Our Mission

Our motto — “Be the One” — reflects our deeply-held belief that anyone can be a philanthropist and give back to our community, regardless of means.

Since our founding by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council in 1979, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has been making the important connection between individuals’ personal memories, passions and dreams, and the fulfillment of their charitable goals.

By actively listening to the desires of our donors, we help create permanent charitable funds that ensure people of vision have an enduring impact on our community and the causes they hold dear. Our motto — “Be the One” — reflects our deeply-held belief that anyone can be a philanthropist and give back to our community, regardless of means.

Areas of Impact 

Three areas of impact — Community CareEmpowerment and Success, and Belonging and Culture — guide our work to unite people and organizations to create opportunities for families across generations to improve their lives through cultural, educational, economic, and social support. 


Empowerment and Success

Belonging and Culture

Through a two-generation (2Gen) approach, these initiatives help both children and their parents to break the cycle of poverty through education, reliable economic supports, social capital, and health and wellbeing.

With assets of $489 million in more than 1,580 charitable funds, we have the expertise and ability to award millions of dollars in grants and scholarships to local students and nonprofits each year. Since our founding, more than $435.8 million has been invested back into the communities we serve throughout the region in the areas of education, health and human services, the arts, animal welfare, and the environment.

Our support for local nonprofits branches out beyond grantmaking to include building upon their strength and capacity to ensure our donors’ charitable dollars create meaningful impact through our nonprofit resources, workshops and trainings, and volunteer consultants.

Additionally, we connect with local professional advisors to provide highly personal and impact-orientated support, information, and expertise on planned giving and estate planning.

It is this mosaic of donors, nonprofits, professional advisors, and community members that drives and empowers our mission to create lasting impact through charitable giving in our shared community.

What is the Circle of Thirds?

Standing in the lobby of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, you'll find yourself beneath a living art installation of 20-foot-long pink, orange, and red ribbons. Titled “Circle of Thirds,” the piece was design by artist Anne Patterson.

Circle of Thirds represents the three key stakeholders of the Community Foundation – donors, nonprofits, and the community.


Our Core Values

We are passionate about inspiring charitable giving to build the community we all want to be a part of. We live it through our core values:

  • Compassion — Caring for citizens of our communities
  • Empowerment — Enabling others to succeed by leveraging our influence, support, and encouragement
  • Innovation — Discovering, cultivating, and promoting new opportunities
  • Integrity — Ensuring the highest ethical standards in all we do
  • Quality — Demonstrating excellence
  • Stewardship — Managing the assets and resources entrusted to us in a careful and responsible manner for the benefit of all we serve
  • Inclusiveness — Embracing the perspectives and participation of our community in all we do

Our Impact

As your trusted partner in charitable giving, we are guided by:

Stewardship — We oversee funds in perpetuity, ensuring they are managed exactly as intended.

Collaboration and Connections — We actively identify ways we can enhance the impact of individual, family, and group philanthropy through grant opportunities.

Community Solutions — We connect donors with like-minded people, nonprofit organizations, government entities, and education institutions to find and develop effective solutions, all while staying alert to emerging issues and opportunities.

Research and Knowledge — For donors who would like to support a nonprofit organization or cause, we can provide in-depth information about organizations through the online tool, The Giving Partner.