Your passion. Your Collier.

2020 Summer Newsletter
Community Foundation of Collier County Grants
$35 Million in 2019-20

2019-20 Grants included funding for PPE and medical equipment necessary to treat
COVID-19 patients at NCH

The Community Foundation of Collier County, now entering its 35th year, distributed over $35 million in grants in the 2019-20 fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, to nonprofit agencies and scholarships for secondary education and specialized training. The final total of $35,422,855 represents a whopping 87% increase over the last fiscal year and a record amount of distributions for the Foundation on its 35th anniversary.

Grant areas of distribution include Arts, Education and Scholarships, Environment, Health, Human Services, International, Community Impact, and Religion. The substantial increase this year was primarily due funding in the areas of Education and Scholarships, Health, Give Where You Live Collier with a record $5.65 million in grants, and Human Services with $1.1 million in COVID-19 relief. CFCC Donor Advised Funds continue to be an exceptional charitable giving tool accounting for $19,297,224 of funding.

Cultivating Collaboration

The Community Foundation creates a sustainable legacy through trees on its 35th anniversary

These trees are on their way to a new home courtesy of the CFCC 35th anniversary celebration tree giveaway

As the community's convener and trusted foundation partner, the Community Foundation of Collier County carefully deliberated about marking its 35 anniversary this year. The result is a plan highlighting collaboration to tackle local issues and provide a beautiful legacy for generations to come.
The Foundation partnered with the Naples Botanical Garden on a long-term project to grow 3,500 native trees from hand-selected seeds, nurture them over several months, and distribute young trees for free throughout Collier County. This project will improve the local landscape and water and air quality while providing shade for humans and homes for wildlife.
"Like these trees, which provide a legacy for future generations, the Community Foundation of Collier County builds donor legacies to ensure a thriving future for our community," said Community Foundation President/CEO Eileen Connolly-Keesler.

Local fishing captains received income during the pandemic thanks to a CFCC grant
Staying Afloat

The Community Foundation supported the Captains for Clean Water's initiative to clear debris out of local waterways while providing economic relief to fishing guides

Like a tarpon to a shiny pinfish, recreational fishers have been drawn to Southwest Florida for centuries to work their magic in the region's unparalleled Gulf waters and estuaries. Fishing guides play a key role in pleasing seasonal visitors by taking them to prime spots and are small business owners who play an essential role in the tourism industry.

When tourism froze during the onset of the pandemic, local fishing guides found themselves out of work at the height of their busiest time, when they make the majority (75 percent) of the incomes that will support their families throughout the year. To address the problem, the nonprofit Captains for Clean Water (CFCW) partnered with conservation partners, leading industry brands, and generous donors on the CFCW Guide Relief Fund to keep guides afloat by paying them during the downtime to go out on the water to clear out litter and debris.

Following Their Passion

Two local couples lead by example in finding impactful ways to contribute to their new community: Collier County

Our Daily Bread Food Pantry received funding for a food refrigerator generator thanks to CFCC Donor Advised Fund holders

What do you do when you move to a new town and bring along your passion for contributing to the community? Two local couples approached the Community Foundation of Collier County to research local issues and establish donor-advised funds. These foresighted steps enabled them to be in a solid position to assist in hunger relief in the wake of COVID-19 and support organizations close to their hearts.
Giselle Wagner and Paul Myerson and Carole and Jim Burns generously donated both to the Collier Comes Together Relief Fund and Changing Needs Fund.The couples cooperatively funded a food refrigerator generator at Our Daily Bread food pantry, which serves east and south Collier. Both couples say they were impressed with the nonprofit's strong, all-volunteer contingency and that the funds were earmarked for a specific item.

Tiliane Coicou Saint-Hillien will receive a nursing degree with help from a Moorings Park Scholarship
Stand By Me

The Moorings Park Foundation's scholarship offers a hand-up to a dedicated employee

Tiliane Coicou Saint-Hillien has been dedicated to Moorings Park for 17 years, and the Moorings Park Foundation has been committed to investing in the licensed practical nurse's goal of building her career.
Saint-Hillien, 46, has received two scholarships from the foundation, the first toward her associate degree and then for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which she is on schedule to receive in December. The latest $5,500 scholarship, administered through the Community Foundation, to attend Southern Technical College in Fort Myers was financially critical for the wife and mother of two children and stepmother of two.

Giving for the Future 

If you intend to include the Community Foundation in your estate plans or have already done so,
please let us know. Documentation and discussion will help us ensure that your wishes become a reality.

Including the Community Foundation in your estate plan is easy. You can simply include a few lines about the percentage of your estate or trust, sum of money or property you would like to donate. You can also name additional beneficiaries.

For more information about planned giving, please contact Julie Van Tongeren at or 239.307.4521 to start the conversation.

By working with donors, we inspire ideas, ignite action, 
and mobilize resources to address community needs in 
Collier County. For Good. Forever.
Community Foundation of Collier County | 239.649.5000 | |