Do you want to change our corner of the world?

We believe that to bring real change to our region, we need to think differently, and act differently. Over the last few years, we’ve done just that by working with donors, citizens, nonprofit agencies, and business, government and education leaders.

As a regional leader in social innovation and change, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation does 3 things:

1.

We look for opportunities to make our community better and brighter and rally people around  these opportunities to seek solutions together.

2.

We help people invest their charitable dollars in causes they care about most.

3.

We award grants and invest our resources in organizations that are making life better for people of our regional community.

We invite you to join our family and invest in the community with us!

We are just a phone call away

239-274-5900


FOUNDATION INFORMATION:

Currrent IRS Form 990
IRS Determination letter

Annual Report

Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Inc.
FEIN#59-6580974

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Give Your Way

We Make it Easy to Make an Impact

Whether you want to start a fund now and start “giving while you are living,” or establish a future fund, one that will be ready to express your legacy later, we can help you to give now or handle the details to prepare for the future. Based on the causes that are important to you, our team will work with you to determine the best approach to giving and pinpointing where your gift will have a profound and lasting impact and bring about positive social change. And, we will explore how to give for the most tax benefit to you and your estate.

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CUSTOMIZE A FUND

It’s your fund, so you can give your way. We like to think of ourselves as the YES Foundation, with few rules, and lots of options.
Ways to Give  •  Private Foundation Services
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LET US HELP YOU

Whether your passion is animals or education, the arts, the environment, or helping your neighbors, we stand ready to assume the concierge role.
Donor Services
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INFO FOR WEALTH & PHILANTHROPIC ADVISORS

Advisors are most often our friends in philanthropy. They guide their clients’ financial decisions and it’s no exception when it involves giving. We appreciate our friends and have provided resources here to help.
Forms & Resources
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LEGACY – ESTATE PLANNING

The SWFL Community Foundation was founded on legacy gifts, and much of the work we do today is because of generous and thoughtful donors who planned their legacy to their community with intentionality. Check out these resources and some stories about what some of our donors have told us they’re planning to do.
Simple Language for Your Will
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WOMEN’S LEGACY FUND

This section features many opportunities for women to get involved in philanthropy.
Who We Are  •  How to Get Involved  •  Gallery of Angels
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BONITA SPRINGS COMMUNITY FUND

Established in 1997, this special fund supports the communities of greater Bonita Springs by providing grants to local non-profits.

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Development Team

Carolyn<br />
Rogers

Carolyn
Rogers

VP, Development & Communications
Andrea<br />
McKiddie

Andrea
McKiddie

Donor Services Coordinator
Kim<br />
Williams

Kim
Williams

Facilities & IT Coordinator
Monique<br />
Ward

Monique
Ward

Development Associate
$80m
in Assets
$60m
Total in Grants & Scholarships
84
Scholarships Granted in 2014
$4.1m
Granted to Nonprofit orgs. in 2014

Your Community Foundation

Because we are entrusted with our donors’ philanthropic funds, our first priority as a community foundation is responsible stewardship of these gifts. We are diligent at managing donor funds, guiding investments with oversight from our board of directors and finance committee, adhering to strict investment policies with an eye on long-term growth, keeping donor intent, and granting with the greatest return on investment in our community.

STEWARDSHIP & FINANCE
Investing and granting charitable dollars entrusted to us by donors is something we don’t take lightly. Read about our investment objectives and check out our financial statements and audited financials.

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GOVERNANCE
Governed by a volunteer board of trustees since 1976, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is built on a history of exceptional leadership focused on identifying and solving community needs.

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AFFILIATIONS
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is proud to be recognized and confirmed as being compliant with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

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Finance Team

Ronald E.<br />
Penn

Ronald E.
Penn

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer
Luis<br />
Leon

Luis
Leon

Controller
Robert<br />
Raymond

Robert
Raymond

Accounting Associate
Michele<br />
Adams

Michele
Adams

Receptionist
Leading Forward

Understanding Our Region

The Community Foundation constantly studies the needs in our community, engaging experts and interested citizens to discuss issues and solutions. We are leaders, dialogue starters, icebreakers, liaisons and advocates.

Resource for Nonprofits

We provide so much more than grants. The Community Foundation is more than a gateway to grant giving. While we provide grants to nonprofits, we also support them after the funding cycle by coaching and developing the leadership they need to build a strong organization that is part of a greater network of like organizations in the region. Our goal is to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofit agencies capable of affecting the greatest change in our community – a mission that extends beyond funding and involves continual and meaningful conversation and interaction.

When We Start Talking, We Start Solving

It works. We’ve witnessed inspiring and passionate conversations, seen the spark of idea ignite into action and a regional partnership with nonprofit organizations or “tribe” that continues beyond a grant or project. This multi-agency collaboration produces better fundraising strategies and creates a united effort to solve challenges. The team approach also aids our mission in acquiring national funding sources while fulfilling our commitment of delivering a return on investment for every single donor, every single dollar. Working with our nonprofit partners, we are demonstrating visible impact on the issues. We don’t just talk. We aspire to solve.

Regional Solutions

Regional Scope, Regional Solutions

We are dedicated change makers, recognizing true power comes in greater numbers. By convening local groups and engaging the community in ongoing dialogue, roundtable discussions and collaboration around an issue, the Community Foundation is erasing county boundaries to create regional solutions to the toughest challenges. Our civic leadership and resourcing for change is now a multi-agency dialogue, one that brings together community agencies, business and government, funders and stakeholders. They begin to think beyond their singular group’s needs and ambitions, beyond city or county boundaries, to think together and to develop projects resulting in measurable community impact. We encourage our community to think big.

Calls to Action

What’s your Cause? Because we care about it too.  We care about the causes in our community that will make our region stronger and in turn make Southwest Florida more competitive for national grants. We are brokers of resources and ideas, pulling together the right people armed with first-hand knowledge of the region’s needs for action, encouraging innovation, results and sustainability.  It all starts with a conversation that sometimes leads to a Call to Action. “Calls to Action” often lead to shared action and result in formal Foundation Initiatives led by the Community Foundation involving lots of people from diverse backgrounds who care passionately about the very same thing.

Tell us what your cause is:

Click on the icon and tell us your favorite cause

PEOPLE_circle
Environment_circle
Animal_circle
ARTS_circle
Education_circle
economic-development

Foundation Initiatives

It takes more than financial resources to achieve change. It also takes leadership. Foundation Initiatives are developed as a result of a Regional Call to Action.

These Initiatives are developed, often in partnerships with other funders, to address a wide range of community issues allowing groups to make decisions and take action frequently over a multi-year period.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation launched two Initiatives this past year, each one designed to allow us to use our resources for maximum impact. Learn about them below.

GRANTS

We incubate new ideas and strengthen existing work through targeted grant-making.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation funds grants in two primary ways:

1.

Grants by Invitation

Agencies are selected by Foundation leadership to partner around a specific regional initiative. This partnership can include funding to support the work of the chosen agencies.

2.

Grants by Proposal

An RFP process through the Foundation is not your typical RFP. Each RFP is designed as both a learning experience and a funding an opportunity. When the Foundation requests proposals for a specific grant program, the instructions and process steps will be linked on this this page. It’s important to check this page often.

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Recent Grants

Community Impact<br />Grant

Community Impact
Grant

View Project
Women’s Legacy<br />Fund

Women’s Legacy
Fund

View Project
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fund

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fund

View Project
Bonita Springs Community Fund

Bonita Springs Community Fund

View Project
Scholarships Granted

Scholarships Granted

View Project

Regional Initiatives Team

Dave<br />
Fleming, DM, PhD

Dave
Fleming, DM, PhD

Chief Strategic Officer
Tessa<br />
LeSage, MPA, LEED AP BD+C

Tessa
LeSage, MPA, LEED AP BD+C

Director of Social Innovation & Sustainability
JACQUELINE<br />
EHLERS

JACQUELINE
EHLERS

Strategy Coordinator/Executive Assistant
Cindy<br />
Banyai, Ph.D.

Cindy
Banyai, Ph.D.

Evaluation and Research Specialist
Creating News

Community Foundation scholarship application process begins Dec. 19 – More than $450,000 available

More than $450,000 available through 40 scholarships for high-school seniors and 23 for undergraduate and graduate students The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s scholarship application process for the 2015-2016 school year will begin on Friday, Dec. 19. Approximately $450,000 in scholarship money is available through 40 scholarships for local high-school students and through 23 scholarships for…

Our Community Fall 2014

Our Community Fall 2014

INSIDE: FutureMakers Participants, School-by-school FAFSA Completion, The Financial Challenge

“Research shows a direct correlation between thriving cities and education beyond high
school. Increased attainment delivers stronger local economies, greater individual
earning power and better quality of life. Every community in America wants that, and
we’ve designed this work to give civic leaders the tools they need to be successful.”
—Jamie Merisotis
President & CEO, Lumina Foundation

Inhale Gratitude. Exhale Generosity.

Inhale Gratitude. Exhale Generosity.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ― William Arthur Ward Well, if you are a calendar watcher, today is the first day of December and that means there are only a certain number of days until a variety of holidays.  Take your pick:  24 days till…

Inside the Advocates Studio with Al Letson

Inside the Advocates Studio with Al Letson

Sarah Owen stepped inside the Advocates’ Studio for a quick interview with poet, performer and NPR personality Al Letson during his SWFL performances last month.

Angels Aren’t Just Cookie Cutters and Tree Ornaments

Angels Aren’t Just Cookie Cutters and Tree Ornaments

Do you know an angel? Chances are most people don’t see her halo or her wings like you do.  I have grown to believe that these ethereal creatures have the ability to cloak their kindness, often wearing beige and working behind the scenes.  But some are just so special that the people around them spot…

Sarah Owen Nominated for News-Press Person of the Year

Sarah Owen Nominated for News-Press Person of the Year

Thank you to the News-Press for nominating our CEO Sarah Owen as Person of the Year along with one of our trustees Robbie Roepstorff.   We salute all nominees and we are rest assured that our community is in some very good hands.  See the News-Press story from last Sunday here, or click here to read more on the News-Press…