Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards more than $320,000 in Grants to Equitably Expand Access to Education and Health Care

Categories: Grants, Nonprofits, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Equity and Access Grants,

Grants will support services among those who face barriers to receiving care and opportunities

SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has awarded 16 nonprofit organizations grants of more than $320,000 in its second Equity and Access competitive grant cycle. The support will enhance programs that care for underrepresented and geographically underserved populations within Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties that face longstanding and systemic barriers to education and healthcare services.

From addressing the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ students to funding supportive housing for adults with disabilities, each organization is creating innovative ways to implement a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion framework into their programs and missions. As with the previous cycle, a diverse committee of volunteers, staff, board members, and community leaders enriched the decision-making process, reviewing each application through the lens of their own vision and life experience.

“There is an urgent, pressing desire by the organizations in our community to broadly address inequities and ensure opportunities are within reach for everyone,” says Kirsten Russell, Vice President, Community Impact. “We're encouraged by the tremendous interest shown in this cycle and the variety of causes that it will ultimately support across our region. These conversations – and importantly, actions – bring us closer to a more united, inclusive community.”

Organizations Supported: Educational and Health Care Equity

  • Community Assisted and Supported Living (CASL)
  • Dreamers Academy
  • Equality Florida Institute
  • The Florida Center for Early Childhood
  • Foundation for Dreams
  • Gulfcoast Legal Services
  • Loveland Center
  • Manatee Literacy Council
  • Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee
  • Modern Marimba
  • New College Foundation
  • Prospect Riding Center
  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Safe Children Coalition
  • Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center
  • Tidewell Foundation

Since its inception last year, the Equity and Access Grant cycles have awarded $455,000 to 21 local nonprofit organizations.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is committed to improving the lives of all people. We believe the strength of our community is in its diversity. Together, we strive to address issues and create opportunities so all people can achieve their full potential. To learn more about our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 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 $421 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $48.9 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 $323 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.