Every milestone provides an opportunity to look back, and surpassing a half billion dollars in grants since The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida was established is no exception. While the fact that, in partnership with our donors, we have disbursed $500 million in charitable grants in 55 years is remarkable, it by no means represents the fullness of our efforts. We hope that this report provides greater understanding about the many ways The Community Foundation contributes to Northeast Florida.
In 2018, we continued to challenge ourselves with new territory to explore on behalf of our donors and the nonprofit organizations that are vital to our community. Our role as stewards for donors means we stand ready to help them realize their civic leadership goals, whether that is seamlessly expediting their grant recommendations or helping them explore new grantmaking opportunities. For those donors who participate in collective giving, we provided philanthropic leadership for the LGBTQ Community Fund as it launched an endowment to support its work in perpetuity, the Beaches Community Fund as it reimagined the philanthropic future of those families’ efforts, and the Women’s Giving Alliance as it boldly tackled Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty. The alumni of our Weaver Philanthropic Initiative program grew more cohesive and participated in several events designed to keep this generation of philanthropists actively engaged in the foundation’s work and our community.
This was the third year of grantmaking for our Supporting Neighborhoods initiative. Our work in New Town, Northwest Jacksonville, Eastside and Arlington has steered us into deeper, broader community activity—we are assisting key nonprofits that are best equipped to respond to homelessness, juvenile justice reform, poverty alleviation, emergency/respite housing and affordable housing. Understanding these issues is vital to our ability to direct donors to meaningful solutions, just as we did this year when we worked with Delores Barr Weaver and Baptist Health to establish The Partnership for Mental Health initiative, and as we had done earlier with the Chartrand Family to pilot Full Service Plus Schools, which has now expanded throughout Duval County.
Our ability to provide donors more investment choices is expanding —in 2018, we introduced a Social Impact Pool and an Intermediate Pool for fundholders. We also welcomed our first two Program Related Investments—ways for donors to assist nonprofits with below market rate loans.
Expansion is also happening for the Foundation itself—we now have a satellite location in St. Augustine serving southern St. Johns and Putnam counties, and we added a Gift Planning Officer to enable us to work more closely with professional advisors across Northeast Florida.
We sadly note the passing of former trustee Jim Winston. Our board of trustees was enhanced by his presence, and his many gifts of leadership and philanthropy will be long remembered in all corners of this community.
On behalf of all the trustees and staff at The Community Foundation, we are honored beyond measure to be the steward for so many generous donors. Thank you for your commitment to making our community a better place for everyone.
Ryan A. Schwartz, Chairman Nina M. Waters, President