Post Date and Author: 
- by  Abby Weingarten
From noon to noon on April 26 and 27, the 2022 Giving Challenge will encourage the local community to donate to organizations like the New College Foundation.

This 24-hour online event—presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and strengthened by The Patterson Foundation—will connect nearly 700 nonprofit partners with donors, and the New College Foundation will use the funds to support its next generation of scholars. During the last Giving Challenge in 2020, the Foundation received 726 donations in 24 hours, totaling more than $206,000.

“This will be the eighth year that New College has participated in the Giving Challenge and, to date, we have raised close to $800,000,” said Kevin Hughes, New College of Florida’s associate vice president of advancement for the New College Foundation. “These funds have been used to support such things as scholarship aid, research opportunities for students, and faculty support.”

Gifts between $25 and $100 will be matched one-to-one by The Patterson Foundation. Also, the President’s Council at New College has created a brand-new $10,000 matching gift fund for 2022. Because of this, any members of the faculty and staff at New College who donate to this year’s Giving Challenge will see their gifts tripled.

“We have not, in recent years, conducted an employee campaign like this,” Hughes said. “We hope it encourages faculty and staff to give. We’re trying to make the Giving Challenge more of a campus-wide event this year—getting faculty, staff and students to better understand the role that philanthropy plays in their educational experience.”

In addition to this gift matching from the New College community, the New College Foundation team has been actively engaged in outreach to generate interest in giving among faculty, staff and alumni.

On April 26, for example, faculty and staff will be invited by the New College Foundation to Keating Center for light bites and refreshments, and individuals can make their donations right then if they choose. Students will be signing “thank you” cards to send to donors during a “Cookies and Cards” event. And alumni have been participating for weeks in peer-to-peer fundraising—volunteering to reach out to their former classmates to ask them to consider giving to New College.

“We’re encouraging our alumni to participate because alumni participation (with a gift of any size) is a critical metric. It not only factors into New College’s U.S. News & World Report ranking, but it is also a key indicator that outside donors (such as foundations) look at when making funding decisions,” Hughes said. “During the Giving Challenge, in that 24-hour period alone, we have historically seen anywhere from a four to five percent boost in alumni participation, which is significant.”

Since 1980, the New College Foundation has raised upwards of $100 million in public and private funds for everything from endowments and academic programs to faculty positions and new buildings. But there is plenty more work to do.

“We’re really trying to build a stronger culture of philanthropy at New College. We want people to know that a $25 gift is just as important as a larger gift because it has an impact cumulatively on New College,” Hughes said. “The Giving Challenge is an opportunity for us to think about how philanthropy plays a role in creating the New College of the future—securing additional research materials, improving spaces on campus, etc. We need to think bigger and bolder.”

For more information on the New College Foundation’s participation in the Giving Challenge, visit givingchallenge.org/organizations/new-college-foundation-incorporated.

For more information on the New College Foundation, visit ncf.edu/alumni/foundation.

Abby Weingarten is the senior editor in the Office of Communications & Marketing.