The Next Big Conversation in Florida Philanthropy: How Are We Preparing for Sea-Level Rise?

Florida at night from space.

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The theme of Florida Philanthropic Network’s 2015 Statewide Summit on Philanthropy, which is being held on January 29-30, is “The Next Big Conversations in Florida Philanthropy.” In the spirit of the Summit’s theme, this post is part of a series where we’ve asked some of our member leaders to share their thoughts on the next big conversations that should be taking place in Florida’s philanthropic sector. For more information on the Summit, visit

Thank you to Dr. Mark Pritchett, Senior Vice President for Community Investment at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, for sharing his thoughts on the next big conversation in Florida philanthropy. 

Most of Florida lives along the coast—just look at a nighttime photo of our state from space. We grow along the coastline here in Florida too. For many of us, the coast is the foundation of our communities. And that coastline is changing. But what are we doing about it? Continue reading

Three Florida Grantmakers Win Prestigious National Award for Outstanding Public-Philanthropic Partnership

Florida was well-represented this week at the announcement of the recipients of a prestigious national award to honor outstanding partnerships between philanthropy and the public sector. Three members of Florida Philanthropic Network—Florida Blue Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs—were among 10 recipients nationwide of the Secretaries’ Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships presented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Council on Foundations. The awards were announced at the Council’s Fall Conference for Community Foundations in Cleveland. Continue reading

At FPN Event, Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan Voices His Support for Philanthropy

This week Florida Philanthropic Network hosted a reception in Washington, DC with special guest of honor Congressman Vern Buchanan, who voiced his support for philanthropy and shared his views about the important role that philanthropy plays in our communities. The event was held in conjunction with the annual conference of the Council on Foundations, and was co-hosted by FPN members the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Florida Blue Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and The Patterson Foundation.

Congressman Buchanan is the only Florida member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has oversight of federal tax issues that can be critical in ensuring that philanthropy remains strong in Florida and across the country. So it’s good to know that he is a true friend of philanthropy, particularly as discussions about tax reform continue to take place in Congress. Continue reading

Florida Governor and Cabinet Honor Florida Community Foundations

Yesterday I was honored to accept a resolution passed by Florida’s Governor and Cabinet honoring Florida’s community foundations for “their service to communities all across the state.” The resolution was introduced by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam at the April 22 Cabinet meeting in Tallahassee, and approved by Governor Rick Scott, Commissioner Putnam and the other members of the Florida Cabinet, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

The resolution also congratulated the community foundation field on its centennial anniversary. The first community foundation was created in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914. Continue reading

Helping Oklahoma Recover

Here in hurricane-prone Florida we are definitely hard-wired to want to reach out and help our fellow Americans in other parts of the country when disaster strikes. The communities in Oklahoma that were struck by this week’s tornadoes are in the first steps of what we know will be a long road ahead of them to deal with a myriad of immediate, intermediate and long-term relief and recovery needs. If you want to give a donation to help with relief and recovery efforts in Oklahoma, here are some options to consider: Continue reading

Watching Philanthropy in Action in Southwest Florida

Last week I had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand the last few hours of the 36-Hour Giving Challenge, an amazing two-day marathon of charitable giving to benefit nonprofits in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. The second annual Challenge, which started at 7:00 a.m. on March 5 and ended at 7:00 p.m. on March 6, broke its own record by raising more than $2.78 million for 285 nonprofits. Even more impressive, the Challenge generated 17,626 donations from 50 states and 24 countries – a 65% increase in donations from last year. Continue reading

Community Foundations Have A Notable Year in Growing Florida’s Philanthropic Legacy

One of the perks of running a statewide philanthropy association is that I see on a daily basis many heartwarming stories of Floridians who give their time and money to make our state a better place in which to live. The past year I’ve observed a number of particularly inspiring stories of Floridians who have made significant contributions to strengthening Florida’s philanthropic assets, working in partnership with their local community foundation. Continue reading