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



CAUSE & EFFECT: September 2019

CAUSE & EFFECT: September 2019

September 2019 issue

Change is Constant

As the fall is upon us and the Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee creamers, donuts, pancakes and candles start to make their way to the forefront, and as the vibrant fall leaves debut in the mountains and our northern climates, I am reminded of that the only constant thing about change is that it is constant.

With the fall season comes change, and much for the good! Our Foundation team looks forward to the return of our seasonal residents and vacationing full-timers. A quick poll of my teammates also indicate that some look forward to a change in weather, football season, candy corn, camping and the end of daylight savings time.

I look forward to having more activity in Collaboratory to connect people and to be part of the continuous improvement in our work to better serve our community.

What do you look forward to changing this fall? I would love to hear from you at [email protected].

In this issue of Cause & Effect I hope you will read about and then click to get involved in On the Table.

People are connecting at Collaboratory or because of Collaboratory….we hope you will all find a way to connect, to plug into your community. We are here to help. If you haven’t been to Collaboratory, come see us.

Here we go,


Sarah Owen, President & CEO, Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Host a Conversation That Can Change the World

On Thursday, October 17, 2019, everyone in Southwest Florida is invited to talk about the things that matter. In fact, we are aiming to begin the biggest conversation our community has ever had. And you’re invited.

On the Table® Southwest Florida is a community-wide conversation where for one day, residents of of our 5 county region of Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades, and Collier counties, will gather to discuss the things that matter most to them. Our favorite things. Our issues and opportunities. Our boldest ambitions and our biggest challenges to making our community better and more dynamic.

A Collaboratory Initiative, On the Table provides a way for all of us to be more civically engaged and committed to the community.

Win Everham is hosting an On the Table conversation on October 17. Be like Win!

Can you help kick off the most important conversation Southwest Florida has ever had? We’re looking for just 50 more people to join our 100+ already confirmed to host a few friends and neighbors for On the Table, a candid conversation about our community — the good, the bad and how to fix it. It costs nothing to host a table, and it could change everything. It’s easy and we have everything you need. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Make a Social Media Frame

Show that your voice matters! Get the On The Table SWFL profile picture frame for Facebook.

Here’s how: Go to your Facebook page, Click “Update” on your Facebook profile image. Select “Add Frame” and search for “On The Table SWFL.” Choose from among 5 colorful frames.

Women’s Legacy Fund Fall Breakfast – October 24

The Women’s Legacy Fund will hold its 2019 Fall Breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. hosted at Fort Myers Technical College, 3800 Michigan Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33916.

Join us for breakfast and tours of the FMTC Healthcare Sim Lab, meet students in the program, and learn about the impact of the 3-year WLF grant to the School District of Lee County for Career Pipeline for Women in Health Care.

The Women’s Legacy Fund is a group of women who combine their contributions in this collective philanthropy initiative to foster the immersion of women in philanthropy and develop the region’s next philanthropic leaders.

$20 per person. To RSVP click here by October 18.

New Team Members

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently welcomed two new team members to the organization.

Trisha Botty, an experienced professional in government and community relations, communications, organization, program management and public advocacy, has been named the Community Foundation’s new Grants Manager.

Barbara Kelly has been named Impact Coordinator and Board Liaison. A former English Teacher and student mentor with the Lee County School District, Barbara spent more than 10 years as a Course Preceptor for Florida Gulf Coast University and has a passion for education and supporting youth in Southwest Florida.

Legacy Planning: It Only Takes a Minute to Change the World

Have you considered how you are going to leave your legacy?

Have you ever thought about who is going to continue to support the things you believe in after you are gone?

Creating a legacy takes a lot of thought, planning and expression of your values….but we make it easy.

Click here and we will send you a guide to planning your legacy.

Collaboratory Eco-Startup Helps Region Save Time, Money and the Environment

Meet Paul Shahriari, the founder and CEO of ecomedes (, a free service that makes it easy for users to access and analyze everything from energy efficient light bulbs and plumbing fixtures, to large-scale building materials and infrastructure systems, to furnishings and fixtures, empowering individuals and building industry professionals to simultaneously save watts, water and money by making eco-friendly decisions.

Click here for a brief introduction of ecomedes

“It’s crucial that we help educate people that individual decisions can have an enormous collective impact on our region’s environmental sustainability and result in an economic return on investment for those who participate in green-building efforts,” Shahriari said.

This website features all of the products used in Collaboratory and saves users hundreds of hours of documentation work and thousands of dollars that would have otherwise been spent navigating intricate, and frequently changing, certification filing requirements. Check it out, click here.

Connect Here. Visit the Collaboratory Website

As Collaboratory approaches its first anniversary, we invite you to visit to learn more about the place and the space.

Check out the historic depot that is still bringing people together, connecting in new ways, both physically and virtually.

A virtual tour is on the main page, where you can explore the building from your computer. Click here to visit Collaboratory and scroll down to “Discover” and take the Virtual Tour.

Tour guides are available on site 4 days a week, schedule a tour on the website! All are welcome here!

Visit Collaboratory and scroll down to “Discover” and take the Virtual Tour

The Foundation In the News


I’ve Missed You – Let’s Connect
Florida Weekly

by Sarah Owen

Each summer I turn over this column to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s nonprofit grantee partners. These are organizations who have received funding, made possible by donors, to support change-making work in our region….



CAUSE & EFFECT: Connecting the Dots for Change The News-Press
as seen in The News-Press

by Sarah Owen

I have a 3-hour limit. I don’t turn into a pumpkin, but anything longer than 3 hours in a car and I am looking for an escape hatch. My husband on the other hand loves a solid cross-country road trip. So, over the years we have compromised, negotiated and found ways to travel together…




Serving up some great Joe and convo this morning at the FutureMakers Coalition Breakfast of Champions gathering reviewing workforce development and cross sector work from cradle to career, and more coffee ☕️ thx to Narrative Coffee – a very rich and robust morning here at #collaboratoryswfl


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!