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The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, along with its many donors, have granted nearly $4.5 million in the last two months to support community needs provided by nonprofit partners for immediate, short-term and longer-term responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $4.5 million will help address basic life needs, offer emotional support programs to students and seniors, and improve community quality of life through cultural connections. Of that total, $1.86 million was granted through donor-advised funds, an increase of 35 percent over the same timeframe the previous year, which reflects a larger national trend of increased charitable giving directed by donors via community foundations.

These recent grants are in addition to the $18.4 million in gifts made to nearly local 700 nonprofit partners during the 24-hour Giving Challenge hosted at the end of April, as well as the more than $2.5 million raised in six weeks in support of the reactivated Season of Sharing, the 20-year-old community-wide partnership that assists individuals and families with rent, mortgage, utilities and childcare. Both efforts were strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, which provided matching and outright gifts.