like Season of Sharing or donating directly to local non-profit organizations.