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



FutureMakers hosts annual Champions Breakfast

FutureMakers hosts annual Champions Breakfast

Goal to transform Southwest Florida’s workforce

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2016) – More than 100 attendees recently gathered at Six Bends Harley-Davidson in Fort Myers for the FutuerMakers Coalition’s annual Champions Breakfast, part of a Southwest Florida partnership committed to transforming the regional economy by increasing post-secondary completion.

The goal of the FutureMakers Coalition is to transform the workforce by increasing the number of Southwest Florida residents with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 40 percent by the year 2025.

With the help of Lumina Foundation and its coaches, the Champions Team plays a pivotal role in the Coalition’s success. Team members include regional leaders from education, economic development, business and government who have the ability to create a stronger workforce and vibrant economy by improving cradle-to-career opportunities for students, offering job training and certifications, employee educational incentives and more.

“The Champions Team members are key leaders and influencers who, together, have the opportunity to help shift the culture and conversation in Southwest Florida,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the backbone organization for FutureMakers Coalition.

According to Tessa LeSage, director of social innovation and sustainability for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, this year’s breakfast was held to bring together the Champions Team members so they could better understand what collective leadership means to the success of the Coalition, contribute to the interpretation of the data and identify opportunities, and contribute to moving the effort forward.

The meeting included presentations on the cradle-to-career pathway, aligning workforce demand and post-secondary pathways, and a look forward through data.

Regional outcomes of the FutureMakers Coalition include:

Aspiration and Preparation: Increase percentage of students ready to enter kindergarten

Access and Entry: Increase Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates

Progress and Persistence: Increase business-education partnerships

Completion: Increase number of local post-secondary graduates placed in jobs in the region

Southwest Florida is one of 75 metropolitan areas working alongside Lumina Foundation to increase post-secondary attainment nationwide while increasing the number of working-age adults with degrees and certifications.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation serves as the anchor organization for the Coalition. The FutureMakers Coalition encourages residents to join and support this community-changing initiative. For more information, visit, call 239-274-5900 or email Tessa LeSage at [email protected].

Tessa LeSage and Dr Guido Minaya Sydney Roberts and Ashley Skalecki Susan McManus, Mary Beth Geier, Eileen Connolly-Keesler and Meredith McLean Susan McManus and Eric Berglund Sharon Bayata, Pat Riley and Sarah Owen Sharon Bayata, Kim Esworthy, Luis Solano and Lisa Church Mike Quaintance and Veronica Schell Megan Just and Jonathan Romine Mary Andrews and Arpi Solti Lisa Church, Dr Donald Wortham, Kevin Hunter and Peg Elmore Laura Neal, Kevin Hawk and Sara Jordan Kristin Zouras and Arpi Solti Kelly Thawley and Molly Chase Joy Mahler, Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Kamela Patton and Courtney Stahlman John Patrick Boland and Joe Paterno John Meyer, Jeff Gibbs and Larry Miller Gina Frazier, Denise Spence and Thais Kuoman future160915vm-5412 future160915vm-5410 Dr. Aysegul Timur and Gail Markham Dr. Aysegul Timur and Dr. Kevin Shriner Colleen DePasquale and Peg Elmore Tessa LeSage, Mary Andrews Tessa LeSage, Kevin Shriner, Mary Andrews Sharon Bayata, Kim Esworthy, Lisa Church Scott Bass, Sarah Owen, Marquese McFerguson Meg Just, Tessa LeSage Eric Berglund, Susan McManus, Jonathan Romine Aysegul Timur and Mike Quaintance


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!