Community Impact Grants

Community Impact Grants


The Community Impact Grant is a funding program of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. The funding for this program comes from Field of Interest funds. Donors and philanthropists establish Field of Interest funds to address their desires and intentions for the Southwest Florida region. Foundation leaders recognize there are other important issues not funded by this program. That is because this grant program reflects the wishes of the scores of donors who have entrusted their money, and their wishes, to the Foundation.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation 2016-17 Community Impact Grant season opens with a call for innovative projects and programs–both established and new—that are designed to increase the quality of life in sustainable and equitable ways for Southwest Floridians.

Based on the available Field of Interest funds, Community Impact Grants provide strategic funding in the following areas:

  • Environment
  • Health, Safety & Animals
  • Education
  • Arts & Community Culture
  • Equity & Empowerment


  • Nonprofit organizations exempt from Federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Units of government are eligible [(c)(4) and (c)(6) agencies are not eligible]
  • Applicants must be located in and primarily serve residents of Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades, or Collier counties. Some funding is county-specific based on donor intent of Field of Interest funds.
  • Eligible organizations must be governed by a volunteer board of directors
  • Organizations must conduct business without discrimination on the basis of race, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, or religious affiliation


  • Capital Building Campaigns and Building Renovation Projects
  • Political Campaigns
  • Lobbying or similar activities
  • Advancement of a particular religion or faith

Funding Limit

You may request up to, but not more than, $50,000 for your proposed project/program.


Projects/programs will be considered based on the following priorities:

  • Degree of potential benefit to the community derived from the project or program
  • Innovative (new or established) programs/projects that target community challenges/opportunities and do not unnecessarily duplicate efforts
  • The capacity of the organization to achieve the programs/project’s expected results
  • The degree to which agency (or agencies) will utilize measurable outcomes to evaluate program/project
  • Programs/projects that are likely to attract additional funds, resources, and community support
  • The agency’s ability to obtain continued funding, beyond the Foundation
  • The amount of available funds the Community Foundation has to award

Here’s how the process is going to work:

The LOI Round (September 12-October 3)

The letter of idea (LOI) round is open between September 12th through October 3rd. This is not a full traditional RFP. Please do not include the traditional elements of an RFP in your letter. The letter is a snapshot of your program/project idea. The criteria for a well-written LOI are,

  • Clarity of ideas
  • Precision of explanations
  • Thoughtfulness of design


All letters of Idea must be submitted through the online grants portal.

Click here to apply

The Compassionate Shark Tank: CIG Pitch Day (November 16)

If your LOI is advanced, you will be invited to participate in the Compassionate Shark Tank: CIG Pitch Day on Wednesday, November 16th. Shark Tank participants have 3 minutes to share their idea with the shark tank panel, which includes community stakeholders from across the region. The panel has 10 minutes to ask questions of you about your idea.

Your effectiveness will be measured by your ability to address each of the LOI elements in your presentation and Q&A session.

The RFMI Round

If your idea advances beyond the Compassionate Shark Tank, you may be invited to submit a request for more information (RFMI).  If we need more information, you will be informed after Pitch Day is over. The RFMI is a set a questions in which you elaborate more on specific aspects of the proposed project or program. The questions are often generated from the conversations that occur during CIG Pitch Day.

Awards will be announced January 2017.

Still have questions?

Contact Ashley Skalecki at [email protected]