The Southwest Florida Community Foundation seeks to be a responsive and proactive community partner that works strategically to address existing and emerging community needs through our competitive grants program. Nonprofits and government agencies meeting the following eligibility criteria are eligible to apply for a grant from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.
- Nonprofit organizations exempt from Federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and units of government are eligible [(c)(4) and (c)(6) agencies are not eligible].
- Applicants must be located in and primarily serve residents of Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades, and Collier counties.
- Eligible organizations must be governed by a volunteer board of directors with at least 5 unrelated members.
- Organizations must conduct business without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, or religious affiliation.
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, as a rule, does NOT make grants for:
- Annual funds
- Debt retirement
- Fraternal organizations, societies or orders
- Religious organizations for sectarian purposes, except where designated by a fund donor
- Sports team travel, class trips, and similar expenses
- Individuals, except for selected scholarships
- Normal operating expenses or existing obligations
- Political organizations or campaigns
- Fundraising events or feasibility studies
- Scholarships and financial aid to assist nonprofit clients
Consideration is given to the following in determining the merits and priority of an application for funding from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation:
- Degree of potential benefit to the community to be derived from the program/project
- Programs for new ventures, one-time projects, and innovative responses to community needs that do not duplicate other efforts
- Programs that involve community collaboration
- The capacity of the organization to achieve the program’s/project’s expected results
- The degree to which the organization uses measurable outcomes to evaluate its program/project
- Programs that are likely to attract additional funds, resources, and community support
- The organization’s ability to obtain continued funding
- The amount of available funds that the Community Foundation has to award
How to apply
The Community Foundation will only accept applications online, and the automation of our system includes full applications and the uploading of attachments, as well as grant reports. We will no longer process paper copies of these documents.
Applying for a grant from the Community Foundation online is easy:
- Step 1: Click on the link to the E-Apply Online Application Portal.
- Step 2: Create a New Account (first time only).
- Step 3: Once you have created a user ID and Password, log on to the Online Application Portal
- Step 4: Select the grant program you want to apply to and begin the application.
It is important for you to read and understand the grant program’s guidelines before starting an application. We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the online application before you begin. You may also find it helpful to prepare some of the longer answers in a word processing document and then cut and paste that text into the application.
You will be asked to attach documents. If these documents exist in electronic format you may attach them using the Browse button inside the application. If they are not in electronic format, you may use the Fax to File feature on the upper left side of the application page.
Community Impact Grant
In the Community Impact Grant Cycle, SWFLCF provides grants to organizations in five different program areas: Animal Welfare, Community Development, Education, Healthcare and Human Services. Click here to learn more.
Arts and Attractions Grant
The Arts and Attractions Grant Cycle was established to use existing resources to assist arts and attractions agencies, especially to encourage repeat visits, strengthen a need in the arts, provide the financial foundation that will encourage additional resources and create growth, and partner with motivated professionals to maximize the expenditure and ensure a quality return on investments. Two types of grants are offered: Marketing and Visitor Enhancement Grants and Basic Operating Grants.
View the Arts and Attractions Grant Guidelines234.71 KB
If you have read the instructions and taken the tutorial and still need help with this online application, or if you just need to ask a few questions or want to give us feedback, please feel free to contact us at 239-274-5900.