Be The One

This year’s Giving Challenge will be held from noon Tuesday, May 1 through noon on Wednesday, May 2. What does that mean?

What it means to local nonprofit organizations is that a group of broad-minded philanthropists have banded together to make a huge difference for some well-deserving nonprofits in our community.

Presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota, the Giving Challenge is strengthened by The Patterson Foundation and a host of other donors, including the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, Herald Tribune, Knight Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation, Harbor Style Magazine, iHeart Media, Suncoast News Network, and the Manatee Community Foundation.

What does that mean for you? At the heart of this campaign is the belief that each one of us has the potential to impact a person, a cause, a community. In May, you can be the one to make a difference by supporting the local nonprofit causes you love during the 2018 Giving Challenge.

Since the first Giving Challenge in 2012, more than $28 million has been raised for local nonprofits. Last year alone, donors gave more than $13.4 million to 559 organizations.

Peace River Wildlife Center has been involved with the Giving Challenge for the past four years. The first year we raised enough to purchase new incubators for the baby birds we raise in the spring and summer. Each year since we have doubled what we made the previous year by learning from the leaders at Sarasota Community Foundation how to best engage our donors for these events. This year the funds we raise will go toward our Capital Campaign to build a new wildlife rehabilitation facility with expanded educational exhibits.

One of the things that makes this event special is the way the nonprofits qualify to participate. Each organization, including PRWC, has an exhaustive profile online at This profile demonstrates the transparency of the organization by showing the nonprofit’s impact, leadership, planning, financials, and needs.

By donating to PRWC during the Giving Challenge, you are not padding the pockets of a rich CEO with a million-dollar salary. (Sorry, Callie, maybe next year. Our executive director makes considerably less than that. Considerable!) You are not paying for a pop star to sing sad songs while we show pictures of pathetic faces and only help animals that live thousands of miles away. A donation to PRWC (or any local charity vetted by The Giving Partner) stays right here in your community. And by checking out the profiles on their web site, you know exactly how that money is spent.

You are feeding orphaned baby wild mammals. You are helping to mend the shell of a tortoise that has been hit by a car. You are providing medical care for an eagle that was poisoned by eating a rat that died from rodenticide ingestion. Any donation from $25 to $100 made to PRWC at will be doubled during the Giving Challenge.

You can also donate to our sister organization the Wildlife Center of Venice if you prefer. If you don’t like wild animals, consider giving to domestic animals by donating to Animal Welfare League (our Giving Challenge partner this year) or Parrot Outreach Society. If you don’t like animals at all (aside from the fact that you wouldn’t be reading my column) you can donate to Yah-Yah Girls Back Pack Kids or PGI Green Thumbs or any number of other worthy organizations.

You can be the one to make a difference to one or all of these organizations, which could not exist without the support of a caring and sharing community. Will you?

by- Robin Jenkins, DVM