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WHAT IS A COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?
A community foundation is a nonprofit, independent organization created by and for local citizens to benefit their community. Community foundations make up one of the fastest growing sectors of philanthropy. There are more than 700 community foundations in the United States today.
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation was formed in 1976 with $500 from First National Bank of Fort Myers by a small, dedicated group of attorneys, trust officers, and community leaders who had the vision and foresight to plan for the future needs of our rapidly growing community.
Since 1976, the Community Foundation has been supporting the communities of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, and Hendry counties through over 330 endowed funds. With current assets of over $60 million, we have provided more than $50 million in grants and scholarships to the communities we serve.
Our vision is to be "The leading resource in Southwest Florida for compassionate and flexible charitable giving."
The mission of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is to connect donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs.
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is proud to be recognized and confirmed as being compliant with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.
Why National Standards Are Important for Community Foundations*
Community foundations in the United States serve tens of thousands of donors, administer more than $31 billion in charitable funds, and address core concerns of more than 650 communities and regions. There are many reasons that standards are important for both established and new community foundations. National Standards guide sound policies and accountability practices, distinguish the field from others, and build the capacity of community foundations to carry out their missions. Community foundations use standards to promote self-regulation in a manner viewed positively by the Internal Revenue Service, which has increased its scrutiny of charities offering donor-advised funds.
* The above information comes from the Council on Foundations. For more information on National Standards and the Council on Foundation, please contact them at 202-466-6512 or visit their website at www.cof.org.