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CAUSE & EFFECT: March 2018 Issue

CAUSE & EFFECT: March 2018 Issue

March 2018 issue

Home is where your community is….

Miami, Mexico City, Washington DC, Michigan, Immokalee, Fort Myers, Naples, LaBelle…….

As you will see in Cause & Effect this month, members of my team and I as well as several of our partners have been on the road but we’ve also put out the welcome mat to some special guests visting our community.

Venturing out from our region to learn and share gives us a global perspective on issues that affect Southwest Florida, and offers a way to study how other communities are facing similar challenges.

We hope you have had some special house guests too. Who doesn’t want to be in our beautiful part of the world to welcome spring?

In Gratitude,

Sarah Owen, President & CEO, Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Women’s Legacy Fund Takes Look at Statewide Study on Women & Girls for Annual Grant Decision

To read about last year’s WLF grant, click here.

Please Give by April 1 to have a “Voice in the Choice” This Year.

To be part of collective philanthropy for women and girls in Southwest Florida, please give by April 1 for your invitation to the WLF Contributors Only luncheon.

The Spring WLF Contributors Luncheon will be Friday, April 13. Click here if you want more information.

CLICK HERE to Become a 2018 Women’s Legacy Fund Contributor

Grad students from the University of Michigan School of Information shown here with new friends from FGCU Marieb College and the City of Ft. Myers

Alternative Spring Break-University of Michigan and FGCU Marieb College and the City of Fort Myers Team Up

It wasn’t all about the sunshine for a group of students on spring break from Michigan recently. As a project of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory, graduate students from the University of Michigan School of Information spent their break on real-life issues affecting our community.

The students divided into two teams to work with the City of Fort Myers on a project for the city’s utilities and a social work program with FGCU’s Marieb College on mapping “food deserts” in Immokalee.

Students participating in the program conducted research and presented their findings to UM alumni, Foundation supporters, city officials and FGCU faculty on Friday, March 3.

CLICK HERE to watch Sarah’s interview with Dr. Dan Atkins, W.K. Kellogg Professor of Informatics at University of Michigan and Professor of Information at UM’s School of Information.

Inside the Advocate’s Studio

As a continuation of her visit to the University of Michigan to forge partnerships late last year, Sarah Owen invited Dr. Dan Atkins, Professor Emeritus of UMSI, into the Advocate’s Studio to give us some insight into Dr. Atkins’ vast experience with UM’s School of Information and his past work in a Collaboratory.

Doctor Art Exhibit and Reception Draws Crowd

“Art Doctors,” the Foundation’s recent art exhibit of five local physicians; Dr. Charlie Brown, Dr. Rich Lane, Dr. Ellen Sayet, Dr. Martin Sherman, Dr. Peter Sidell brought together old friends and new to celebrate the art of local doctors. The show featured approximately 60 pieces and a portion of the sales was donated to the endowed Fund for the Arts of Southwest Florida which will be granted in perpetuity to arts organizations through the foundation’s grants process.

CLICK HERE for the art reception PHOTO GALLERY

Dr. Charlie Brown explains his technique of “Gyotaku,” a Japanese art form, Dr. Peter Sidell and Dr. Martin Sherman on the artists’ panel.

LeSage Featured as Panelist at National Conference

Represents Local College Access Network and FutureMakers Coalition

Tessa LeSage, our director of Social Innovation and Sustainability, was a panelist at Lumina Foundation’s convening on policy in Washington, DC in February.

The meeting was part of Lumina Foundation’s launch of a new effort to develop constituent voices in federal postsecondary policy discussions. The FutureMakers Coalition is a collective impact initiative that is focused on bringing together stakeholders from across the SWFL region throughout to improve workforce. The Foundation serves as the backbone organization for the Coalition whose goal is to transform the workforce by incresing the number of degrees, certifcations and other high quality credentials to 55% by 2015.

For information on becoming a Future-Maker please visit

Tessa LeSage, SWFL Community Foundation director of social innovation and sustainability

Foundation CEO Sarah Owen Presented Our Work on Mapping Sustainability Goals

Leading the Community Foundation sector in thoughtful granting through sustainability goals

Sarah Owen, president & CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, was invited to speak at the Council on Foundation’s North American Community Foundation’s Summit in Mexico City in February on how our Community Foundation uses and maps our sustainable development goals in the organization, its granting and its affect on the community.

The Foundation was also featured as one of the case studies in the report presented at the conference: Local Leadership, Global Impact.

Click here to read the report and more about how we focus on sustainability goals to measure our work

Sarah Owen was asked to speak on our work on mapping Sustainability Goals at North American Community Foundations Summit

86 Nonprofits in SWFL Receive Nearly $567,000 this Winter as Annual Grant from Funds

$566,954.23 was sent to 86 regional nonprofits who receive annual funding from our Foundation’s designated funds established by donors who care about them and their cause. It’s among our favorite things to do! For information on how to set up a fund for an organization that you care about, contact Carolyn Rogers by clicking here.

The Foundation In the News

as seen in Florida Weekly
Sometimes I feel like I am living in a commercial for Southwest Florida complete with soundbites, video clips, campaign themes and….


as seen in The News-Press
As I stood in the massive ticketing lobby of the Mexico City International Airport I was….


What better day could our Women’s Legacy Fund Grants Committee to gather to review….



Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Our ambition is a more vibrant community that will continually address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties in Southwest Florida. We invite you to join our family and invest in the community with us!