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Professional Advisors

  • “How can I support the arts, the environment, education, community development, education, healthcare, human services, animal welfare, and other needs?"
  • “How do I choose the right nonprofit?”
  • “How do I find out more information about community initiatives or areas of interest to support?”
  • “What are some of the options for giving, and how can I ensure that my gift will be used wisely and in the way I intended?”

We have the answers to your client’s philanthropic questions. We can help to identify nonprofits or causes that are important to them, seek options for creating endowed funds today, or determine future gifts through their estate plans.
Professional Advisors
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. We meet year-round with individuals, families, and professional advisors to assist with philanthropic planning. Clients who express charitable intent can visit with one of our professional staff members to: identify nonprofits or causes that are important to them, seek options for creating endowed funds for today, or determine future gifts through their estate plans.

We do not provide legal or financial advice, and do not attempt to replace the role of a professional advisor. We help people to make effective plans for carrying out their charitable wishes. Meetings are confidential and free.

Use the Southwest Florida Community Foundation as the philanthropic tool in your advisory tool chest.  
Call us at (239) 274-5900.

Top 10 Reasons Professional Advisors Partner With a Community Foundation to Help Their Clients

  1. We enable you to broaden your practice by building on your philanthropic expertise.
  2. We provide highly personalized service tailored to each individual’s charitable and financial interests.
  3. We are a local organization with a 35-year history in the community, extending throughout the region (Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades counties).
  4. Our professional program staff’s knowledge on community issues and needs is available to donors on request.
  5. Our variety of funds provides options to allow people to invest in charities they already care about and learn about new causes in which to invest.
  6. We accept a wide variety of assets and can facilitate even the most complex forms of giving.
  7. We offer maximum tax advantages under state and federal law.
  8. We multiply the impact of gift dollars by pooling them with other gifts and grants.
  9. We offer permanence to donors through endowment funding.
  10. We are community leaders, convening agencies and coordinating resources to create positive change.

Ways to Give/Types of Funds

Prospective and current donors have a variety of options from which to choose when considering the types of gifts they want to contribute. For complex gifts, we encourage donors to seek professional advice from an attorney, accountant, or financial advisor. Some gifts may be reviewed using the gift acceptance policy of the Community Foundation.

Outright Gifts include gifts of cash, marketable securities (publicly traded stocks and bonds), stock in Privately Owned Companies, stock in Subchapter S Corporations, real estate, and tangible personal property.

Deferred Gifts include bequests, life insurance, charitable trust (remainder unitrusts, annuity trusts, lead trusts), and life income arrangements.

Charitable Gift Annuities: The Community Foundation works with each donor to establish what areas of the community their funds will support after their death. In exchange for their contribution of cash, stock, or other property, donors are assured a lifetime of payments that are made monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. In addition to the steady income of these fixed payments, donors enjoy certain tax advantages, such as reduced probate costs and estate taxes. If the annuity is funded with appreciated assets, the capital gains tax is applied to only a portion of the gain and is reported over the donor’s life expectancy. The size of payments is determined by the size of the contribution, the donor’s age at the time the gift annuity is established, and if the annuity covers one or two people.

Types of Funds - click to view

Estate Planning

Even for the simplest estate planning needs, clients often need guidance on estate, financial, and tax issues that arise during the process.  Professional advisors, including estate attorneys, certified public accountants, trust officers, certified financial planners, and insurance professionals, offer expert counsel on creating the right legal and financial plan for the future and for peace of mind.

For some clients, charitable giving is an important part of their lives. But sometimes it can be hard to talk about.

Likewise, many professional advisors are often hesitant to offer suggestions regarding types of charities to support. There are several reasons for this:
  • A desire to remain impartial to the vast range of charities in the community
  • Fear of the perception of having any undue influence on the client
  • Lack of knowledge of the types of charitable options
  • Not enough time to spend with the client to explore charitable options
How can the professional advisor and donor with charitable intent begin an open conversation about developing a way to express philanthropic passion?

Sometimes a simple question can invoke complicated answers.

By simply asking the question, “Do you support a charity or a cause?” you will likely hear a wide range of responses from human services to the arts to the environment to education or even multiple interests. Often, the client may struggle to articulate the vision of how they want to serve the greater good through a lifetime of accumulated assets.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a community funder for the entire community: arts, environment, human services, animal welfare, education, science, health, and community development and leadership.  Every week, we meet with donors to discuss one or more of the following:
  • Establishing a current endowed fund
  • Establishing a fund through an estate plan, retirement, or insurance vehicle
  • Areas of need in our community
  • To discuss our charitable gift annuity program for donors who need an income stream today but who want to make a significant gift in the future
If you are a professional advisor who is interested in learning about how the Southwest Florida Community Foundation can assist you with philanthropic issues, please call us at 239-274-5900 for more information.

Legal Language

Feel free to use this standard legal language:

Bequest Language

“I give ********** to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Fort Myers, Florida, a Public Charity, and without limiting the completeness or finality of the gift, I would request that the Trustees of the Foundation give due regard and consideration to any separate requests that I may have made known to the Foundation, in writing, and signed by me, as to the charitable purposes, organizations or causes, I may request that they consider, subject to any controlling law or regulation to which the Foundation may be subject to. ”
(Note: The blank ********** is to indicate the dollar amount or the percentage of the estate.)

Legal Name and Federal Tax I.D. Number

Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Inc.

Letter of Request and Direction

 A “letter of request and direction” helps your to client further define his or her intention of their gift, including: the type of fund they want establish, the name of the fund, the agency the fund will benefit or the need the donor would like to address in the community, the population to be served, and a myriad of other details that can help the donor create the gift of their dreams.

We will work with a prospective donor and the professional advisor to help create a comprehensive vision of how to benefit the community, how the Community Foundation will steward their funds into the future and how agencies are held accountable for the work they do.

Women's Legacy Fund

The WLF's Mission is to engage women in effecting change in our community through collective philanthropy. We Inspire, Educate, Empower.


Bonita Springs Community Fund

Established in 1997, this special fund supports the communities of the greater Bonita Springs area by providing grants to local nonprofits.


FutureMakers: 3D Initiative

As leaders of community agencies, we know you face incredible challenges. WE WANT TO HELP YOU & YOUR ORGANIZATION SUCCEED.