SARASOTA, FL – An anonymous donor with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has granted nearly $200,000 to fund a pilot solar investment program for a collaborative initiative designed to help Sarasota County nonprofit organizations improve energy and water efficiency to reduce operational costs and reach new milestones in local sustainability.
The pilot program will enhance the primary objectives of the Partners for Green Places, a cross-sector partnership made up of private and community foundations, City of Sarasota and Sarasota County government offices, and nonprofit organizations that provides grants and knowledge for organizations to commit to energy efficiency and sustainability. Through the generosity of the Community Foundation’s private donor, in addition to Partners for Green Places grants designed to assess and plan for sustainability progress, nonprofit organizations will be able to apply for low-interest funding to invest in renewable energy investments and capital to adopt on-site solar power. As the low-interest funding is paid back, this anonymous donor will use it to fund community-wide education projects.
“Many of our donors remain more committed than ever to causes that affect our environment, especially improving sustainability,” says Roxie Jerde, CEO and President of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “Building the community we all want to live in goes hand-in-hand with ensuring access to energy alternatives and sustainable practices, so that future generations can continue to enjoy this beautiful place we call home.”
The pilot program will demonstrate how impact investing can provide previously inaccessible opportunities for energy alternatives to nonprofits and empower donors throughout our community to address climate change while also supporting the causes they care about.
The program was announced at the launch event for Partners for Green Places on October 14th at Girls Inc. of Sarasota, home of the largest social energy installation in the county.
In addition to its commitment to solar investment, the Community Foundation is also funding up to $50,000 in grants for the Partners for Green Places program to conduct energy assessments and efficiency projects.
“While on-site solar energy has been proven to be a more affordable, long-term solution, many local nonprofits are often constrained by a lack of available funds to explore these opportunities,” says Jerde. “We are proud to support organizations and programs like Partners for Green Places, who tirelessly work to make these opportunities accessible to nonprofits throughout our community.”
The Community Foundation joined Partners for Green Places, collaborating with Sarasota County Sustainability, the City of Sarasota Sustainability, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and the Partners for Places matching grant program, a joint project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.
About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of over $398 million in nearly 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $34 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.