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Gulf Coast Gives

Philanthropic online shopping approaches Sarasota Opera

March 30, 2011

Samuel Lowry
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota, FL -- A recently launched online giving program for non-profit organizations,
Gulf Coast Gives, has been the product of six months of extensive planning by the Gulf
Coast Community Foundation of Venice. The hope is by allowing donors to pick
specific projects they would like to help fund, this will target a new market of
philanthropists that can make a difference in their community. Among the inaugural 25
organizations asked to participate, Sarasota Opera was one of the first arts
organizations approached by Gulf Coast.
“Gulf Coast Gives is a wonderful program that shows it really doesn’t take a millionaire
to be a philanthropist,” says Susan Danis, the Executive Director of Sarasota Opera.
“After seeing our project live on the site I became curious and started browsing through
the others! The Foundation is visionary and we’re thrilled to have been asked to be part
of it.”
The website, launched on March 2nd, presents projects in the categories of Civic Affairs,
Education, Environment, Arts, and Human Services. “Many donors want to see the
direct impact that their donation has on an organization,” remarks Kelly Morrell from
Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “By asking for real items or for funds to help
provide services, nonprofits can show donors exactly what they are giving to.”
The Opera is in the midst of its first project, asking for funds to “buy screw guns to build
opera from the stage up - literally.” When asked why one should contribute to buy screw
guns, the Director of Production of Sarasota Opera, Jeff Ellis, replied “a cordless screw
gun is one of the fifteen or so basic tools [like a hammer, ratchet set, and wrench] that it
takes to do technical work. As such, our screw guns get a higher than average use for the
equipment. We try to cycle our equipment, but I still can’t get a screw gun to last more
than about eighteen months here.”
Once the project is successful, the Opera has already lined up two more projects for
funding requests. Scholarships for the Youth Opera Summer Camp and flights for the
principal singers of upcoming fall production [Madama Butterfly] are on deck.
To make a donation, visit Donations are tax-deductible and
receipts for donations will be given via email for tax records.