News Releases

Moon joins Southwest Florida Community Foundation board

Moon joins Southwest Florida Community Foundation board

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently added Frederick Moon to its board of trustees.

Born and raised in New York City, Moon graduated from Amherst College and the Harvard Business School. After business school, he served as an assistant treasurer at the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company in New York City. During that time, he engaged in a variety of community-based educational and health activities which led him to a career shift from banking to the nonprofit sector. From 1975 to 1990, he was vice president and treasurer of Pomona College. Pomona College is the founding institution of The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five independent colleges. As a consequence, administrative work there focused on collaboration and partnership. In that time frame, he was active with the California accrediting body (WASC) rewriting the financial and governance standards for college and university accreditation. In 1990, he opened the west coast office of Cambridge Associates, the national consulting firm serving the investment and endowment management needs of large nonprofits across the U.S. His consulting clients focused on west coast colleges, universities and foundations.

After leaving Cambridge in the late 1990s, Moon worked as a director of The Surdna Foundation in New York City. He was a director for 20 years, chair for six years and chairman of the investment committee for his full tenure there. He helped transform the foundation from a low-key family foundation to a professionally managed one, noted by field building, collaboration with other national funders and partnering with grantees. In addition to grant-making activities, Surdna had founded two operating nonprofits – a residential treatment center for learning challenged youth and a retirement home – which Moon helped transform to self sustaining, locally managed institutions. The foundation held extensive timber assets in California that Moon managed. Consistent with Surdna’s environmental grant-making program goals, Moon developed sustainable forestry practices and positioned the foundation’s timber assets as a demonstration model for others in the business. As chair of the investment committee, he sought to bridge the gap between the separation that exists between grant making and endowment investing. These efforts helped encourage grant making to be more strategic and business like on one hand while helping locate endowment investment opportunities, which could support the foundation’s overall mission and program goals on the other.

Moon has served on numerous nonprofit boards during his career in southern and northern California and Maine. He continues to be active in many causes, notably environmental sustainability and energy issues, human and civil rights, and finding strategies for local communities to be healthy and sustainable. He has two daughters, each of whom has three sons. In addition to living in Florida, he has a house on the coast of Maine.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. It partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community last year. With assets of $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan.

Currently, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in South Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund hosts spring luncheon for contributors

Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund hosts spring luncheon for contributors

Nearly 100 Women’s Legacy Fund contributors and Prima Donors recently attended the Fund’s spring luncheon. The luncheon was complimentary and exclusively for WLF contributors and Prima Donors in celebration of the Fund’s 10th anniversary.

A fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the Women’s Legacy Fund is a group of women who foster the immersion of women in philanthropy and develop the region’s next philanthropic leaders.

The luncheon included facilitated discussions around the three grant focus areas selected by the WLF grants committee including STEM programs/vocational training for women and girls, micro-lending programs for women and business/market support for women.

In its first 10 years of existence, the WLF has been able to provide $142,000 in grants to benefit people and communities in Southwest Florida. Currently, the Fund has $638,000 in endowment that will continue to help fund local issues now and in the future.

Contributors to the WLF give a minimum of $250 each year ($100 for women younger than 25). The first half of contributions is pooled for the purpose of immediate annual grants, while the second half is pooled into the WLF’s endowment fund which provides additional grants to be made both now and in years to come. Prima Donors are local women who have contributed $10,000 or more to the WLF endowment and are committed to making an impact in their community through charitable giving.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. It partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community last year. With assets of $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, it has satellite offices located in Sanibel Island, LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.

For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

Community invited to construction kickoff of new Southwest Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory

Community invited to construction kickoff of new Southwest Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory

The Board of Trustees of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the City of Fort Myers City Council and staff will host a Construction Kickoff Community Celebration of the Foundation’s new Collaboratory on Thursday, April 27, 8 to 10 a.m.at 2031 Jackson Street and Bennett Hart Park in Downtown Fort Myers. The event is free and open to the public. A brief program will begin at 8:30 a.m. featuring comments from the leadership of the Foundation, the City of Fort Myers, and a representative of the Florida Community Loan Fund.

The event will celebrate the public-private partnership of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the City of Fort Myers and mark the beginning of the transformation of the Atlantic Coast Railway station and construction of a 10,000-square-foot LEED addition to create a campus that includes the Foundation’s regional headquarters and state-of-the-art shared space for the community and tenants.

The Foundation is funding the project with a $10 million New Market Tax Credit deal, or NMTC, a program which encourages economic development in distressed neighborhoods. Florida Community Loan Fund provided the NMTC allocation and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation is an investor on the project. Whitney Hancock Bank provided additional financing.

Fort Myers based- Parker Mudgett Smith Architects and OAK Construction Co. are leading the project’s renovation and construction.  The project is focused on preserving historical features of the property and railway station.

When complete in summer 2018, the Collaboratory will feature vibrant spaces for work, gatherings and special events. In addition, plans include state-of-the-art technology that encourages regional collaboration.

“We are excited to share this celebration with Southwest Florida because the building is designed with the community in mind,” said Sarah Owen, president & CEO, of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

To attend the event, reservations are requested by calling 239-274-5900 or email [email protected] Parking is available in the city parking garages, in city metered spaces and valet parking is available.  For more information on parking, visit www.floridacommunity.com/kickoff-parking.

The Atlantic Coast Line railway station was presented to the City on Feb. 4, 1924, the same year Fort Myers was poised to join the Florida real estate boom of the 1920s.  In the face of shrinking revenues, the Seaboard Coast Line (which had merged with ACL) sold its track and discontinued all passenger service into Fort Myers and closed the station in 1971. After sitting empty for a decade, the Southwest Florida Museum of History opened on the site in 1982. In 2015, the museum merged with the Imaginarium Science Center and recently moved physically to the Imaginarium’s site at Cranford Ave.

 

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Last year, it partnered with donors: individuals, families and corporations that created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation’s invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan.

Currently, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in South Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southwest Florida Community Foundation Fund for the Environment Inspired by Earth Day

Southwest Florida Community Foundation Fund for the Environment Inspired by Earth Day

                 Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is crowdfunding for the Fund for the Environment in Southwest Florida.

            All monies raised through this multi-donor fund will be given back out to the local community through nonprofit organizations with projects focused on the long-term sustainability of the Southwest Florida environment.

            Donations starting at $10 are now being accepted online at www.floridacommunity.com/environment-fund. The first 22 donors will receive an “environment” button in the mail.
The first grant from this new fund was awarded this year to Audubon of the Western Everglades Protection of Vital Wetlands and Habitat in Southwest Florida.

Earth Day is celebrating its 47th year as a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion and motivate people to action. The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Today, the Earth Day Network (EDN) works with tens of thousands of partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than one billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. It partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community last year. With assets of $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, it has satellite offices located in Sanibel Island, LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.

For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund to hold spring luncheon for contributors

Community Foundation’s Women’s Legacy Fund to hold spring luncheon for contributors

The Women’s Legacy Fund will host its spring luncheon on Friday, April 7 at 11 a.m. at Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club located at 14500 Vista River Drive in Fort Myers. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the luncheon is complimentary and exclusively for WLF contributors and Prima Donors.

A fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the Women’s Legacy Fund is a group of women who foster the immersion of women in philanthropy and develop the region’s next philanthropic leaders.

The luncheon will include facilitated discussions around the three grant focus areas selected by the WLF grants committee including STEM programs/vocational training for women and girls, micro-lending programs for women and business/market support for women.

In its first 10 years, the WLF has been able to provide $142,000 in grants to benefit people and communities in Southwest Florida. Currently, the Fund has $638,000 in endowment that will continue to help fund local issues now and in the future.

In 2016, the WLF presented a grant check of $20,000 to Florida Gulf Coast University’s Whitaker Center for STEM education. The Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) program used the funding to mentor and inspire female FGCU students and middle school girls in Southwest Florida to pursue STEM careers by providing hands-on, inquiry-driven STEM activities via expertise at Whitaker Center for STEM education at FGCU.

In 2015, the WLF granted $22,675.92 to the Happehatchee Center. The grant was used for Happehatchee Center’s Working to Improve with Self Employment (WISE) Women program which focuses on the San Carlos Park neighborhood of South Fort Myers and the Covered Wagon Trailer Park in Estero.

Contributors to the WLF give a minimum of $250 each year ($100 for women younger than 25). The first half of contributions is pooled for the purpose of immediate annual grants, while the second half is pooled into the WLF’s endowment fund which provides additional grants to be made both now and in years to come. Prima Donors are local women who have contributed $10,000 or more to the WLF endowment and are committed to making an impact in their community through charitable giving.

Luncheon reservations are required by March 28 by calling Sydney Roberts at 239-274-5900 or emailing [email protected]

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Last year, it partnered with individuals, families and corporations that have created more than 400 philanthropic funds over the last 40 years. Thanks to them, the Foundation’s invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

Southwest Florida Community Foundation to showcase new art exhibit

Southwest Florida Community Foundation to showcase new art exhibit

New exhibit features paintings inspired by artist Judi Ekholm’s national park visits

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation will launch a new art display at its Community Hub in April.

Beginning April 6, “Fresh Aire” will feature an adventure in color through the paintings inspired by artist Judi Ekholm’s road journey through 11 national parks and 21 states.

Ekholm focuses on different vantage points, and her technique is similar the Old Masters with many layers of fine paint and glazing. Her images of landscapes and gardens are both romantic and bold. She creates all sizes and scales of paintings, and each one makes its own original and unique statement. Her impressionistic paintings can be found in more than 700 international collections.

The artist is originally from near Louisville, Ky. She received a Master of Art in Teaching at the Indiana University and has studied with Bill Bailey and James McGarrell. She is a master gardener, and her oil paintings exhibit her knowledge and love of the land.

Ekholm is donating 30% of sales to the Fund for the Arts of Southwest Florida, a fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

The exhibit is open to the public and will run through May during regular Community Foundation business hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some paintings are located in meeting rooms, so those interested in seeing the exhibit are asked to call before arriving to make sure all areas are accessible. The Community Hub at the Foundation is located at 8771 College Parkway, Building 2, Suite 201 in Fort Myers.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Last year, it partnered with individuals, families and corporations that have created more than 400 philanthropic funds during the past 40 years. Thanks to them, the Foundation’s invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

Pine Island Sound by Judi Ekholm
Pine Island Sound by Judi Ekholm
Aglow by Judi Ekholm
Aglow by Judi Ekholm
Midnight Madness by Judi Ekholm
Midnight Madness by Judi Ekholm

Southwest Florida Community Foundation grantees’ reports 2016 results

The 18 local nonprofits granted $551,500 in 2016 from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s available Field of Interest funds as well as individual and corporate donations, have reported their annual outcomes.

The established and new programs funded by last year’s grants were designed to increase the quality of life in sustainable and equitable ways for Southwest Floridians.

The nonprofits included Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, Champions for Learning, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition Inc., the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. (CROW), Family Initiative Incorporated, Glades County Board of County Commissioners, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc., Gulf Coast Symphony, Gulfshore Opera, Hendry County Library System, I Will Mentorship Foundation, Lee County Alliance for the Arts, Naples Botanical Garden, New Mission Systems International, RCMA, The Heights Center, The Immokalee Foundation and Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Of the funded reporting nonprofits, nearly 90 percent of the tribe programs demonstrated progress toward the changes nonprofits desired in the region because of their program.

The increase in the amount of collaboration between Foundation-funded nonprofits is 650 percent resulting in 13 collaborative projects between the nonprofit grantees. Examples of these collaborations include Gulf Coast Symphony and the Heights Center’s MusicWorks! program for the after-school children along with Family Initiative and the Alliance for the Arts’ Art for Autism program.

In Lee County, Gulf Coast Symphony’s free Music Works! program at the Heights Center provides an innovative education and social initiative that creates opportunities for personal development in children (grades K-2) through the study of music.

Foundation-funded nonprofits saw an increase from 22.5 to 28.9 percent in knowledge and ability in evaluation skills such as data collection, analysis and reporting.

“Awarding the funding was just the beginning of our partnership with the regional mix of nonprofits,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Staying connected with them all year through their ‘tribes’ provided a learning community where they shared information and built their capacity to strengthen them and their leadership.”

Learn more about the results of the work of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Tribes through the video featuring the Tribes at work at http://floridacommunity.com/tribes/

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Last year, it partnered with individuals, families and corporations that have created more than 400 philanthropic funds over the last 40 years. Thanks to them, the Foundation’s invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.

Less than two weeks to apply for Community Foundation scholarships

Less than two weeks to apply for Community Foundation scholarships

FAFSA form required for need-based scholarships

The deadline for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s scholarship application process is fast approaching with less than two weeks left to apply.

Closing on March 3, the scholarship application process is available through the Foundation’s online portal at www.floridacommunity.com/scholarships. Students may apply for multiple scholarships and upload transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, letters of recommendation and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) report, as well as access an online tutorial about how to create and submit the online application.

Approximately $500,000 in scholarship money for the 2017-2018 school year is available through more than 50 scholarships for local high school students, undergraduate and graduate students from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

Need-based scholarships require the FAFSA form, which is available at www.fafsa.gov. Educators, mentors, parents and students can find resources to complete the FAFSA form through the local FAFSA first website recently launched by the FutureMakers Coalition at http://fafsafirst.org/. The goal of the FutureMakers Coalition is to transform the workforce by increasing the number of Southwest Florida residents with degrees, certificates and other high-quality credentials by the year 2025.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. It partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Community Foundation has invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. It is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, the Community Foundation has satellite offices located in Sanibel Island, LaBelle (Hendry County), and downtown Fort Myers.  For more information, visit www.FloridaCommunity.com or call 239-274-5900.

Southwest Florida Community Foundation grants more than $550,000 to local nonprofits

Southwest Florida Community Foundation grants more than $550,000 to local nonprofits

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation has awarded $557,036.00 to both established and new programs that are designed to increase the quality of life in sustainable and equitable ways for Southwest Floridians.

Eighteen local nonprofits were granted money from the community foundation’s available Field of Interest funds, as well as individual and corporate donations resulting from foundation’s Compassionate Shark Tank audience.

The nonprofits include: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, Audubon of the Western Everglades, CROW – Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc., Family Initiative Incorporated, Glades Education Foundation, Inc., Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc., Gulf Coast Symphony, Gulfshore Opera, Hendry County School District, Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships, I Will Mentorship Foundation, JFCS of Southwest Florida, Lee County Alliance for the Arts, New Mission Systems International, Sanibel Sea School, the School District of Lee County and The Heights Center.

Some examples of the regional funding include Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter’s REACHing Southwest Florida (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health). This program provides training for caregivers of people with Alzheimers to reduce burden and depression, improve ability to provide self-care, provide social support, and help caregivers learn how to manage difficult behaviors in care recipients.

The Hendry School District’s Clewiston Industrial Mechanics Program will focus on providing training and a link to employment in the area of industrial and farm mechanics. A huge demand for this high skill high wage trade exists within the community. Providing this training will help bridge an unemployment gap as well as provide a qualified workforce locally trained.

The Heights Center’s Teach.Learn.Connect (T.L.C.) program will allow parents to receive training for three hours each week on such topics as: forming positive relationships, building self-esteem, positive discipline, conflict resolution, communication, the power of encouragement, fostering responsibility and resiliency, routines and structure, interactive literacy, math and more. Training will be presented by certified professionals and will incorporate time for parents and children to work together as new skills are practiced.

The first award from the new Fund for the Environment of Southwest Florida was granted to Audubon of Western Everglades’ Protection of Vital Wetlands and Habitats in Southwest Florida which works to preserve as much Southwest Florida wetland acreage via “smart growth” where it does the least environmental damage while still providing benefit to the local economy.  Building in environmentally sensitive areas jeopardizes not only the broad natural vistas many of us enjoy but also wetlands, which are critical for clean drinking water supplies as well as for the health of creeks, rivers, estuaries, beaches and wildlife habitat.

“Awarding this funding is just the start of our partnership with this regional mix of nonprofits,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Foundation.  “We will stay connected with them all year in a learning community where we share information and build our partnerships with the nonprofit and its leadership.”

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Last year, it partnered with individuals, families and corporations that have created more than 400 philanthropic funds over the last 40 years. Thanks to them, the Foundation’s invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers. 

 

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.