You Make a Difference...We Make It Easier

2019 Winter Newsletter

At the Community Foundation, by working with donors, we inspire ideas, ignite action, and mobilize resources to address community needs in Collier County. For Good. Forever.

Give Where You Live Collier Shatters Old Record

$5.5 million raised for 40 nonprofits in 24 hours

The fifth anniversary of Give Where You Live Collier generated 2,221 donations, including 1394 made online, and raised a total of $5,464,847-representing a 39% increase over last year's total of $3,917,731 . Hosted by the Community Foundation of Collier County and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, Give Where You Live Collier, gave 40 Collier County non-profits a much-needed boost with donations, a $500,000 matching fund and $50,000 in prizes.

"We are awestruck by the donations raised this year -almost $5.5 million for 40 local nonprofits in 24 hours," said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Collier County, the organizing agency for the event. "We are so moved by how our community continues to come together to show their love and support for Collier County. We are incredibly grateful to all the donors and the nonprofits for their hard work and especially thankful to the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation for making this event possible for the fifth year in a row."

4th grader Nicolai makes an observation in the Flower Dissection Lab during the Budding Botanists program at Naples Botanical Garden thanks to a CFCC grant
CFCC Grant Distributions

Over $3.7 Million
in Grants during 2018-19 Second Quarter 
The Community Foundation of Collier County has distributed $3,786,571 in grants in the second quarter of 2018-19 fiscal year (October 1-December 31, 2018) to nonprofit agencies and scholarships for secondary education and specialized training bringing the total distributions for the first half of the fiscal year to $6,324,623.  
"We are proud to continue to provide this substantial amount of grant distributions that enable much-needed support in our community," said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Community Foundation President & CEO. "We are so grateful to the many caring and generous donors that made these distributions possible. This support allows us to continue to be proactive and forward thinking in how to best serve Collier County."

Walk In My Shoes 

Two CFCC funds supply simulators to Lorenzo Walker nursing school students

Diminishing eyesight, stiffness, tingling in the fingers and feet-the students in nursing programs at both Lorenzo Walker Technical High School and Lorenzo Walker Technical College will soon discover in real time how the effects of aging impact daily tasks for their future patients.


$35,000 was granted to purchase five geriatric simulators and a pediatric simulator which students have come to affectionately call "Pedi" through a designated fund and a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation of Collier County for nursing programs at the schools. The simulators are wearable suits that enable students to experience a variety of age-related physical challenges, creating empathy and better insight when assisting seniors. Pedi, the 5-year-old boy simulator, joins the nursing school family which includes adult, birthing and newborn infant simulators.

 Click here to read more

Eileen Connolly-Keesler and Mary Beth Geier tour the Everglades
Empowering Everglades Stewards

The Everglades Literacy Program has been taught to more than 3,000 teachers in the state since it was launched by its first grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County five years ago.
The Everglades Foundation's program trains teachers in standards-based curriculum to foster a deeper understanding in K-12 students of the unique and complex Everglades hydro ecological system and raise awareness about issues threatening the nation's most important wetland ecosystem. In essence, the future stewards who will be entrusted to preserve it are being empowered with knowledge and first-hand experience. "We know educating the next generation of Floridians, coupled with actions of today, is critical to the outcome-a revitalized and healthy Everglades," said Everglades Foundation Director of Education Jennifer Diaz.

Scholarship Spotlight

Debilitating accident motivates Joy Tashjian to focus on helping others

"Six years ago, I returned to school as an adult learner to pursue an Associate's Degree in nursing. My decision was influenced by two significant life events. I chose to make a career change from teaching to nursing following a car accident that left me disabled for over a year. 

During my time in rehabilitation, I gained an appreciation for the impact that nursing professionals have on their patients. I had been interested in the profession when I was younger, as two of my aunts are Registered Nurses, but I felt I was too sensitive to treat patients who were in chronic pain or distress. Working closely with the nurses who were assigned to my care made me realize how suited I was to the profession."

Our Changing Needs Fund Is Critical To Our Community

The Changing Needs Fund at the Community Foundation of Collier County strengthens our community and the lives of the people here. As the needs of Collier County change, gifts to the fund enable Community Foundation staff and the Board to  ignite action and  mobilize funds quickly  to address local  needs and challenges, be it a hurricane, red tide, or whatever the future presents us.

$5,000 was recently granted from the Community Foundation's Changing Needs Fund to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to support their essential water quality efforts.

For more information, contact Eileen Connolly-Keesler at 239.649.5000.

Community Foundation of Collier County | 239.649.5000 | |