Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards Nearly $110,000 to 15 Area Nonprofits

Categories: Grants,

Grants support capacity building in nonprofits serving Sarasota and Manatee Counties

SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has awarded 15 local nonprofit organizations $110,000 through grants aimed at strengthening organizations’ capacity to fulfill their missions.

These awards will help local charitable organizations by supporting operational goals like cultivating strong fundraising plans, developing leadership and staff skills, strengthening communications plans, measuring impact, and more. Many recipient organizations in this cycle provide support to people in the community who may be living with disabilities, chaotic homelife issues, homelessness, or other challenging experiences.

“In many cases, organizations awarded through this cycle are the primary support system for vulnerable people and families, or else working to dismantle stigma that further limits individual potential,” said Kirsten Russell, Vice President of Impact at the Community Foundation. “The work they do is critical, and they do it on very tight budgets. Helping them build their capacity increases their ability to create impact, and in the case of these organizations, helps sustain many of our most susceptible neighbors.”

Organizations Supported:

  • Avenida de colores, which hosts the annual Sarasota Chalk Festival, a community art gathering that ignites imagination and celebrates the arts and humanity.
  • Educational Consultants Consortium, Inc., an organization that acts as a liaison between home, school, and community for at-risk youth in Manatee County.
  • Senior Friendship Centers, which enhances quality of life for seniors by building vibrant communities through championing wellness, connection, and enrichment throughout the journey of aging.
  • Easterseals Southwest Florida, a provider of a variety of quality therapeutic, educational, and support services for people with disabilities, striving to help people reach their full potential.
  • Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, which works to ensure the growth of arts organizations and their audiences, the continuation of the arts in our schools and the empowerment of individual artists to make a difference in our community.
  • Family Promise of South Sarasota County, which provides housing support to children and their families in South Sarasota County experiencing a sudden, critical need, and wraparound services that help them achieve sustained stability.
  • Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation¸ an organization that convenes residents, property owners, policy makers, and other leaders in building unifying goals around protecting historic properties and preserving the history of Sarasota.
  • The Sarasota Prostate Initiative, Inc., which increases awareness of diagnostic and treatment options available to men with prostate disease, and to guide and support them through their odyssey.
  • Suncoast School for Innovative Studies, a school based on the multiple intelligences pedagogy, which seeks to inspire and support students in reaching their full potential.
  • STAR (STigma Action Research) Lab, a research organization of the University of South Florida’s Department of Mental Health Law & Policy that aims to reduce stigma, with a special emphasis on stigma surrounding behavioral health conditions.
  • Azara Ballet, a dance company with the mission of inspiring joy, fostering unity, and promoting mental health through dance, as well as creating an inclusive community unified by dance.
  • Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, a chapter of the international organization that aims to make the world a better place by developing girls with courage, confidence, and character.
  • All 4 the Members, Inc., which connects seniors and their caretakers with resources that facilitate aging in place as long as possible.
  • Adventure For All, which provides and facilitates rugged excursions for individuals with disabilities with the end goal of building self-confidence and shattering societal beliefs about the limitations of these individuals.
  • Children’s Guardian Fund, which provides funding for immediate and ongoing needs of children removed from abusive and neglectful homes in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto counties.

As a partner to more than 700 nonprofit organizations serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties, a primary function of the Community Foundation is to enhance the organizations’ autonomy and self-sustenance. Grants like these provide practical help to support that goal.

The Community Foundation also hosts Giving Challenges, 24-hour online giving events that draw visibility and tremendous community support to the nonprofit community. The next Giving Challenge will be from noon to noon April 9-10, 2024. The last Giving Challenge held in 2022 raised $16.2 million in unrestricted funds for nearly 700 participating nonprofits.

Along with bolstering financial resources in the nonprofit sector, the Community Foundation hosts trainings and workshops designed to empower charitable organizations.

Capacity Building grants are available to nonprofits throughout the year. The next deadline for Capacity Building grants is March 1, 2024.

For nearly 45 years, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has been key to unlocking possibilities for everyone who calls our area home. With the trust of the community, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $438.5 million in grants to support causes addressing education, health and human services, the arts, and the environment, animal welfare, and other needs that enhance quality of life. To learn more about available grant opportunities, visit


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 $488 million in more than 1,580 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $40 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $396 million to area nonprofit organizations in our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.