FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 28, 2014) – The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Southwest Florida Community Foundation announced today that applications are now being accepted for local nonprofits to access support through their new granting partnership. Last month, the two foundations announced they were collaborating to create a vibrant grant program 
that will enable and support critical social innovation in the region of
 Southwest Florida. Today, they invite organizations working in the region to apply for support.

Projects and programs of particular interest are those led by nonprofits that are collaborating 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 access to services. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is overseeing and executing the granting process, which will culminate in a portfolio of projects and programs primarily serving the residents of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.

“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.

“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.”

Nonprofit organizations interested in applying for support through this new grant program are first required to participate in a daylong workshop open to anyone wanting to learn more about collaborative program design called iLAB. Hosted by the Community Foundation with a focus on social innovation, iLAB will take place on Thursday, Dec. 18 at Miromar Design Center located at 10800 Corkscrew Road in Estero. This event has been developed to prepare nonprofits to be more competitive for this and other grant opportunities and to expose regional leaders to great ideas and best practices. Participants will learn how to design a collaborative project with peer institutions as well as how this collaborative approach can lead to both additional funding and community change.

To learn more about how to apply, including how to register for the iLAB on Dec.18 and other key dates in the application process, please contact Jacqueline Ehlers at or by phone at 239-274-5900.

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 26 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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