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Debra Jacobs, executive director of The Patterson Foundation
Sarasota Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 5 years ago

Patterson Foundation focuses on partnerships

by: Nick Friedman Managing Editor of Arts and Culture

During the first of seven scheduled sessions, Patterson Foundation Executive Director Debra Jacobs outlined Tuesday the specific partnerships and projects of the organization, with an emphasis on its guiding philosophy.

Because the principles of philanthropy and entrepreneurialism were so important to founder Dorothy Patterson, who established the foundation in honor of her late husband, Jim, Jacobs said the Patterson Foundation is striving to use the $200 million endowment left by the late Patterson to do the most good it possibly can on the local, national and global level.

“Rather than having grant cycles, the Patterson Foundation chooses strategic partnerships to develop relationships that will make the biggest impact,” said Jacobs. “We want to create new realities by seeing things not how they are, but as they could be.”

Jacobs discussed the list of initiatives the foundation will be supporting, such as EdExplore, a web platform in partnership with the Sarasota County Public Schools. That system will connect students and teachers to cultural and scientific experiences in the community.

The Patterson Foundation also is lending support to the New Media Journalism Initiative, which connects community journalism innovators, to enable them to thrive amid the changes in news research and reporting. The focus is journalism that promotes democracy, builds communities, holds institutions accountable and motivates citizens to action.

Jim Patterson was a descendant of Joseph Medill, who purchased a controlling interest of the Chicago Tribune in 1874. Patterson was an executive with the New York Daily News.

After listing a variety of other initiatives, Jacobs said the primary goal of the foundation is to create new realities and ripple effects by focusing on the values of its founders.

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