Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards $80,000 to Area Nonprofits for Building Capacity

Categories: Grants,

Grants support nonprofit organizations serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties

SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has awarded grants to 12 area nonprofit organizations that will help support their operations through the foundation’s Capacity Building grant cycle.

Capacity Building grants are designed to help strengthen nonprofit organizations’ ability to achieve their mission. Grant dollars are utilized for services and operational needs as varied as hiring fundraising consultants or purchasing equipment needed for operations. This cycle’s recipients serve primarily in the arts, animal welfare and environmental conservation, and social services to vulnerable individuals and communities.

“Our vibrant nonprofit community provides so many services to the area, and the nature of the 501(c)3 business model means that missions are often carried out on a shoestring budget,” said Kirsten Russell, Vice President of Community Impact at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “We’re glad to help close the gap between needs and resources for these organizations that contribute greatly to the quality of life in our community.”

Nonprofits Supported:

Visual and Performing Arts Organizations

  • Creative Arts Academy, a performing arts organization that strives to provide positive pathways to at-risk youth through opportunities in expression and the arts.
  • Manatee Concert Band, which provides free quality music performances to the community while simultaneously offering an outlet for expression to participating musicians.
  • Sarasota Jewish Theatre, a nonprofit that strives to reflect and preserve Jewish culture, history, and experience through presenting Jewish performances.
  • Sarasota Pops Orchestra, a 65-piece orchestra of skilled musicians that have presented popular concerts in concerts ranging from Broadway to Motown over its nearly 50-year history. The orchestra comprises professional musicians, music educators, as well as students.
  • Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative, which creates opportunities for artistic expression to young Black people and hosts community events that examine the intersection of art and racial justice.
  • The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School, a training experience for beginner through pre-professional dancers that offers excellent dance performances to the community.

Environmental and Animal Welfare Organizations

Social Services Organizations/Organizations Serving Vulnerable Communities

The Community Foundation’s Capacity Building Grants are offered three times this fiscal year, with review of the next cycle on Dec. 1, 2024.

Helping nonprofit organizations achieve success in their ability to pursue their missions is a primary focus of the Community Foundation, and capacity building grants are one vehicle for achieving this goal. Other support includes regular workshops and trainings available for free to nonprofits, with actionable coaching in areas such as leadership development, communications strategies, and board recruitment.

The Community Foundation also hosts Giving Challenges nearly every other year, which are online giving events that inspire philanthropic engagement. Giving Challenges provide opportunities for nonprofits to build skills while fundraising for unrestricted donations to their organizations. The next Giving Challenge is noon to noon April 9-10, 2024. More than $16 million was raised during the last Giving Challenge in 2022, with funds disbursed among more than 600 participating nonprofits. For more information, go to

For almost 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 $396 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