Boys & Girls Club Music Director Joshua Ross and some of his talented piano students were recently featured in the NaplesDailyNews . The article focuses on community grants designed to help support programs including the arts!
The Community Foundation of Collier County is experiencing an uptick in new philanthropy that helped it give a record-breaking $12.7 million in the past year to local charities, officials said.
The grant awards in the past year totaled 19 percent more than the $10.3 million in grants in 2015.
“It’s a pretty good increase in grant-making,” said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, foundation president and chief executive officer,. “It’s a pretty big number.”
Of the record distribution, $8.5 million came from donor-advised funds, which allow donors to suggest grant recipients and take part in the giving process. Grants can be made to anywhere in the United States, but the majority are given to agencies in Collier County.
Among eight program categories, “human needs” received the most — $4.8 million, or 38 percent, of the $12.7 million, the foundation reported.
Next were charities in the “education” category, which received $3.2 million, or 25 percent of the total.
“Community impact” charities received the third most, $1.4 million, or 11 percent of the total awarded.
The other categories include charities that focus on the arts, environment, health, religion and international matters, the foundation reported.
In addition to reaching out in the community to bring in more donors, Connolly-Keesler said the foundation’s mission also is to educate donors about the vast needs locally.
“Many of our donors don’t see the need in this community because they physically don’t see it driving on (U.S. 41),” she said.
Part of the upswing in grant-giving in the past year was due to improved investment returns, which help people be more generous.
But the foundation also has attracted 60 new finds, which brings the number to more than 600 funds. Of the 60 new ones, 10 are donor-advised funds.
Foundation officials are anticipating the tide will turn in the coming years when the wealth of today’s elders is handed down to their adult children, who might make donations to agencies in their own regions of the country.
“Right now we are not feeling a reduction, but we are trying to aggressively market our nonprofits in Collier County,” she said. “But I do worry about the transfer of wealth 10 years from now.”
The top grant recipients in the past year were the Naples Zoo, $16,000; Collier Child Care Resources Inc, $15,000; Education Foundation, $15,000; the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, $14,080; Salvation Army, $14,400; Catholic Charities, $12,000, the United Arts Council, $11,700; Goodwill Industries, $10,000; New Horizons of Southwest Florida, $10,000; Classic Chamber Concerts, $8,220; the Shelter for Abused Women, $7,500; St. Matthew’s House, $7,500; and Nova Southeastern University, $7,000.
In addition, the foundation made two grants from its education initiative:
- $12,000 to the school district for its college and career readiness program;
- $25,000 for “Future Ready Collier Collaboration” involving the school district, the foundation and Champions of Learning.