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Feeling Trendy

Feeling Trendy

Last month there were a plethora of announcements that ushered in 2020 trends.  Fashion, music, food and technology gurus all kick off the year with predictions and proclamations of what to expect, look forward to and buy in the coming twelve months.

One of my favorite unveilings is Pantone’s Color of the Year.  This announcement transcends the others in my mind because the color can manifest itself in all the other categories.  In case you missed it this year the selection was Classic Blue (19-4052).

I am one of those people that loves the big 120 Crayon Crayola box and am intrigued by creative shade names like Mauvelous, Purple Mountains’ Majesty, Tumbleweed, Timberwolf, and Bluetiful.

But classic blue is beautiful and so is the explanation for the selection.  According to the official site, this variation of blue was chosen for the fact that it instills “calm, confidence and connection” and that the blue hue “highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build on as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

This description made me want to name Classic Blue the official color of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.  One of our greatest desires and commitments to the community is to create connections and a stable and dependable place for change as we journey into 2020 and beyond.

Trends are interesting in that sometimes they are named in response to an emergent idea, while other times are named to create a buzz around something that has yet to be discovered.

Just like other sectors, nonprofits are subject to trend setting.  This year donors, advocates and industry professionals will be watching out for some fairly interesting shifts in the field including:

-Technology continuing to play a role in both networking platforms that allow nonprofits to connect with beneficiaries, supporters, experts and investors as well the use of cutting-edge options for fundraising and outcome management.  Think blockchain technology to get resources to disaster survivors, the notion of text to give for large and small donations, or artificial intelligence that allows Siri to make your contribution.

-2020 will see donors more closely connected to the causes they love.  No longer will checks be sent with little to no interaction with the organization’s work.  People want to be connected and personalized giving is in vogue.

-Partnerships are nothing new in the nonprofit world but look for more private sector engagement in the work of nonprofits- not just as sponsors of events.  Business is more focused than ever on their role in improving the community and this will lead to more robust conversations on how to best work with community change agents.  This will expand public-private partnership opportunities and nonprofits will lead the way.

-A focus on earned income and unrestricted dollars, particularly in the area of overhead.  Many national foundations are stepping out to support formerly taboo funding that can allow nonprofits to grow their resources to meet program needs.  Watch for donors and grantmakers to begin investing in marketing, communications and fundraising with the resulting in big gains in program budgets.


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 $83.7 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