Giving Opportunities

Click the button below to see a list of funds at the SWFL Community Foundation that you can donate to. DONATE TO A FUND



Birthdays and Brackets

Birthdays and Brackets

There is a great deal of talk these days around adaptability.  Personal, professional, business, government and healthcare adaptability are top of mind as we navigate the pandemic in all aspects of our lives.

We used to talk about change as an inevitable part of life but in many cases felt we controlled the pace and rate of the change in our lives.  We did our best to plan for these shifts and celebrated those tenacious enough to create them or make it to the other side.

Adaptability feels a bit different because it must be done when change we can’t shepherd, or control hits us. We adapt to survive, and as a result innovations large and small emerge.

Breweries develop hand sanitizer, the performing arts are accessible online, fundraising galas are virtual, fresh produce directly from farmers is delivered to our doors, 3D printer labs create personal protection equipment, we visit our doctor on the computer, everyone is homeschooled, and haircuts are DIY.

Some aspects of life have been adapted for convenience while others are life saving necessities.

Adaptability has also emerged as people transform traditions into new ways of helping others. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation established a COVID emergency relief fund in partnership with the United Way to assist our neighbors in need and along with donations from corporations, philanthropists and foundations, we have seen innovation in the way people from all walks of life contribute.

Birthday celebrations now include a way to donate to the fund in lieu of gifts, dollars normally pointed toward NCAA basketball March Madness Bracket office pools are now directed to hunger relief, centerpieces and food from cancelled weddings and anniversary parties are finding their way to hospitals and nursing homes, and there is talk of portions of stimulus checks being shared with local relief organizations.

This support for the non profit sector is critical as they begin to adapt their service delivery models to meet unprecedented need.  The Foundation has released our grantee funding from project specific dollars to general operating support to provide them with flexibility to adapt and shift services. Many of the innovations they are creating in the COVID world will have an impact on our community for years to come.

For the next few months I am turning this column over to the work being done by our non profit partners. Stories of hope, resilience and creative solutions for the common good.  I hope you will join us in supporting these non profits directly or through a contribution to the emergency fund which can be found on our website  And if you need help and a plan for personal adaptation in these trying times, don’t hesitate to reach out to 211.

I will be reading these stories of inspiring adaptation stories alongside you and would love to hear your thoughts at [email protected]


About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation

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. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $7.7 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $134.9 million, it has provided $85 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are now located in the historic ACL Train Depot at Collaboratory in downtown Fort Myers, with a satellite office located in LaBelle (Hendry County). For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit


Sarah Owen
Sarah Owen

Sarah Owen, President & CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, leads a passionate and diverse team dedicated to driving regional change for the common good. The Foundation is committed to engaging the community in conversations and action that creates sustainable positive change and provides the funding to make those changes a reality. More