Masala Giving Circle Grant Awardees

Categories: Giving Circles, Grants, Philanthropy,

SARASOTA, FL – On Wed., May 15, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., the Masala Giving Circle, a philanthropic organization of African-American women, will hold its annual Grant Awardee Ceremony at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, 2635 Fruitville Road.

Nearly $20,000 will be provided to four organizations with missions to improve the quality of life for African-Americans in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The grantees are as follows:

  • We Care Manatee, supporting breast health care for black women - $8,858
  • DIVAS of Sarasota, Inc., a mentoring and leadership program for female students in grades seven to 10, to support a college experience program, $5,352
  • Hope Family Services, to provide multicultural hair products for victims and survivors of domestic violence, $2,500
  • J5 Experience, Inc., a youth and adult female empowerment organization, to provide a self-image program for youth leaders called “The Dream Experience,” $1,462

The Masala Giving Circle was formed more than five years ago through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County by a diverse group of professional African-American women with a common passion for giving back, helping others, and creating positive change in the African-American community of Sarasota and Manatee counties. The group awards grants each year to one or more local non-profit organizations for initiatives to improve the quality of life for African-Americans in Sarasota and/or Manatee counties. Since their founding, the Masala Giving Circle has awarded nearly $60,000 back into the community.

“Masala Giving Circle exists to promote economic and personal empowerment in our community,” said Marilyn Thompson, President of the Masala Giving Circle. “Since our inception, our giving philosophy has been to carry on traditions of support passed down through African ancestry and do our part to make the African-American communities stronger and more self-sustainable.”

About Masala Giving Circle: Masala Giving Circle was formed in 2014 with a vision to enhance culturally-vibrant African American and black communities by supporting programs and initiatives that promote economic and personal empowerment. Membership to the group is offered on an annual basis. Nearly $60,000 has been granted through Masala since its founding. To join and learn more about previous grants, 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 over $398 million in more than 1,400 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $34 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.