Ep 64: Donors Who Know More, Give More (with Roxie Jerde)

by Joan Garry

How educated do you think most donors are about the organization they support and invest in? Not very. And this is a big problem we must solve.


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Why do folks make charitable gifts? What motivates them?

The cause is near and dear… A friend is connected with an organization and makes an ask… A disaster prompts action…

Mostly these are decisions of the heart.

But how educated do you think most donors are about the organization they support  and invest in? Do they know the budget size? Does the org have a plan for the future? Do donors even care? Most don’t.

And let’s face it. There are a ton of small nonprofits that would prefer a donor not know. Maybe their org is struggling or doesn’t have a plan.

So we have a kind of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ thing going on. Not good for the donors. Not good for the sector.

I want to see donors more educated. About the great work of organizations, about the power of philanthropy.

As it turns out, the more they know, the more they give. And I think transparency in the sector is key.

My guest today has addressed this very set of issues, and in so doing has built lasting partnerships between donors and organizations and is working to build a culture of philanthropy in a Florida county with 2,000 registered nonprofits.

Today, she shares the recipe, the tools, and the outcomes.

About Roxie Jerde

Roxie Jerde has served as President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County since March of 2011.

Since arriving in Sarasota, Roxie has worked closely with Community Foundation donors, along with area nonprofits, businesses and foundations, to solve important issues affecting the community. She spearheaded the launch of DonorEdge – locally branded as The Giving Partner in partnership with local foundations, and six successful Giving Challenges that have raised more than $40 million for local nonprofits, strengthened by support from The Patterson Foundation.

She has been a leader in numerous community collaborations including Season of Sharing, a community initiative for those on the verge of homelessness; the Campaign for Grade Level Reading; Any Given Child, which works to expand arts education, ensuring access and equity for all students; and EdExploreSRQ, an initiative that provides students with valuable exposure to arts, science and culture through educational “explorations.”

She also spearheads the Two Generational initiative which focuses on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both vulnerable children and their parents together, informed by a partnership with Ascend of the Aspen Institute.

Roxie was selected to participate in the 2012 Florida Executive Leadership program. She is a past Chair and current member of the Leadership Team of the Community Foundations of Florida, part of the Florida Philanthropic Network, a Trustee of the Southeastern Council on Foundations, a member and past board member of the Suncoast International Women’s Forum and a trustee for the Lee Wetherington Foundation.

She was honored as a 2014 “Woman in Power” by the National Council of Jewish Women – Sarasota/Manatee and a 2015 “Women of Light Award” from the Women’s International Conference of Westcoast Center for Human Development.

Roxie is from Kansas City where she served as Senior Vice President for Donor Relations and Education at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the nation and widely regarded as a thought leader in philanthropy. Previously, she held a number of senior marketing and product-development positions at for-profit companies, including an 11-year career at Hallmark Cards.

Roxie has a BBA in Marketing and Management from the University of Iowa and a MBA in Finance and Organizational Behavior from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

An avid bicyclist with her husband, Mike, Roxie enjoys exploring Sarasota’s beautiful roads and trails. Roxie also enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes, yoga and reading.

In this episode

  • What responsibilities do charities who accept public dollars have to be transparent?
  • How a giving challenge brought more than $11 million to local charities in Sarasota, Florida
  • How you can bring giving challenges to a city near you
  • The power of the Giving Partner powered GuideStar to support community foundations as a service to donors, funders and the community.
  • A great way to make giving fun
  • How to inspire local community building through philanthropy