Local Funders Collaborate to Fulfill $200,000 Matching Grant Supporting Solar Power Expansion Among Nonprofits

Categories: COMMUNITY CARE: Animals & Environment, Donors,

The investment in renewable energy originated with an anonymous donor with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and is supported by Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation

SARASOTA, FL – Generous funding provided by Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation has fulfilled the $200,000 grant match requirement for a pilot solar investment program spearheaded by an anonymous donor with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The cross-foundational support ensures local nonprofit organizations have access to energy alternatives and sustainable practices while navigating heightened needs and shifting organizational capacity to serve brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are grateful to those who are pushing the conversation around renewable energy to the forefront of the nonprofit community,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. “Only through collaboration can we create a more sustainable future.”

“Helping our nonprofit partners invest in clean, renewable energy is a win for the organizations and their mission and a win for our community,” said Mark S. Pritchett, President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “We appreciate the vision of the philanthropist who catalyzed this smart, collaborative program and the opportunity for Gulf Coast to be a part of it.”

Stemming from an interest in improving sustainability and inspiring others to join in the fight against climate change, an anonymous donor with the Community Foundation granted $200,000 in October 2019 to jumpstart the pilot program – an offshoot of Partners for Green Places - inviting nonprofit organizations to apply for below-market loans to adopt on-site solar power. Drawing on the concept of impact investing, as the low-interest loans are paid back, funds are committed to be reinvested by the donor in community-wide solar education projects.

“Caring for our environment is one of those unique causes that can unite donors and funders who want to impact the present while also sharing a vision for the future,” says Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “As our community develops actionable solutions to the climate challenges facing our current and future generations, we are proud to stand alongside our visionary donor and local foundation partners in expanding energy alternatives for a more sustainable future.”

The pilot program was launched in October 2019 alongside 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 education for organizations to commit to energy efficiency and sustainability. The partnership was founded in collaboration with Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the City of Sarasota, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, DreamLarge, Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability, and William G. and Marie Selby Foundation.

To learn more about Partners for Green Places and how to get involved, visit www.partnersforgreenplaces.com.


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 www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.