Charlotte County Florida Weekly

SWFL Community Foundation awards $644,974 to nonprofits



The Southwest Florida Community Foundation has awarded $644,974 to regional organizations and programs committed to increasing the quality of life in sustainable and equitable ways for Southwest Floridians.

In 2020 the Foundation board of trustees lifted grant restrictions to allow for operational funding and to create an additional year of funding to support grantees during the pandemic.

This move is aligned with the foundation’s goals to create more general operating grants where possible, lift burdensome restrictions and reporting, to develop deeper partnerships with multi-year cohorts and provide sustainable funding.

“Sustainability is at the center of everything we do and we understand that working towards more sustainable funding in our region is a powerful tool in efforts to lift organization who are enhancing our quality of life,” said Trish Botty, head of Social Impact & Connectivity for the foundation. “Building long-lasting relationships and partnerships are the keys to learning more about how we transform our programs to strengthen and meet the needs of our community changemakers.”

Twenty-five local nonprofits were granted money from the foundation’s available Field of Interest funds, as well as individual impact makers in the community.

The nonprofits include: SWFL Inc. (formerly Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation), Everglades Wonder Gardens, Brighter Bites, Calusa Waterkeeper, Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs Inc., Charity for Change Inc., Equality Florida Institute, Family Initiative Inc., Florida Baptist Children’s Homes Inc., Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Climate Change, Immokalee Project and Panther Program, Florida Lions Eye Clinic, Gladiolus Food Pantry, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Healthy Start Coalition of SWFL Inc., Lee County Alliance for the Arts Inc., Massachusetts General Hospital – HomeBase, Naples Senior Center at JFCS, P.A.W.S. Lee County Inc., Residential Options of Florida Inc., Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Inc. and SJC Boxing Club Inc.

“We are building on what we have learned from our peer organizations,” added Ms. Botty. “Collective learning and community support of new practices will be critical to maintaining and expanding on the progress we are seeing and leading in philanthropy.”

“We are grateful to our donors and those who have made these grants possible, many of whom are generous people who have left resources in their will or estate because they cared deeply about the region and want to be certain that nonprofits serving their causes have the resources they need to create change and opportunity in Southwest Florida,” said Sarah Owen, Southwest Florida Community Foundation president and CEO. ‘We want to lead the charge in supporting innovative nonprofits and spurring community change. The most effective giving is built on solid strategy, smart applications, thoughtful review and meaningful reporting.”

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address needs in the area.

The foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds.

With assets of more than $134 million, it has provided $83.7 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception.

For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit ¦

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