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Supportive Donors Contribute Additional $5 Million To The Bay


Supportive Donors Contribute Additional $5 Million To The Bay

This $5 million in private philanthropy triggers an additional $1 million match from The Patterson Foundation

The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), the non-profit organization responsible for overseeing the transformation of 53-acres of city-owned land along Sarasota’s bayfront into a world-class public park, has reached another significant milestone. Thanks to generous community donors, The Bay has raised over $5 million from private sources in the past 3 months, triggering an additional $1 million from The Patterson Foundation’s second challenge match. 

“While The Bay’s commitment to accountability, excellence and transparency has garnered tremendous support for years, it stands to generate even more as we come closer to realizing our community’s aspiration for this remarkable park,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “The Patterson Foundation’s continued support, including this latest $1 million gift, is a reflection of the alignment between The Bay’s guiding principles and The Patterson Foundation’s commitment to strengthening opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

In July of 2021, The Patterson Foundation announced its continuing support for The Bay by committing up to $4 million in matching funds to catalyze private donations to complete development of Phase 1 of the park. Each time private philanthropy donates $5 million toward Phase 1 through 2023, The Patterson Foundation will provide a $1 million match, up to a total contribution of $4 million — resulting in a $24 million investment into The Bay.

This is the first major milestone in the challenge match. This additional $6 million takes the total raised from private philanthropic and community sources to over $30 million.  

“From the beginning, The Bay has been built on a partnership between the community, the City and the Conservancy,” says AG Lafley, Founding CEO of The Bay Park Conservancy. “Our generous donors, from major foundations like The Patterson Foundation, to private philanthropists and individual donors, are invaluable partners who help make The Bay Park a reality.”

Earlier this year, the BPC announced their 2021 Friends of The Bay campaign, an annual drive designed to encourage broad community participation in The Bay. Running through December 31, 2021, The Bay invites everyone in the community to give $25 or more as a Friend of The Bay. The 2020 Friends of The Bay campaign, kicked off during the Giving Challenge, attracted more than 1,300 Founding Friends. 

As well, The Bay recently announced its Founding Business Partners Program, a program encouraging local business owners to sign up and create a catalyst fund to spearhead activation in the park – ensuring that The Bay and its programs continue to be open, accessible, free, and welcoming to all. For those interested in becoming a Founding Business Partner, visit or email Lori Denny at [email protected].

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