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With more than 350 funds established by generous and philanthropically-minded members of our community, we work with donors to make sure their funds accomplish their philanthropic goals, and then we oversee the funds’ investments and assure the donor’s intent is carried out through the grant-making process.

There are many ways to give with cash or other assets.  From the simple to the complex, we can help you create your legacy with your giving vehicles, which often come with current and estate tax advantages.

We can simplify your giving, so let’s have a conversation. Here are some ways to give to your community through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, but this is just the start.

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Ways to Give Your Way

Donor Advised Fund – Today’s Philanthropic Checkbook

Donor Advised Funds now nationally outnumber all other charitable giving tools while providing significant advantages. We think of the donor advised fund as your personal foundation, your philanthropic checkbook to make grants today.

Donor Advised Funds offer:

  • no start-up cost
  • we organize your giving
  • low administrative fees
  • anonymity
  • fewer restrictions on giving
  • charitable dollars grow tax-free in your fund
  • simple agreement with no legal work required
  • immediate tax benefit

These charitable giving accounts can be created by individuals, families and organizations and offer immediate tax benefit. Donors grow their funds and make grants to a favorite nonprofit organization any time and over time. Simple, affordable and flexible, donor advised funds can be created by gifts of cash, publicly traded and registered stock, mutual funds, IRAs, whole life insurance policies, real estate, tangible personal property and other assets. Non-cash assets can be transferred to a donor advised fund without taxes, as they are a gift to charity (your fund at the Community Foundation).

Your recommendations help designate grant awards to specific charities. The Community Foundation will also work with you to discuss your goals and identify strategic gift-giving to produce maximum impact. The donor involvement component of these funds often proves perfect for many families who want to instill a spirit of philanthropy for their children and future generations.

To “Start a Fund” today, click here!


Community Unrestricted Funds

Among the most flexible forms of giving, a community unrestricted fund allows the Community Foundation to respond to immediate and emerging community needs. Your gifts are given without strings attached. Because these funds are not earmarked to a specific organization, purpose or cause, the potential for impact is unlimited. We treasure donors who have left us unrestricted donations as it allows us and our local nonprofits to respond to emerging issues that donors could not have envisioned years or even decades ago.


Designated Funds

Many fund holders are compelled to give back to their alma mater, a hospital or support a favorite nonprofit organization. These endowed funds are designed to contribute an annual percentage to your charity of choice, ensuring financial support into the future. In the event the organization ceases to exist or no longer offers programs you’ve chosen to support, the Community Foundation identifies another nonprofit group that meets your charitable goals.


Field of Interest Fund

If you’re the first person neighbors call whenever they find a stray dog or injured animal, a loyal patron of the arts or an avid enthusiast of higher education, a field of interest fund supports the causes and issues you care deeply about. This type of funding allows donors to champion specific areas of interests, including education, human services, health, the arts, the environment and animal welfare, without naming a specific nonprofit organization. It also gives the Community Foundation flexibility to respond to urgent needs within these sectors and direct your donations to most effective nonprofits currently meeting those needs.

Field of interest funds can be created during your lifetime or through a bequest or planned gift.


Scholarship Fund

Scholarships ensure our community is equipped to meet near-future demands for a qualified and educated workforce. Donors can customize scholarships to their interests, whether supporting students from specific schools, those following a certain academic career path or area of study, or attending a particular college or university or technical college or school.

Scholarship funds can be established with cash, publicly traded securities, mutual funds, closely held stock, real estate, tangible personal property and interest in limited partnerships. They can be named to honor you, memorialize a loved one or show support of a school or field of interest.

Click here to see our directory of scholarship funds


Southwest Florida Community Foundation Legacy Society

The society is a group of special philanthropists who are current and future endowed fund holders. These individuals, groups and families have already established endowments or have made it known to us the Community Foundation is named in their will or estate plan. We regularly convene roundtable discussions with Legacy Society members, nonprofit organizations and community stakeholders to identify issues facing Southwest Florida now and in the future. Do you have specific wishes for the community for the next 50 or 100 years? Then the society is a perfect fit for your legacy.

Click here for a sample Letter of Request and Direction needed to establish your legacy fund.


Nonprofit Agency Endowment Funds

Established by a nonprofit organization, these long-term funds allow an agency to take advantage of the Community Foundation’s financial management, administrative resources and expertise on planned giving. The funds are owned and managed by the foundation on behalf of the nonprofit and provide a simple and effective way for charities to build endowment and sustainability. Agencies can opt to receive annual proceeds as a source of income for operations and programs or roll over the amount to increase future endowment.

Additional Ways to Give Through the Community Foundation

In Honor and In Memory

Ask yourself: Who has made a profound impact in my life? A family member who lived to serve others? A special neighbor or friend? Chances are there’s someone who’s touched your life and shaped who you are today.  Or maybe you would like to commemorate someone’s birthday or anniversary, or give a memorial donation because a friend has lost a parent, spouse or sibling?  Maybe someone did you a favor and you’d like to acknowledge it in a special way?

Gifts with names attached – either yours or a loved one’s – tend to get attention and inspire philanthropy in others while furthering a cause important to you.


Charitable Gift Annuities

Talk about customized giving, consider this the gift that pays you for your philanthropy, providing a steady stream of monthly, quarterly or semiannual payments during your retirement years plus tax advantages, reduced probate costs and estate taxes – all based on your age and contribution. Through a simple contract, donors contribute cash, stocks, mutual funds or other assets to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and receive lifetime payments that aren’t affected by changes in the economy. The foundation also works with each donor to establish areas their funds will support upon their death.

For those who haven’t retired, a deferred charitable gift annuity provides the same benefits but with considerably higher payments.

Let us run the scenarios for you based on your age and annuity amount, call us at 239-274-5900 or click here to contact us for your personalized CGA report.


Women’s Legacy Fund 

Because we believe that together we can do so much more than we could ever do alone. The Women’s Legacy Fund engages women in effecting change in our community through collective philanthropy.

Click here to read all about, and please join us!


Bonita Springs Community Fund

The Bonita Springs Community Fund (BSCF) is a geographic component fund of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. Established in 1997, this special fund supports the communities of greater Bonita Springs by providing grants to local nonprofits. These grants are made possible because generous donors, looking ahead to the future needs of their community, established endowed funds at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation—funds that would specifically affect the quality of life in greater Bonita Springs. Since its establishment, the BSCF has awarded over $1.6 million in grants and scholarships to the area it serves.

Click here to see our recent grants


Corporate Giving

Some companies in our region have embarked on the enviable mission of instilling a philosophy of strategic philanthropy among their executives and employees. Through annual support programs with funds earmarked directly to their donor advised fund at the Community Foundation, local companies have tapped our concierge services to help companies in their granting strategy by guiding the process to be more impactful and focused on the company’s passions.


Annual Fund

Each year, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation spearheads an annual gift-giving fund from the community at large. Any size donation proves powerful by supporting the work of the Community Foundation and our innovative nonprofit programs focused on improving education, arts and culture, community development, health, the environment, human services, animal welfare, conservation, preservation and other important initiatives right here in Southwest Florida.

Click here to help us and to give now