Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund

Helping our community rebound from Hurricane Ian with resilience.

On Sept. 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida's suncoast as a dangerous, high-end Category 4 storm. Ian throttled swaths of the four-county region our Community Foundation serves, with high winds, heavy rainfall, and a staggering storm surge that caused flooding throughout the region.

Ian's estimated $50 billion damage included entire roads and bridges that crumpled upon impact, and thousands of homes that were destroyed, as well as businesses, schools, cultural centers and coastline. Along with the dismantling of so many structures and natural features, the lives of everyone who lived through Ian were impacted. 

The Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund was activated to address these long-lasting impacts on people's lives, anticipating the needs that will emerge beyond emergency relief. 

Grant Opportunity

SDRF grants help organizations with programs thats support disaster recovery in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties. 

Successful recovery will support individuals and families to be able to rebound from their losses and sustain their well-being, and restore structures, systems, and services. 

Long-term disaster recovery

The purpose of the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund is to support and benefit Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties for disaster recovery to improve individual, family, and community resiliency, helping people rebuild their lives beyond initial rebuilding of structures. Complete recovery--restoring our community to its full potential, while also creating processes to better protect us from such catastrophe in the future--will take a strategic, collaborative effort over time.

Successful recovery will support individuals and families to be able to rebound from their losses and sustain their physical, social, economic, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and restore structures, systems, and services, as well as address sources of inequitable and unjust outcomes. 

Particular emphasis will be given to listening to those most impacted with losses, understanding community needs, and assessing community damage. We will collaborate with government and school officials, funders, community leaders and nonprofit partners to build a cohesive approach that prioritizes needs that help our people, systems and services rebound with resilience. 

A thoughtful approach that creates lasting impact

Strategic long-term recovery relies on many factors. Our Community Foundation will work with school boards, government agencies, nonprofit partners and disaster recovery experts to learn where needs are and understand how best to meet them. 

The first step to this approach is a Disaster Response Analysis, which examines the anatomy of the disaster life cycle, history of disaster and response, identification of conventional responders and supports, typical gaps in those supports, and more. A strategic approach depends upon patience, transparent communication and collaboration, thorough research, and the willingness to be flexible. Thoughtful and deliberate recovery takes time to implement, and it also stands the test of time. 

Read the Disaster Response Analysis to learn the details of this methodology that determines how funding will be allocated. 

Stories of Impact: Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund

Keep abreast of the progress of this unprecedented Community Foundation initiative here, with the latest developments of the story. As we engage our community and seek expertise from those who've weathered similar disasters, we will continue to share news here. 

April 18, 2024

Free North Port Hurricane Expo is set for Saturday

By Homepage - Story of Impact, The Herald-Tribune Media Group,

With hurricane season beginning June 1, North Port is hosting an informational Hurricane Expo to help prepare and educate residents.

The free event is set for April 20 from 9 a.m. t…

February 5, 2024

Community Foundation grant to help DeSoto residents still recovering from Hurricane Ian

By Homepage - Story of Impact, The Herald-Tribune Media Group,

A nonprofit agency created after Hurricane Ian to aid DeSoto County residents in need of disaster assistance has been awarded a $105,000 grant, the group announced on Tuesday.

The H…

October 13, 2023

Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards nearly $625,000 for Hurricane Recovery Efforts

By Press Release, Blog, Homepage - Story of Impact,

More than half of Suncoast Disaster Recovery Funding has been committed through grants and future funding SARASOTA, FL – At the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ian, the Community Foun…

Impact to Nonprofits

After the first grant cycle went out to organizations affected by Hurricane Ian, we reached out to some nonprofit leaders to learn how the funding restored their ability to achieve their missions. See the video series below to learn more about the ways the grant supported our community on its path to longterm recovery. 

Hurricane Ian...One Year Later

Child Protection Center

A vital resource to families living in crisis from the experience of abuse, the Child Protection Center sustained damage to its Northport location. Learn how the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund helped the Child Protection Center restore its services to families served in the hard-hit area. 

Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center

Hurricane Ian ripped through the Lighthouse headquarters, resulting in damages so severe the organization had to move operations elsewhere temporarily. Funding from the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund will help the organization open its doors again. 

Prospect Riding Center

Prospect Riding Center, which offers therapeutic riding services to people with disabilities and aging people, was ravaged when Hurricane Ian ripped through East Sarasota County. Suncoast Disaster Recovery Funding helped the center restore trails that had been rendered unpassable, and resume its services. 

United Way Charlotte County          

Charlotte County endured enormous damage in the wake of Hurricane Ian, leaving many residents with unanticipated expenses that made them vulnerable to losing everything. United Way was there to connect these people with resources that keeps them sheltered, secure, and healthy. 

Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast

Trauma from catastrophic events like Ian can take months to surface and years to heal. Grants to Samaritan helped the organization offer affordable services to more people in the throes of a mental health crisis so it could meet the needs of escalating demand for mental health care. 


Hurricane Ian flooded the house of Kayla Yenna, here with her daughters, forcing her to find a new place to live. Photo: Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Response to immediate need: Season of Sharing

Of course, a disaster like Ian also requires immediate response. Many people have endured damage to their homes and faced disruptions in work, which has forced them to navigate the double-crisis of unanticipated expenses coupled with diminished income. Our region has experienced a seismic uptick in those needing help with basic living expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, transportation, and child care. 

For these acute needs, Season of Sharing has been a relied upon source of relief for 22 years. Some who have been displaced have already sought Season of Sharing support--its flexibility and expeditious nature have made it a time-tested, trusted social safety net since 2000. In the wake of Ian, acute need is high. Season of Sharing has helped people get past immediate setbacks to regain stability for more than two decades. 

The Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund was created in partnership with The Patterson Foundation, which seeded the fund with $500,000 and offered matching gifts up to $750,000, which was quickly fulfilled and inspired other matching gifts for a total of $1.25 million. Learn more about The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the impact through seed money and matching funds. 

How to Donate

If you'd like to support either the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund or the Season of Sharing, there are many ways to do it. Donate online here

Donate by Mail

Mail your check – payable to Community Foundation of Sarasota County (please indicate county designation on memo line) – to:

Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund  
c/o Community Foundation of Sarasota County  
2635 Fruitville Road  
Sarasota, FL 34237

Donate by Phone

Call 941-955-3000

Get Involved

Kirsten Russell 

Vice President, Community Impact