The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community.
Since our founding, the Community Foundation has been making the important connection between individuals' personal memories, passions, dreams and the fulfillment of their charitable goals. We help create permanent charitable funds of everlasting impact. These funds ensure that people of vision will have an enduring influence on the life of their community and the charitable causes they hold dear.
With assets of over $398 million in more than 1,450 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $34 million dollars this past year in the areas of education, health and human services, the arts, animal welfare, and the environment. Since our founding, more than $217 million has been invested back into the community through grants and scholarships.
Additionally, our support of local nonprofits goes deeper than the millions in grants we award each year. Our Community Investment team builds the capacity of local organizations to ensure donors’ charitable dollars make an even bigger impact through our nonprofit services, workshops, and volunteer consultants.
Beyond our service to donors and nonprofit organizations, the Community Foundation also partners with local professional advisors in the region to provide highly personal and impact-orientated support, information, and expertise on planned giving and estate planning.
Our Core Values
We are passionate about our strategic community leadership, transforming ordinary into extraordinary. We live it through our core values:
- Compassion – Caring for citizens of our communities
- Empowerment – Enabling others to succeed by leveraging our influence, support, and encouragement
- Innovation – Discovering, cultivating, and promoting new opportunities
- Integrity – Ensuring the highest ethical standards in all we do
- Quality – Demonstrating excellence
- Stewardship – Managing the assets and resources entrusted to us in a careful and responsible manner for the benefit of all we serve
- Inclusiveness – Embracing the perspectives and participation of our community in all we do
About Community Foundations
We are one of more than 750 community foundations in the U.S. and Canada enjoying rapid growth, making our field the fastest growing sector of American philanthropy. Tax-deductible gifts and bequests make up the permanent endowment of community foundations and annual income from investment of that endowment is used to match donors' charitable interests with needs in the community through grants and scholarships. Each community foundation is governed by a board of directors made up of respected volunteer business and civic leaders chosen to represent the rich diversity of the population.