FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 6, 2014) – The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announces it has formed a granting partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.

This fall, working in partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will infuse $250,000 into the region through a set of grants focused on social innovation.

“Since its founding in 1990, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has been committed to supporting the Southwest Florida area,” said Christy MacLear, executive director. “Our goal is to deepen that support as well as encourage the most progressive ideas and impactful organizations within the region. We are committed to Southwest Florida, as the Rauschenberg Residency is located on Captiva Island, and we look forward to continuing to give back.”

Since 2012, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has invested approximately $3.2 million into the local economies of Southwest Florida and its surrounding environs. This investment is separate from the foundation’s history of grantmaking in the region, which has enabled local nonprofits to provide a wide spectrum of services, from making arts and culture more accessible to helping survivors of domestic violence.

“The Southwest Florida region was my father’s primary residence for more than 30 years, and this collaboration with the Community Foundation helps grow our support in this place that he loved,” said Christopher Rauschenberg, board chair of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. “By opening our investment to a competitive field, we hope to foster innovation as well as launch ideas which might have otherwise been unrealizable.”

As part of the partnership, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will oversee and execute a granting process that culminates in a portfolio of projects and programs primarily serving the residents of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. This process will begin with a full-day Social Innovation Lab in which interested nonprofit organizations will have the opportunity to learn about and practice collaborative program design. The Community Foundation has designed the Lab to prepare nonprofits to be more competitive for this and other grant opportunities.

Projects and programs of particular interest are those working to address the region’s most pressing issues, from youth development and post-secondary education to climate change and environmental stewardship to economic development and equitable services and access.

“We are looking forward to working alongside the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation as it brings both a focus on innovative solutions and critical funding to our region,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “Our collaboration is a great example of funders working together to bring resources to our community, and we feel honored to work with the foundation as it continues their legacy of giving in Southwest Florida.”

Grant applications will open in late October, and a formal call to nonprofit organizations will be forthcoming. For more information, contact Jacqueline Ehlers at 239-274-5900 or

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation is celebrating its 39th year of connecting donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $80 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $60 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, the Foundation granted more than $4 million to more than 100 different organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, including more than $400,000 in regional community impact grants and $450,000 in scholarship grants.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation fosters the legacy of the artist’s life, work and philosophy that art can change the world. The foundation supports initiatives at the intersection of arts and issues that embody the fearlessness, innovation and multidisciplinary approach that Robert Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors. In the last year alone, the foundation has broadened its philanthropic efforts from seven legacy grantees to 95 across the U.S., loaned more than 100 Rauschenberg artworks to 20 exhibitions globally, and converted Rauschenberg’s home and studio on Captiva Island into a dynamic residency program for emerging and recognized artists.

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