FORT MYERS, Fla. (Aug. 9, 2013) – Nonprofit leaders from the five county area of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties are invited to attend a kick-off reception for the new UNITE Award on Tuesday, Aug. 20 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Colonial Country Club located at 9181 Independence Way in Fort Myers.

The UNITE (Uniting Nonprofits In Teaming for Excellence) Award recognizes successful nonprofit collaborative models that exemplify excellence and community impact. The first winner of the $25,000 award will be announced in January 2014. The award application process will launch on Saturday, Sept. 1 on the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s online e-apply portal at and conclude on Oct. 31, 2013.

“Just as collaboration has been encouraged among our various local nonprofits, The UNITE Award is a collaboration that began with our firm and eventually evolved into other community leaders, including the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties, supporting the project as well,” added Steve Brettholtz, principal of Myers, Brettholtz & Company, PA. “Our goal is not only to provide an annual cash award to a successful collaboration effort but also to inform the nonprofit community about collaborative models that have succeeded in our area and to share proven effective practices for nonprofits working together.”

To be eligible for the award, a collaboration must:

  • Be based in the five-county Southwest Florida area (Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades)
  • Involve two or more entities (i.e., nonprofit organizations, businesses, and/or government agencies)
  • Include a lead organization that is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
  • Have a structure that is evidenced by a formal written agreement (i.e., memorandum of understanding, contract or merger agreement)
  • Be able to demonstrate the impact of the collaboration through measurable outcomes
  • Have been in operation for a minimum of 18 months, with a formal written agreement in place no later than March 1, 2012

“This kick-off is a great opportunity to network with the award’s sponsors, learn more about the UNITE Award and learn how nonprofits can be eligible to participate,” said Lori Sampson-Wilson, principal with Myers, Brettholtz & Company, PA. “Even if nonprofits don’t meet the requirements for this year’s submission, we encourage them to still attend in order to learn about future opportunities.”

Refreshments and hors d’ oeuvres will be served during the event. To RSVP for the event, please call 239-939-5775 or visit

For more information on applying for the UNITE Award and or to view commonly asked questions, please visit the Myers, Brettholtz & Company website at, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s website at or the United Way’s website at

Since 1979, Myers, Brettholtz & Company, PA has been working with nonprofit organizations in Lee and Collier counties helping them achieve their goals. The company serves clients across the nation by performing accounting and auditing, tax preparation, bookkeeping and consulting.