IN LOVING MEMORY
We are grateful for the outpouring of community support after the passing of Chuck and Margie. Since our founding, it was a day that was discussed and thought through, but no amount of planning could have prepared us for the personal loss we feel.
Our history as a Foundation is rare in that we had the privilege to work directly with living benefactors to craft the values and direction they wanted their philanthropy to reflect. Their extraordinary legacy is exceeded only by their kindness and deep concern for others. We are forever grateful for our time with them.
Never losing sight of a brighter future to be forged, Chuck and Margie envisioned a community in which everyone had opportunities for health, growth, and success. With gratitude to our partners, we want to provide a glimpse into what together we were able to achieve in 2019.
BOARD AND STAFF
2019 AT A GLANCE
Our community is changing for the better, yet enduring issues still obstruct progress on improving the quality of life in our region. From creating a coordinated network of mental health providers to increasing access to care for mothers and babies, we continue to stay the course on systemic issues that require complex and long-term solutions.
Lasting impact depends on trusted partnerships and staying power. This year momentum has grown around the enduring issues we set out to address:
We believe in the power of family and that all children deserve an opportunity to thrive. Yet staggering gaps persist for families and children in our poorest communities. From expanding parenting education and workforce training programs, this year we strengthened families by supporting programs that help parents and children overcome adversity together.
> Children First Boosts Families First Institute
> Parenting Matters Expands Footprint into Sarasota County for Children and Families
Our partners see it every day: students from stable homes thrive while those living in unpredictable environments struggle both academically and behaviorally. We work with partners who help keep families in their homes and ensure those homes provide a sense of security. Their programs enable parents to put food on the table, develop a household routine, and create a more dependable home life.
> LegalAid Launches Legal Lifeline for Teenagers in Foster Care
> Harvest House Provides Life-changing Opportunities for Families
> Partnership with the Florida Center Addresses Disruptive Learning
Education remains one of the most effective and powerful tools for creating equitable access and opportunity. We are committed to supporting the most significant factors that respond to the needs of students today.
We invested in cutting-edge training and classroom technology to ensure teachers feel valued and effective, while creating opportunities for students to engage in the changing world around them. Our partners are creating pathways to fulfill educational potential by ensuring kids are safe, healthy and ready to learn.
> Teacher Retention | Recruitment Initiative
> Intensive Language Arts Classroom Innovation
> Reading Recovery
On ENDURING ISSUES:
We are calling attention to issues that threaten the future of our community. Be it catalyzing solutions for climate resilience or ensuring our foster care system is working effectively, our brand of philanthropy is bold. We believe philanthropy is uniquely positioned to raise the flag on important community matters.
We have made a commitment to going places others won't or can't go. Here are a few examples of bold investments we made in areas we think deserve greater attention:
Sarasota, like many communities, seeks to improve its mental health system of care to fully meet the needs of children and youth. Together with Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we are convening stakeholders to chart a way forward. Our overall purpose is to identify short-term capacity building and longer-term systemic investments to create a system of care that responds effectively to the mental health needs of all children, youth, and families.
One in five adult Floridians has a mental health condition, yet Florida ranks 50th in per-capita mental health funding. Regional partnership and investment are needed to identify and close gaps in support systems and backfill lagging funding for treatment programs and services.
> Learn more about the Here4Youth Mental Health Initiative.
Climate change is real. It is happening in our coastal community, and it is accelerating. This is a trend that can be checked only through dramatic, collaborative effort. Since our founding we have worked to promote interaction with nature and preservation of the environment for future generations. Through a cross-sector partnership, this year we boosted efforts to inspire local businesses and nonprofits to take action through sustainable measures to advance the movement and dialogue on climate change. We also completed a lofty project with Girls Inc. to harness the power of the sun.
> Girls Inc. Gets Largest Solar Array in Sarasota County.
> Community-wide Partnership Launches Partners for Green Places.
INFANTS AND TODDLERS
The earlier the investment, the greater the return. This is our philosophy on the life-changing importance of investing in early childhood development and giving families the foundational support they need during their child's critical early years.
This year First 1,000 Days Sarasota County, a collaborative effort to give our most vulnerable children a more prosperous life, has grown into a coordinated effort led by 68 community partners. By pulling together our partners’ resources, this initiative will provide better access to the prenatal, newborn, and early care that gives babies and families a crucial opportunity to thrive.
> Learn more about First 1,000 Days.
On CLIMATE RESILIENCE:
Our strategy for grantmaking and engagement in the community—as partners, conveners, and innovators—is driven by ensuring our nonprofit partners have the capacity to support current and emerging needs. This year we emphasized grants to strengthen our nonprofits partners at the organizational, fiscal, and programmatic levels.
Nonprofit organizations need to answer to shifting contexts, embrace flexibility, and be resilient over time. Here’s how we helped our partners do this:
Sometimes solutions already exist, but the infrastructure to connect services to the people that need them are inconsistent or nonexistent. By listening to partners and stakeholders, we are doing better at identifying where gaps exist and what it takes to build tighter safety nets for children and families, so that no one slips through the cracks. In addition to training and capacity grants, this year we emphasized supporting nonprofit stability through endowment building efforts.
> A Grassroots Effort Expands to Help Moms Support Moms
Because we envision a future by design where our nonprofit partners are on the cutting edge of emerging trends to best serve their clients, we connect dots and bring knowledgeable practitioners to our community to share best practices. An enhanced nonprofit workforce builds accountability not only for the people they serve but also the donors and funders who fuel their work. This year we convened our partners together with other experts in the field to help expand their effectiveness, ranging from early childhood psychotherapy to environmental education.
> Michael Bonner Fires Up Local Teachers
> Organizations Receive Child Parent Psychotherapy Training
What We're Learning
Evaluation incentivizes innovation. We are laying the groundwork to share what we’re learning, both successes and missteps, in ways that contribute to deeper understanding of the work we fund. With knowledge in hand we can promote continuous improvement and leverage investments with other funders. It's also just as important that we connect and learn from the perspectives of the communities and people we serve.
On professional development:
dr. kristie skoglund
Now our work becomes that much more important.
Margie once told us, "We can't change the world, but we can change little pieces of it and hope for a ripple effect." In every way, Chuck and Margie were that ripple effect. Their Foundation will continue to honor their legacy and support the places, people, and causes they loved.