Giving Opportunities

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Thanks for Giving

Thanks for Giving

Over the past year the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has sent at least two thousand thank you notes.

Every letter we pen, whether electronically or handwritten reminds me of the generosity surrounding us in this region and beyond.

Each note is as unique as the recipient and their act of giving.  Just last week I thanked a professional advisor for referring a client, a new donor establishing a scholarship fund in memory of their daughter, an artist for a gift of paintings for our permanent collection, a nonprofit leader and her team for all they are doing in our community, a philanthropist for establishing an endowment fund to support our work,  a board member who helped me with a project, a neighbor for contributing to a disaster fund and a business owner for participating in our FutureMakers Coalition to transform the workforce.

And that was just one week out of 52.

As we all set our hearts and minds on Thanksgiving it’s my tendency to write about all the things I am grateful for in my own life.  I never want to take my freedom, my family or my comfortable life for granted and a column over the holiday affords me a great opportunity to reflect and give thanks.

But this year as I was signing a stack of thank you notes and cards I realized how thankful I was for all of you that are so willing to give- endlessly to those in need.  Whether through a kind word, act of service, volunteerism or by charitable giving your actions change things for the better.  And for that I am grateful and thankful.

So consider this note number two thousand and one.  Thanks for giving.

In gratitude,


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 $5.4 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $115 million, it has provided more than $71 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. Currently, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in South Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers. 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