CAUSE & EFFECT: August / September

CAUSE & EFFECT: August / September

CAUSE & EFFECT: August / September

Aug/Sept 2016 issue

Back to It!

At this time of “Back to School,” we are hearing from our 2016 scholarship recipients who are taking big steps toward career paths, and we have recently bid our farewell to our 2016 Florida Fellows, communications interns from the University of Florida. Our nonprofit grantees hosted 3 burgeoning professionals this summer.  (Read more on this below).

We imagine the places that these young men and women will go, the things they will discover and learn and the leaders they will become.  

And if you didn’t know it by now, I am a Future Maker.  I am so proud of the work that this regional coalition is doing to improve the workforce in the Southwest Florida by working with hundreds of other FutureMakers in a collective impact initiative from “cradle to career” pathways. This month we will host the coalition’s annual FutureMakers Champions meeting where we get together with area CEOs, educators, municipal, business and community leaders, and more. We all have one goal in mind, to transform the workforce by increasing the number of college degrees and post-secondary certifications from 27 to 40% by 2025. Click here to learn more about being a FutureMaker too.  
Thank you for reading.
In Gratitude,
P.S. For those interested in applying for 2017-18 scholarships, you will want to be sure to SUBMIT EARLIER for FAFSA.  This year applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2016!  Please watch our website and the FutureMakers website for more information

Sustainability Plan Goes Regional

As leaders for regional change, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is addressing the quality of life for those who live, learn, work, and play in our region.

In 2015, Lee County Board of County Commissioners transferred the CompleteLee Sustainability Plan to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. We understand this plan to be a road map for driving continuous improvement. Our goal is to use the plan’s framework to measure the collective impact of regional initiatives that indicate the strength of our community.  

Our plan is a regional one.  So we will use this direction laid by Lee County to establish similar tools for the region.  We can’t wait to see what’s next!  For more information, please visit the plan on our website by clicking here.

Special Note:  This community-driven sustainability work is part of a regional effort to promote sustainability in Southwest Florida.  It is not affiliated with the for profit entity SWFL Sustainability LLC, SWFL Sustainability Summit or the SWFL Sustainability Digital newsletter.  Our efforts are supported by volunteer participation and generous donors dedicated to a sustainable Southwest Florida.  We do not solicit advertising or sponsorships for this initiative.

Announcing New Board Members

Mike Jung, Gail Markham, Dale Reiss and Jonathan Romine are newest Foundation trustees
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently elected four new members to its board of trustees.

We extend a warm welcome to Mike Jung, Gail Markham, Dale Reiss and Jonathan Romine. They have each joined the board for a three-year term.

To read more about our dedicated trustees,please click here.

Tessa LeSage, MPA, LEED AP BD+C
the Foundation’s director of social innovation and sustainability

Tessa LeSage is Apex Laureate

Tessa LeSage was chosen as an Apex Laureate by Women in Business. She was selected among women in Lee County who make a difference in their occupations and in the community. She joins our president and CEO Sarah Owen, a 2009 recipient, in the Apex Circle, an esteemed group of the Women in Business, Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.  

Among her responsibilities at the Foundation, Tessa provides the backbone structure for the FutureMakers Coalition, oversees the grants processes and guides the Foundation’s regional sustainability plan.

“I am truly honored. I strive to make an impact every day, not with the goal of winning an award, but in the hopes of making the community a better place,” LeSage says. “This is very special.”

She will be honored at a black tie dinner-dance Saturday, Sept. 24, along with the Women in Business scholarship recipients.

To learn more or to attend the Apex Awards, click here.
Faces of Philanthropy Photo Exhibit to Close October 11.

It’s almost a wrap! 

This is your last chance to see the exhibit that celebrates outstanding philanthropy from the region and honors those passionate about our community and who give back.

With 65 photos of nearly 100 people, many of our visitors have found the exhibit to be a great study in portraiture.  We welcome art groups and anyone interested in the work.  The exhibit features faces from all walks of life and individuals as young as 8 years of age up to 90, photographed as a gift to the foundation by Photographer Brian Tietz.

The exhibit is open to the public weekdays through October 11 during regular Community Foundation hours, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some photos are located in meeting rooms so those interested in seeing the exhibit are asked to call 239-274-5900 before arriving to make sure all areas are accessible.
Prima Donors Discuss Affordable Housing
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently hosted more than 20 of its Women’s Legacy Fund’s Prima Donors for a dinner at the Foundation’s Community Hub.

The evening featured dinner conversation exploring housing, homelessness and affordable housing for women. This is group that explores issues affecting women and girls in our region.

Prima Donors are local women who have contributed $10,000 or more to the Women’s Legacy Fund endowment and are committed to making an impact in their community through charitable giving.
The WLF also offers a contributor-giving level at $250 a year. The Fund was established in 2007 by the Community Foundation to enable women in Southwest Florida to direct their giving in focused, strategic ways. Its mission is to engage women in affecting change in our community through collective philanthropy.  If you are interested in becoming a Prima Donor or becoming part of our Women’s Legacy Fund, click here.

Please save the date and plan to join us!
Fall Women’s Legacy Fund Luncheon

The Fall Women’s Legacy Fund will be held on Thursday, October 20th at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club. We will hear from the WISE Women program at Happahatchee Center, our 2015 grantee, and learn more about this year’s cause area “Career Exploration for women and girls” and award our annual WLF grant!  It’s always a good time to catch up on what’s happening with women and girls in our region.

Let us know if you’d like an invitation by emailing Sydney Roberts

TOGETHER Fort Myers Fund
More than $20,000 raised for families of victims

Thanks to the generosity of some very special people and local businesses, the TOGETHER Fort Myers Fund is helping the families of the victims pay for expenses related to the tragedy at Club Blu.  

In partnership with the City of Fort Myers and the United Way, the TOGETHER Fund has proven that we are all here and ready to help one another together with our kind and generous supporters, residents and news media.  Funds are still being collected if you’d like to give online, click here.
Foundation’s Florida Fellows Share Summer with Nonprofits
Kelsey Pena, Taylor Tringali, Karly Marcy are Foundation’s 2016 Florida Fellows
The Community Foundation’s Florida Fellows were each assigned to work for 8 weeks with one of the nonprofit organizations funded through the Foundation’s annual community impact grants. 
The fellows assisted the nonprofit leadership to develop messaging and stories of those who are benefiting from the grant. This year’s nonprofit fellowship partners were Gulf Coast Humane Society for their spay and neuter program, the Alliance for the Arts for the arts economic impact study and Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida for the Neighborhood Improvement Association community farming programs.
“Through this fellowship and other work with the nonprofit leaders throughout the year in our 2016 Grantee Tribe, we hope to support, strengthen and leverage the important work of the nonprofits in our region and provide a network for nonprofit leaders to connect and share ideas,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. 
Now in its second year, the fellowship was made possible through a donation from the Al and Nancy Burnett Charitable Foundation. The project is a partnership with the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications.  We say a very special thank you and a hearty “Go Gators” to our Fellows and our supportive Fellowship donors.