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Getting to Yes  

Getting to Yes  

One of the greatest moments at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is when we contact local nonprofits to tell them that –yes- we will be investing in a project they submitted through one of our impact grant cycles.  This “yes” yields an energizing moment filled with all the possibilities of starting something that could change our corner of the world.

It is a fulfilment of our steadfast promise to donors who have opened funds with us and have entrusted us to grant their money out into the community according to their wishes in the most impactful and most effective way possible.

We just experienced some of those shining moments recently when we said yes to investing in 12 organizations that will partner with us to strengthen our region through helping abused women with immigration services, providing assistance for unemployed women, providing therapeutic programs for special needs students and adults living with Alzheimer’s, facilitating music appreciation to underserved students, opening economic development opportunities to adults with special needs, offering vision services for small children and enhancing services for animal treatment.  The change agents we are partnering with include  Amigos en Cristo, Inc., Hendry County Library System, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Naples Botanical Garden, Grace Community Center, Children’s Home Society of Florida, Lighthouse of SWFL, Gulf Coast Humane Society, Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Gulf Coast Symphony and the Quality of Life Center.

We will be working alongside these nonprofits from across the region all year, not just with funding support but also by providing ongoing collaboration and group meetings of the grantees, coined as “tribes” based their common mission to bring regional change for common good.  They all want to see great things happen in their organizations and in Southwest Florida as a whole.   At the Foundation we want to walk alongside the organizations, be a resource and connect them with other opportunities.  Support and partnership takes much more than money and we will all be talking and connecting throughout the year.

This is a big contrast from when our primary “yes” moment was through a check presentation.  The nonprofit’s ideas are great and we want to support them with funding but we want to offer more than just financial assistance, and we want them to learn from each other and teach us as well.

We realize that we don’t have enough resources in the Foundation to fully support all the life changing ideas we are presented.  With every “yes” comes many “nos,” so this year we did something different and expanded our role as regional leaders and conveners and included other donors and funders in our community, so they could hear the same things we are hearing and invest in the ideas they were most interested in.  This year 3 of our partners are receiving additional funding from these investors and several of the organizations that didn’t get that yes from us, did get it from them.

The great, change making ideas are out there, and so are the people who want to make them happen.  At the Foundation we are committed to bringing the people with the ideas together with the people who want to invest in making them happen.

If you are looking to invest in an idea that can make a difference in Southwest Florida, reach out to me at [email protected] and let’s create another “yes” moment together.

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