by Eileen Connolly-Keesler, CFCC president and CEO
The Community Foundation of Collier County (CFCC) has been connecting people who care to causes that
matter, growing charitable legacies, and funding nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life in Collier County for 35 years.
As the community’s philanthropic first responder, we have a track record of results. The Community Foundation of Collier County established the Collier Comes Together Disaster Relief Fund in September 2017 to provide immediate and long-term assistance for disaster relief by providing funds to the nonprofits that support disaster victims. The Fund was first used two weeks later after Hurricane Irma roared ashore and provided $2.2 million in relief for the devastation left in her wake.
In the summer of 2018, CFCC again jumped into action when Red Tide devastated our coasts and sea life to provide relief for hardship granting $82,500 to 47 local water-based businesses to keep them afloat.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Foundation re-activated its Collier Comes Together Fund
to collect donations to aid in COVID-19 relief. So far, we have received almost $1.5 million in donations. Of that, over
$810,000, along with an additional $215,000 granted directly from Community Foundation Donor Advised Funds, has been distributed so far for COVID-19 relief in areas of health, mental health, education, gift cards, legal services, housing, and food.
We distribute 100% of all funds with no administrative fees.
We are committed to helping our nonprofits survive during this economically challenging time and reopen safely by providing grants to childcare and early learning nonprofits, funding for personal protective equipment, and modifying our grantmaking process to focus on unrestricted operational grants.
Fishing charters are one of the hardest-hit industries by the pandemic. To help put our local charter boat captains back to work, CFCC granted $7,500 to the Captains For Clean Water Fishing Guide Relief Fund. The Fund will be used to book Florida fishing guides over the next few months to take their families out and conduct waterway clean-ups.
In mid-pandemic, the Golden Gate Estates wildfires ravaged 9,000 acres and affected or destroyed almost 20 single family and mobile homes. We again asked our donors to help, and as always, they responded. We were able to grant $20,000 to the Salvation Army of Naples to assist those displaced or impacted by the fires.
We are so grateful for the philanthropic partnerships that allow us to make lasting, meaningful change and the generosity of our donors who give to provide relief for people across Collier County.
Great things happen when a community comes together.
Donations to the Collier Comes Together Fund can be made online at cfcollier.org or by mailing a check to the Community Foundation of Collier County at 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples FL 34108.
If sending a check, please enter “Collier Comes Together” in the memo line.