About Spirit of Giving Network
The Spirit of Giving Network brings nonprofit organizations and communities together to share resources and knowledge to improve the lives of children, families and individuals.
Innovative Community Collaboration -Be the "go to" resource for nonprofit organizations in need and community partners with something to give.
Aspiration: Unified Community
In 2001, Dick & Barbara Schmidt had a Holiday party at their home and they asked the invited guests to bring a toy for a needy child, this request resulted in over 600 gifts. They then decided that they needed to determine what organizations were in need of these toys. In order to better understand the non-profit community and to find out their missions and who they served, the Schmidt Family Foundation called a meeting of non-profits in the area that they had served over the years. After bringing these organizations together, it was evident that although the idea sounded like a good one, many were reluctant to share their resources, afraid they might lose some of their support. However, each month the group would meet and share ideas and before long the non-profits started to trust the idea that they could actually accomplish more as a group and make more of an impact in achieving their goals. The holiday toy drive was underway and a group of lady friends of Barbara’s became the elves who distributed requests for gifts, organized the influx of toys and distributed them to the various non-profits. The group started to work cohesively and drop the barriers of concern. All the children were being served!
Over the next few years, the group continued to meet once a month to share ideas and resources and determine what other areas they could address and before long, a back to school drive was organized, as well as a summer camp kit project. As a result, the question was asked, “So, where does it go from here?” It was apparent to all involved that the group of non-profits enjoyed working together and sharing resources – it was a win-win situation. Barbara Schmidt always said she would not push this idea on anyone but rather wanted it to be the nonprofit’s wish to make it work and grow. So in September of 2007, the group had a strategic planning meeting to develop a mission statement and a plan to expand their efforts. The mission & vision from that meeting is now a reality which is the Spirit of Giving Network – Innovative Community Collaboration.
THE NETWORK TODAY
The Spirit of Giving Network is a collaborative, nonprofit organization with a focus on children and families in South Palm Beach County. It is a forum where nonprofits and community supporters share information, resources and best practices. Currently, there are more than 60 nonprofit member organizations meeting on a monthly basis. The group’s objective is to streamline the delivery of services to the community by working collaboratively to solve issues and improve operations through internal and external partnerships. To achieve our objective these four Guiding Principles are used:
Purposeful Communication - Deliberately and intentionally creating opportunities to share information & resources.
Relevance - Meetings and group activities must be meaningful and beneficial to members.
Commitment - All members must commit to and fulfill their obligations to the Network in order for it to succeed.
Collaboration/Partnerships - Create formal partnership agreements with local agencies, community partners and individual supporters to maximize the distribution of resources across the community.
Currently, the Spirit of Giving Network has two signature projects during the year, the Holiday Gift Drive and the Community Back to School Bash:
Holiday Gift Drive- In 2009, we began a partnership with the Junior League of Boca Raton to provide over 4,000 children who are served by the Network of nonprofit organizations, with a special holiday gift wish. This relationship allows us to reach more children to making their holiday season brighter.
Community Back to School Bash- Provides at-risk children, served by the organizations that make up the Spirit of Giving Network, the opportunity to begin school with new backpacks and supplies so that they have the tools they need to learn. At the event, each child is paired with a personal shopper who guides them through a “store” of new school supplies. The child is encouraged to "shop" for their own supplies based on their preferences. While the children shop, the parents explore a variety of informational booths. Healthy snacks, medical testing, new shoes and free haircuts are also provided.
Community Volunteer Training-The goal is to encourage civic engagement by providing a single site for volunteer training, background checks, standardized applications and listing of local volunteer opportunities. Public volunteer training is held the every Tuesday 4-5 pm at the Junior League of Boca Raton office. Volunteer Hotline: 561-299-1205.
Non-Profit Wish List-This comprehensive list is published so that community supporters can have a quick reference of the specific needs of our non-profit organizations.
Achievement Centers for Families and Children
American Heart Association
America Association of Caregiving Youth
Best Foot Forward
Boca Helping Hands
Boca Historical Society
Boys & Girls Club – Boca Raton
Boys & Girls Club – Delray Beach
C.R.O.S. Ministries/Caring Kitchen
FAU Center for Civic Engagement
Florence Fuller Child Development
4KIDS of South Florida
Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County
Horses and the Handicapped
Hospice of Palm Beach County
In the Pines North and South
Kid Safe Foundation
Kids In Distress
Knights of Pythagoras
Let's Grow Well Together
Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County
My Choice Community Development
Office Depot Foundation
One Love- One Community Foundation
Palm Beach School for Autism
Pearl City C.A.T.S.
RCMA Farmworkers Child Development Center
Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service
Seagull Industries for the Disabled
Snow Scholarship Foundation
SOS Children's Villages
Take Stock in Children
The ARC of Palm Beach County
The Milagro Center
The Place of Hope at the Haven Campus
Twin Palms Center for the Disabled
YMCA of South Palm Beach County
Young Lions Mentoring
Youth Activities Center