Record $5 million granted to community


FORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2016) –Celebrating its 40th anniversary as leaders in philanthropy in our region, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is now sharing its 2015-2016 Annual Report online at

“This year was a record-breaking year for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s work as active change-makers,” said Sarah Owen, CEO and president of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “We invested $5 million in grants and services that allowed our impact to reach farther than ever in the five-county region.”

Since its inception 40 years ago, the Community Foundation has distributed $67 million in direct support to the community.

Last year, the Foundation granted a record $4.1 million through endowed funds, scholarships, community impact grants and other donor-funded sources. It also provided $900,000 in resources to the community through initiatives, programs and other services.

Highlights from the past year include the opening of three new specialty funds for the environment, causes specific to the LGBT community and The Land of Opportunity Fund to provide opportunities for all who call Southwest Florida home. The Foundation also added two regional satellite offices in Labelle and downtown Fort Myers, initiated four new board of trustee members, hosted the first FutureMakers Coalition of Champions meeting, granted $50,000 to the Glades County Training Center – the first sizeable grant in Glades County, sponsored the first compassionate shark tank for veteran entrepreneurs, welcomed seven new Prima Donors to the Women’s Legacy Fund adding $70,000 to the WLF endowment fund, expanded support of nonprofits through the Florida Fellows program, took a statewide leadership role with Owen being elected chair of the Community Foundations of Florida and earned the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.

“The Southwest Florida Community Foundation offers customized services from helping every donor find the right opportunity for them, whether it’s a one-time contribution or an endowment that lives on in perpetuity, a family fund or foundation dedicated to a specific cause, or jumpstarting a new idea to fill a community need,” added Owen.

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. Last year, it partnered with individuals, families and corporations that created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation’s invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $93 million, it has provided more than $67 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Community Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan.

Based in Fort Myers, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.

Copies of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s IRS Form 990, IRS Form 990-T, if required, and the current annual audit are available for your review online at or at its main office by calling 239-274-5900, ext. 228.