Thank You for Being The One to Donate and Chill!
For 70 years, HSSC has provided original animal programming to our community. Every HSSC program is filled with heartwarming success stories of animals and people. As a private nonprofit, HSSC relies on donations from people like you to keep our programs “streaming.” The 2020 Giving Challenge came at a time when we needed your support more than ever. In an outpouring of generosity that took our breath away, you proved that YOU ARE THE ONE to support a cause that matters to you. Over a 24-hour period from April 28-29, 2020, noon to noon, 807 HSSC supporters donated $69,797! With an additional $52,757 in matching funds from The Patterson Foundation, the total raised was $122,554! We also received $10,500 in prizes: Best Overall Campaign, Best Business Partnership (with Bayside Pet Resort), 10th Most Unique Donors, iHeart Media, Fast 50, and 2018 Best Giving Challenge Story! Our lifesaving total raised: $133,054!
As we once again prepare for the Giving Challenge—April 26-27, 2022—we reflect on how wonderful the 2020 Giving Challenge was and how it gave us the support we needed to keep going during a very difficult time. Our community stepped up in a major way, allowing us to continue operating and saving animals that year. While we are in a much better place now, two years later, having weathered COVID-19 and finished our massive renovation, our lifesaving goals have increased significantly. We adopted 1,236 animals in 2020 and 2,109 in 2021. Our 2022 goal is our most ambitious ever: 2,700 adoptions. We need our community's help to make those 2,700 adoptions happen, and the 2022 Giving Challenge is the perfect opportunity for everyone to Be The One to save a life. We look forward to another joyful 24 hours of lifesaving philanthropy from our amazing community.
Our Not-So-Chill Giving Challenge
April 2020 was a scary time. The world was reeling from COVID-19, and there was an overwhelming urge to crawl under the covers, snuggle a kitten or puppy, and emerge again when it was safe. Of course, retreating was never an option for the nonprofit sector and especially not for the Humane Society of Sarasota County. We could not give up on the animals in our care, nor could we close ourselves off from the public when they still needed services for their pets. We simply had to keep going as safely as possible. So we did.
The Giving Challenge had always been akin to Christmas: a day of generosity and excitement. How, we wondered, would it be in this new 2020 reality? Would anyone want to donate? Was it insensitive to even ask for donations at a time like this?
We did not have the answers, but the public's response to our earlier efforts to clear our shelter prior to the stay-at-home order and the outpouring of foster applications had shown us that people still cared. So we decided to infuse our campaign with light-hearted, feel-good messaging and a nod to the overwhelming craziness of the moment. Thus, "Be the One to Donate and Chill" was born. Our Netflix-inspired campaign drew inspiration from our HSSC original programming---the success stories and happy tails that result from our work. We had great fun coming up with televison puns for our programs: "Barks and Recreation" for our obedience courses; "Dinners, Drive-ups, and Donations" for our pet food pantry; and "Touched by an Animal" for our pet therapy program, among others. We took a creative deep dive, and it paid off. We secured a generous matching donor and a business partnership, and we planned a fun synchoronized streaming movie night on social media. On the big day, we watched our donations grow and our name move up the leaderboard---shocked, amazed, grateful. More than 807 individual supporters contributed to HSSC—more than any previous Giving Challenge—by a long shot. When all was said and done, we raised $133,054 and tied for best overall campaign.
April 2020 was a scary time, but for 24 hours on April 28-29, we were joyful. And that joy and the money raised made all the difference that season for the animals, the staff, and all who benefit from the Humane Society of Sarasota County.
The Giving Challenge gave us purpose.
The GIving Challenge gave us funding.
The Giving Challenge gave us hope.