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Cape Coral Community Foundation makes great strides

April 12, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Cape Coral Community Foundation -- the Global Center for Generosity -- is making great strides within the city and beyond through connectivity.

The foundation recently released its 2018-2019 Impact Report, which details its partnerships with Walmart and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest organization of its kind in the world.

Cape Coral Community Foundation President and CEO Michael Chatman said they are grateful for finally making some traction in the community, which took a lot of patience, hard work and persistence in letting donors and stakeholders know the foundation needed their support.

Some of the ways the foundation caught the community's attention is through creativity -- annual events, which have proven to connect the community's leaders, donors, nonprofits and fundraisers, all while introducing new audiences to the foundation and its mission.

"The past two years have seen us make major progress toward our goal of facilitating global generosity in a way that makes a distinct and profound impact locally," Chatman said. "Our robust series of events has stimulated the growth of a culture of giving that has already begun to bear fruit. We are on our way."

The foundation is currently in the second year of its two-year strategic plan. Chatman said they are continuing to increase the number of assets they have under management by helping nonprofit organizations and individual philanthropics by opening endowment funds to meet certain needs in the community, which cannot be met by other entities.

"We want to increase the generosity in the community by starting more donor circles," he said.

Chatman hopes that will take place through charitable investment funds by various groups coming together -- men, women and the next generation. He said the groups can come together and say, "Hey, we want to pull our resources together and have an impact in certain areas in Cape Coral."

One of the groups the foundation began working with is young philanthropists because they are the next generation to step up in civil and community involvement.

"That is something very important. We are working with the high schools, FGCU College of Education," Chatman said, as well as with the youth groups at churches. "We are working with them with a curriculum to train that next generation in the area of serving, leading and engaging the community and giving back to help them serve the importance of that."

The Cape Coral Community Foundation, each of the last two years, has provided $300,000 in grants, which is part of the $3.86 million it conservatively estimates it's given out since 1973, the year the foundation was formed.

Chatman said making a grant is the first step, due to the charitable organization needing that money. To make sure the organization is sustainable, the foundation provides a nonprofit capacity building program that teaches them the principals with board development, community engagement and fundraising.

He said when they give an organization a $10,000 grant, that organization is going to be in the hunt coming back to the well for another grant. But, with new nonprofits starting every month, the foundation cannot be a perpetual source of funding for the same nonprofit over and over again.

"We teach them how to fish on their own," Chatman said.

For instance, according to the foundation's 2018-2019 Impact Report, Valerie's House, a nonprofit that provides grief support programs for children and families in Southwest Florida, received three grants within the past three years, all from the foundation.

Although those grants have been beneficial, the report stated that the "true driver" of the organization's growth stemmed from finding alternative funding sources.

Over the last two years, more than 2,000 people have participated in the foundation's litany of award and community engagement programs.

Some of those engagement programs include the Nonprofit CEO Power Influencers, Southwest Florida Most Influential Diversity Achievers, Generous Cape Reception and Excellence in Nonprofit Performance Yearly Awards (ENPYs).

For additional information about the foundation, or to read the report, please visit, or call 239-542-5594.



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