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

Florida at night from space.

Photo Credit: NASA.gov

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 www.fpnetwork.org/summit.

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

How the Affordable Care Act Could Impact Florida & the Role for Philanthropy

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. The ACA law is likely to touch the lives of virtually every Floridian, but key elements of the law are unknown to many and poorly understood by others – due in large part to the law’s complexity.

That’s one reason why Florida Philanthropic Network has just released a report that provides a clear, concise and independent overview of how the ACA is likely to impact the lives of Floridians, and suggests key roles for philanthropy to play as the ACA is implemented in the state. We hope the report will help raise the level of awareness and understanding of the ACA and its potential impacts, so that we can help ensure the most positive health outcomes for our communities and our state. Continue reading

Florida Foundations Blanket Capitol Hill to Raise Awareness of Philanthropy; Urge Congress to Preserve Charitable Deduction

Florida foundations made their voices heard in Washington this week. Florida Philanthropic Network led a team of 12 Florida grantmakers for visits with Florida’s representatives and senators as part of the annual Foundations on the Hill event on March 19-20, 2013. The event was co-sponsored by the Council on Foundations, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and the Alliance for Charitable Reform. We blanketed the Hill, making contact with all 29 members of Florida’s congressional delegation and their staffs, to stress to our legislative leaders the important role that philanthropy plays in our state. 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

Southwest Florida’s Giving Challenge Was One for the Record Books

I’m not sure what’s in the water in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, but we need to bottle it up and spread it around. Late last month the region set a new philanthropic record when four FPN members – Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation and The Patterson Foundation – came together to put on the 36-Hour Giving Challenge. This first-of-its-kind online fundraising event in Southwest Florida raised a staggering $2,401,601 through 10,705 gifts in just one and a half days, breaking a record for this type of event previously held by San Diego – a city with a population more than eight times that of Sarasota.

Watching the Giving Challenge unfold, I came away with a number of key lessons and observations for our state’s philanthropy and nonprofit field: Continue reading