Commentary: Cape Coral-based foundation uses heart, vision to help communities

St. Andrew Catholic School was one of 51 Southwest Florida nonprofits to receive grants from The Community Foundation.
St. Andrew Catholic School was one of 51 Southwest Florida nonprofits to receive grants from The Community Foundation.

If you want your nonprofit organization to resonate with today’s givers, the first thing you need is a clear vision.

It’s more important than facts. It’s more important than a strategic plan. It’s even more important than stories.

While each of those things is needed, givers are first looking to support a vision that resonates with their hearts.

At The Community Foundation, COMMUNITY is at the heart of everything we do. We lead with our vision and givers hear our hearts. They see our big vision and want to partner with us. Communicating with a big vision is especially helpful when talking to givers with significant wealth.  Business owners, community leaders, and board members are often fueled by vision.  Most high-capacity givers are visionaries themselves, and they love to partner with nonprofit organizations that dream big.

More:Community Foundation's Charity Event Awards recognizes fundraising excellence in SWFL

The Community Foundation, founded in Cape Coral, is the voice and the choice of 5,214 nonprofits with a combined workforce of 37,610 employees that generate $4.15 billion in annual revenue. The foundation is also the creator of Generous People, a weekly television production that combines entertainment with philanthropy. The groundbreaking series broadcasts across Lee, Collier, Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades and Hendry counties in Florida to more than 610,000 households. Every episode features real-world nonprofit leaders and experts who are working in the trenches of the charitable sector.

We’re dedicated to providing our region with a variety of enrichment, education and community engagement initiatives.

We host community events, workshops and classes for donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations. We convene community leaders to offer help, find resources or fulfill their philanthropic aspirations. We invite key stakeholders to partner with us to amplify and increase the impact of donors and nonprofits by building an inclusive community where they can learn, connect and collaborate.

Hope Healthcare was one of 51 local nonprofit to receive a grant from The Community Foundation.
Hope Healthcare was one of 51 local nonprofit to receive a grant from The Community Foundation.

Every day, we help generous givers to send more money to causes they love. Together, we've mobilized over $5 million for over 600 charities at work in Southwest Florida.

We offer creative solutions to help donors, humanitarians, and philanthropists giving go further. Generous givers can open their own giving fund. Our creative solutions help givers experience less paperwork, fewer taxes, more joy and more impact to their favorite causes.

The Community Foundation facilitates giving for all types of funders who practice philanthropy and support nonprofits including private foundations; operating foundations; corporate foundations; city and county agencies; individual donors and philanthropic families.

Our partner funders harness the power of small donations and make a powerful impact in Southwest Florida and beyond - and across a wide variety of causes and issues.

The Community Foundation also provides grants management and administrative support services. We assist funders and individual donors with their grant-making decisions to help them fund creative and sustainable programs.

In the community:Community Foundation distributes $300K to nonprofits in Southwest Florida

Our vision is inspiring the Southwest Florida region. It involves more than just facts and figures. We paint a picture of what’s possible and let the community witness and feel what true impact looks like.

I encourage every nonprofit organization in Southwest Florida to cast a big vision, you will attract more givers who will like your big vision.  And when people are inspired by your vision, they will share it with other givers.

For example, on April 4, we will host the Charity Event Awards, an annual celebration of the best and biggest fundraising events in Southwest Florida. It is a memorable event that celebrates what’s at the heart of our foundation – generosity. It’s a feel-good evening recognizing and connecting outstanding individuals, companies and organizations to inspire greater generosity.

Guest will enjoy dinner, beverages, award presentations and tributes honoring this year’s leading humanitarians, business sponsors, and charity event planners. The mistress of ceremonies is Wendy Fullerton Powell, Southwest Florida Regional Editor for the Naples Daily News and News-Press. Space is limited, so attendees are encouraged to send a text message to The Community Foundation at (239) 542-5594 to reserve a seat.

Michael Chatman is president & CEO of The Community Foundation, the global center for generosity, and can be reached at The foundation is located at 1405 SE 47th Terrace, Unit 2, Cape Coral. For information, text 239-542-5594 or go to

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Commentary: Community at heart of Cape Coral-based foundation's vision