Community Foundation of Sarasota County's Vice President of Community Impact to Speak at National Conference for Growing Community Foundations

Categories: Leadership,

Russell will join a panel discussion on Grade-Level Reading programs as community resources and networks

SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Vice President of Community Impact, Kirsten Russell, will participate in an online panel discussion with other regional foundation leaders and funders as part of the Annual National Conference for Growing Community Foundations, held virtually on October 26-27 by the Kansas Association of Community Foundations.

Speaking from her experience as the lead partner in Sarasota County with the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Russell will share insights on how a community foundation can lead a grade-level reading initiative for the community. She will specifically address how Sarasota's grade-level reading efforts support the whole family through a two-generation approach that helps close the achievement gap and empower families. Russell oversaw the Community Foundation’s education initiatives, including Sarasota County’s organizing efforts for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading since its inception in 2014.

Entering its 14th year, the Annual National Conference for Growing Community Foundations is a two-day online gathering designed to enhance foundation capacity and share best practices related to community impact. The 2019 conference brought together nearly 500 participants across 183 community foundations and 36 states. With the online platform, participation is expected to increase.

By creating and supporting initiatives through a two-generation approach, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has helped both children and their families create cycles of opportunity through education, reliable economic supports, social capital, and health and wellbeing. This philosophy compliments the theme of this year’s annual conference, Sustainable Community For All. To learn more about this conference and its speakers, 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 $418 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $21.5 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 $274 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.