Community Foundation of Collier County Distributes over $1.6 million to Nonprofit Organizations

Posted on April 28, 2017

The Community Foundation of Collier County has distributed $1,604,894 in 314 grants which were made to nonprofit agencies in the 3rd quarter of The Foundation’s fiscal year (Jan 1 – Mar 31 2017).

Over $1.1 million of the grants came from donor advised funds. The largest donor advised grants funded to Collier County nonprofits included $50,000 to New Horizons of SWFL, followed by $36,000 to Collier Harvest and $30,000 to United Church of Marco Island.

Grants to nonprofits from the Community Needs Fund, determined each year by Changing Needs and Field of Interest Grants, totaled $159,174 and included:

Education & Workforce grants:

  • $14,450- Friends of Foster Children Forever for “Ready for 5”  The goal of the “Ready for 5” project is to close the educational achievement gap between foster children and their peers by helping foster families navigate the education system.  Many of these children, especially ages 0-5, are at early risk for school failure, need to connect to quality child care and early learning resources. These resources and funding are available for them to access, but most foster families don’t know how to do it. Consequently, 93% of foster children ages 0-5 years are not enrolled in early learning programs. The grant from the Community Foundation provides a full-time “Go-to” resource manager to coordinate the process of connecting foster children to quality childcare and school readiness programs.  Most of these children have been removed due to their parent’s substance abuse or neglect and are placed with relative or non-relative caregivers, who in most cases are already struggling financially.
  • $11,000 – Fun Time Early Leaning Academy This grant provided tuition assistance for children of working poor parents who are caught in the cycle of poverty based on lack of skills and education, family instability, language barriers and low wages. These families also suffer during the off season when hours and/or jobs are cut and income is more drastically reduced. In addition, the availability of low-income housing forces these families to commute and/or seek alternative housing and less lucrative employment. The weekly cost of educating a child at Fun Time is $294.00 per week; the average parent fee is $51.00 per week per child. The income from other sources is $85.44 per week per child which is the deficit in Tuition Assistance which Fun Time needs to absorb.
  • $11,000 – Collier Child Care Resources The primary goal of this tuition assistance grant is to provide high-quality early childhood care and education to under-served and economically-disadvantaged children that are at-risk of future school failure, mainly due to poverty and language deficiencies. Their goal is to provide positive outcomes allowing them to enter kindergarten “ready to learn”. CCCR is meeting this gap in our community by providing much-needed tuition assistance in Golden Gate city (Child’s Path) and near where many economically disadvantaged parents work in the service and hospitality industries (Little Wonders).
  • $11,000 – The Immokalee Foundation “Immokalee Readers” program targets 670 under-served, low-income students living in Immokalee. The program focuses on reading and specifically aims to serve the 25% of the lowest performing readers among five elementary K-5 public school’s students. The grant of 11,000 will expand the program from a three day a week program to a five-day program in all of the elementary schools, as well as expanding the number of students in the program.
  • $12,415 – New Horizons of SWFL “Super Kids” and “Super Teens” Clubs – Collier County to serve 120 at-risk (socio-economically disadvantaged) children and teen students through their after school programs, four days a week. New Horizon’s partners with a local churches, who provide the space for the Club’s programs, which ultimately reduces the cost per child due to no overhead/building costs.  A grant of $12,400 will help cover the costs of staff to supervise programs. The program costs $240,000 or $2000/yr. per child and improves opportunities for graduation and success in the workforce.

Human Services grants:

  • $19,000 – The Salvation Army The Salvation Army’s program assists families with one-month’s rental assistance. It was determined that one month’s rental assistance was an average of $1,200. It was determined that we would grant $19,000 to the organization which is equivalent to helping approximately 16 families for the year.
  • $15,000 – The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida We learned that it cost on average $.25 per pound to distribute fresh food to families all across Collier County. Based on the information, $15,000 was allocated to Harry Chapin Food Bank to provide approximately 60,000 lbs of fresh produce.
  • $4,000 – Guadalupe Social Services The Guadalupe Social Services was granted $4,000 to assist in their launch of a mobile pantry serving residents of Immokalee.
  • $3,000 – Grace Place for Children & Families Grace Place has a summer food pantry to serve local families in the Golden Gate City area. They were granted $3,000 of their $7,425 request to facilitate in the procurement of food to include in their distribution.
  • $19,000 – St Matthews House St Matthew’s House is the only homeless shelter in the County and provides many different needed human services to Collier County. On average, it costs $33.86 per day, per resident to provide shelter. The shelter requires the resident to be actively involved in their rehabilitation and requires a minimal fee of $10.72 per day per resident leaving a net cost of $23.14 for a bed night per person. It was also determined that residents stay at the shelter for an average of 55 days. With these underlying drivers, $19,000 was granted to the St Matthews House to assist with approximately 15 residents for a year.

Remaining grant dollars from the Community Needs Fund were awarded to 21 agencies for Capacity Building Grants and included:

  • Audubon of the Western Everglades
  • Blind Sailing Unlimited
  • Boys & Girls Club of Collier County
  • Estuary Conservation Association, Inc.
  • First Things Foundation, Inc.
  • Friends of Rookery Bay
  • Gargiulo Education Center
  • Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida
  • League of Women Voters of Collier County Education Fund
  • Marco Island Historical Society
  • Naples Orchid Society, Inc.
  • Panira Healthcare Services, Inc.
  • Project Help, Inc.
  • Residential Options of Florida, Inc. (ROOF)
  • Royal Palm Academy
  • Survive & Thrive
  • Temple Shalom, Inc. of Naples, FL
  • TheatreZone, Inc.
  • United Arts Council of Collier County, Inc.
  • YMCA of the Palms/Greater Naples YMCA
  • Young Audiences of SWFL
  • Scholarship Renewals – $33,629

Total distributions included grants made to nonprofit agencies in Collier County and throughout the United States.

Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Community Foundation President & CEO said, “We track the vital signs and know how pressing the needs are in terms of homelessness, hunger, healthcare, the arts, the environment and issues facing women and girls in Collier County. These grants fuel programs that meet these local challenges and improve the quality of life in our community.”