Naples Children & Education Foundation Invests a Record $33.2 Million

Naples Children & Education Foundation Invests a Record $33.2 Million in Local Organizations Supporting Underprivileged and At-Risk Children in Collier County

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of Naples Winter Wine Festival, has invested a record $33.2 million in more than 50 non-profit organizations supporting underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County.

This tremendous investment in future generations includes funding traditional grants of over $6.6 million and $19.4 million for NCEF multi-year strategic initiatives that fill fundamental gaps in local children’s services, plus another $7.2 million in funding for future projects and strategic initiatives.

“The 2024 Naples Winter Wine Festival broke all records allowing us to provide the highest amount of funding ever for underprivileged and at-risk children in our community,” said Jacki Guinn, 2023-24 NCEF Grant Committee Chair. “We are thrilled to support these nonprofits in our mission of making a profound and sustaining difference in the lives of children in Collier County.”

This year, a total of 32 organizations received traditional grants, plus 19 additional agencies that help fill critical needs in the community by taking part in NCEF’s multi-partner, multi-year strategic initiatives focusing on the well-being of the whole child. Those initiatives receiving funding include early learning, healthcare, hunger, mental health, oral health, out-of-school time and vision.

NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time. Each NCEF beneficiary is fully vetted and many utilize that process as a “Good Housekeeping Stamp of Approval.” The Blueprint Partner program builds upon that process.

“Our strategic partners collaborate throughout the year to optimize funding, avoid duplication and develop innovative programs aimed at delivering high-quality services to support local children,” said NCEF CEO Maria Jimenez-Lara. “The amount allocated for these multi-year initiatives is quite significant, reflecting our overwhelming belief in their impact and efficacy.”

The following is a list of NCEF 2024-2025 traditional beneficiaries and dollar amounts:

Organization 2024-2025 Award

ABLE Academy $ 180,000
Avow Kids $ 115,000
Better Together $ 200,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast $ 100,000
Boys & Girls Club of Collier County $ 450,000
Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation $ 75,000
Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice $ 290,000
Champions for Learning $ 275,000
Children’s Advocacy Center $ 686,000
Conservancy of Southwest Florida $ 75,000
Educational Pathways Academy $ 75,000
First Tee $ 75,000
Fostering Success (formerly Friends of Foster Children Forever) $ 389,500
Fun Time Early Childhood Academy $ 275,000
Grace Place for Children & Families $ 390,000
Legal Aid Service of Collier County $ 600,000
Literacy Volunteers of Collier County $ 85,000
MusicScores Violin $ 50,000
Naples Therapeutic Riding Center $ 200,000
NCH $ 84,000
NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition $ 50,000
NCH – Collier CARES $ 62,000
Pace Center for Girls $ 100,000
Special Olympics Florida $ 127,500
St. Matthew’s House $ 100,000
STARability Foundation $ 80,000
Taste the Impact $ 125,000
The Salvation Army of Collier County $ 75,000
The Shelter for Abused Women & Children $ 150,000
United Arts Collier $ 75,000
Valerie’s House $ 200,000
YMCA of Collier County $ 400,000
Youth Haven $ 425,000
Total Traditional Funding $ 6,639,000

NCEF Initiative Organizations and Blueprint Partners

Initiative Organization Award
Early Learning • Early Learning Coalition of SWFL
Total 2024-2025 Funding $ 200,000


• FSU: College of Medicine (2024-2029)
• Healthcare Network
Total 2024-2026 Funding $ 1,215,000


• Midwest Food Bank *
• Our Daily Bread Food Pantry *
• Pan-Florida Challenge*
Total 2024-2026 Funding $ 497,000

Mental Health

• David Lawrence Centers
• FSU: College of Medicine – Isabel Collier Read Medical Campus (2024-2028)
• Golisano Children’s Hospital
• Healthcare Network
• NAMI Collier
Total 2024-2027 Funding $ 8,604,000

Oral Health

• Healthcare Network
• University of Florida: College of Dentistry
Total 2024-2026 Funding$ 3,617,000

Out-of-School Time

• Boys & Girls Club of Collier County
• Guadalupe Center
• Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA)
• The Immokalee Foundation
Total 2024–2025 Funding $ 2,073,000


• Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
• Florida Lions Eye Clinic
• Lighthouse of Collier
Total 2024-2026 Funding $ 1,705,000

Special Projects

• Collier CARES
• Early Learning Capacity Building
• Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation – NCEF Early Childhood Development Center
• UF Lastinger Center for Learning – Math Matrix
Total Funding $ 1,469,000
*Indicates new initiative partners

2024-2025 Awarded Grants $ 26,019,000.00
Future Projects & Strategic Initiatives $ 7,216,120.00
Total 2024-2025 Funding $ 33,235,120.00

About Naples Children & Education Foundation
The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is improving the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted close to 90 of the most effective nonprofits in the local community, providing more than 300,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel. NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time.

About Naples Winter Wine Festival
The Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), one of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions, offers a weekend of unforgettable memories. Guests enjoy world-class food and wine during intimate dinners in elegant, private homes and other landmark settings throughout Naples and are invited to bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel and wine experiences during an electrifying live auction. Since its inaugural event in 2001, the NWWF has raised almost $302 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Collier County.

For additional information on the Naples Children & Education Foundation or the Naples Winter Wine Festival, contact Lisa Juliano at or 239-514-2239.

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