CFI Awards 2018 Capacity and Collaboration Grants

CFI Awards 2018 Capacity and Collaboration Grants

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands announces the recipients of its 2018 Capacity Grant and Collaboration Grant initiatives. The grant monies, in the amount of $5,000 per organization, and totaling $50,000, were awarded to ten non-profit organizations on Sanibel and Captiva. The grants help to assure the continuity of these worthy charitable enterprises, by assisting them with technological renewal, fund-raising and strategic planning.

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The Sanctuary Charity Classic Announces Clarks as Honorary Chairpersons

The Sanctuary Charity Classic Announces Clarks as Honorary Chairpersons

The Sanctuary Golf Club as host and underwriting sponsor of the 16th annual The Sanctuary Charity Classic on Jan. 27, announced Ralph and Carolyn Clark of Sanibel as Honorary Chairpersons.

Ralph Clark stated, “Carolyn and I are very pleased to represent The Sanctuary membership as Honorary Chairs of The Sanctuary Charity Classic. Our friends at the Club are always quick to support those in need on the island. This event, in partnership with the Charitable Foundation of the Islands, is a wonderful venue for their generosity. We invite all of you to participate in this great day of golf on our beautiful course.”

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CFI Makes Major Contribution to Islands’ Irma Recovery Effort

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands has launched a major recovery initiative for the benefit of Islanders effected by Hurricane Irma.

“We have a rainy-day fund,” CFI Board Member and Grants Chair Chip Roach said, “and now we have a rainy day. We want to put our arms around the islands. There is much work to do, but this is a first step.”

The initiative entails special, one-time disaster relief funding for F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva, Inc., Community Housing & Resources (CHR), and the City of Sanibel. “We will extend a line of credit of up to $50,000 to F.I.S.H. and up to $25,000 for CHR,” CFI Board member and secretary Ralph Clark said, “and we will give the City $10,000 in direct support. This will benefit City employees who find themselves in difficulty.”

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CFI Awards Capacity Grants for 2017

 The Charitable Foundation of the Islands’ Board of Directors with 2017 Sanctuary Golf Challenge representatives, standing, from left, Melissa Congress, Tony Lapi, Michael Kelly, Paul Roth, Brett Kist (Sanctuary Director of Golf), Al Hanser, Jackie Bingham (Sanctuary Tournament Committee Chair), Tim O’Neill, Ralph Clark, Virginia Stringer, and seated, from left, Mary Ellen Pfeifer, Cindy Brown, Chip Roach, Steve Brown and Chris Heidrick. CFI photo

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands’ Board of Directors with 2017 Sanctuary Golf Challenge representatives, standing, from left, Melissa Congress, Tony Lapi, Michael Kelly, Paul Roth, Brett Kist (Sanctuary Director of Golf), Al Hanser, Jackie Bingham (Sanctuary Tournament Committee Chair), Tim O’Neill, Ralph Clark, Virginia Stringer, and seated, from left, Mary Ellen Pfeifer, Cindy Brown, Chip Roach, Steve Brown and Chris Heidrick. CFI photo

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands has announced the recipients of its 2017 Capacity Grants initiative. The grant monies, totaling $44,800, were awarded to 10 non-profit organizations on Sanibel and Captiva to ensure their sustainability by assisting them in expanding their fund-raising and strategic planning.

Funds for website upgrades went to the Captiva Historical Society, the Sanibel Historical Village and Museum, and Community Housing and Resources.

Funds designated for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will enable it to expand its website by adding an interactive map for its numerous Preserves.

The grants to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife support further development of their boards’ fund-raising skills, as well as the training of CROW staff on their own fundraising software.

Assistance for staff training was provided to BIG ARTS, the Sanibel Sea School and the ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Captiva Community Panel’s grant will assist it in engaging a planning expert to review and strengthen the Captiva Plan’s language.

The Capacity Grants committee, headed by Virginia Stringer, includes Cindy Brown, Steve Greenstein, Chris Heidrick, Mike Kelly and Chip Roach. The committee reviewed 15 applications according to a rubric developed by an outside consultant.

“We were pleased to see so many non-profit organizations on Sanibel and Captiva requesting grants in this second year of our innovative Capacity Grant initiative,” Stringer said. “As familiarity with our purpose grows, organizations can better target their capacity-building needs and their measurable results. The initiative also strengthens the connection and commitment between the CFI Board, the Grants Committee and these amazing non-profits that benefit the citizens and the environment of the islands that we love.”

CFI’s Capacity Grant Award is a unique undertaking designed to help Sanibel and Captiva nonprofits increase their organizational capacity and, thus, their sustainability. The grants enable organizations to hire consultants, implement new technology or improve existing technology, and equip their boards and staff with skills that further the organizations’ missions.

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands’ partnership with the Sanctuary Community Golf Challenge and its many generous sponsors helps it to provide continuing financial support to worthy causes exclusively on Sanibel and Captiva. CFI’s primary concerns are basic human needs, arts, education, the environment and unforeseen emergencies.

CFI’s mission is to promote philanthropy to help Sanibel and Captiva residents in need, and to strengthen the islands’ non-profit organizations to build a spirit of community for generations to come. CFI accomplishes its goals through the distribution of annually raised funds and stewardship of reserves maintained for emergencies.

For more information on Capacity Grant giving through the Charitable Foundation of the Islands, visit CFI’s website athttp://www.charitablefoundationoftheislands.org

Foundation Donates to School Fund

Al Hanser, chair of the Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI), presented a $5,000 check to Chuck Vilardi, principal of The Sanibel School and Christian Fautz, president of the Sanibel School Fund board for the check presentation.  

"The Charitable Foundation of the Islands supports The Sanibel School and recognizes the importance of helping children," said Hanser.

Money raised by the Sanibel School Fund and PTA provides many resources and enhancements that the shortfalls in the Lee County School System budget cannot, including educational software, classroom computers, the foreign language program, steel drums, a music keyboard lab, supplies for classrooms, and much more. Parent and community support for these programs have helped The Sanibel School earn the Blue Ribbon designation, as well as an "A" rating for the past 15 years.

Pictured from left: Steve Greenstein, Al Hanser and Chuck Vilardi: second row, Christian Fautz, Bargara Maughan,: back row, Rob Lisenbee and Carolyn Tongyai

CFI Donates to Sanibel School Fund.jpg

CFI Grant Brings Community House Computer Technology into the 21st Century

A special Capacity Grant to the Sanibel Community Association, given last year by the Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI), has brought the Community House’s technological capabilities into the 21st Century, according to SCA Director Teresa Riska-Hall.

The new computer technology, installed with the latest software applications needed to run the House’s activities, “has built our technology from the ground up,” Riska-Hall said. “We have never had so much computer facility. It’s a new day for the Community House.”

 From Left: Nicole McHale, Jan Remmel and SCA Director Theresa Riska-Hall.

From Left: Nicole McHale, Jan Remmel and SCA Director Theresa Riska-Hall.

CFI’s grant, in the amount of $6000, enabled the Association to acquire two computer hard drives, two monitors and two laptops. “This equipment streamlines Association operations,” SCA board member Melissa Congress said.

Congress, who also serves on the CFI Board, but not on its Capacity Grants committee, is delighted with the outcome. “This new technology benefits Community Association staff members, as well as all Island groups that locate their events in the Community House. It is a win-win for the Island!”

Both laptops and one hard drive and monitor are new installations for the House’s technology system. “Only the hard drive and monitor in my office are a replacement of old equipment,” Riska-Hall said. “With this additional hardware and software, we can convert our old file system to digital. No more searching for paper files and documents. It saves tremendous time and is very efficient,” she said, adding, with a smile, “We carry around thumb drives now, instead of paper files.”

One unforeseen benefit of the new acquisitions is an enhanced ability to control event-scheduling digitally. “We can run a whole week of events on our monitors, and the calendar is easy to see and operate,” Riska-Hall said.

The technology didn’t arrive without its share of hiccups. “Some of the software we originally looked at were less compatible for us than anticipated,” Riska-Hall said. “Luckily we found a specialist who researched the choices and found the perfect products for us. We now have exactly what we need.”

The next challenge for the Association is to train the staff and volunteers on the new software. “Because all hands were on deck when we reopened the House for business, we had to delay our training sessions, which takes about two weeks,” Riska-Hall said. “But once this last task is completed, there is no stopping us!”

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands’ partnership with the Sanctuary Community Golf Challenge and its many generous sponsors helps it to provide continuing financial support to worthy causes exclusively on Sanibel and Captiva. CFI’s primary concerns are basic human needs, arts and education, the environment and unforeseen emergencies. Its mission is to promote philanthropy to help people in need on Sanibel and Captiva, and to strengthen non-profit organizations in order to build a spirit of community for generations to come.

Sanctuary Community Golf Challenge Helps Raise Funds

A full field of 144 golfers took to the The Sanctuary Golf Club’s course on January 21 in the Sanctuary Community Golf Challenge.

Established and sponsored by The Sanctuary Golf Club more than 15 years ago, the Community Golf Challenge has raised more than $1.5 million over the years, helping the Charitable Foundation of the Islands to provide critical resources to those in need on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

Through the members’ financial support of the event and by generously providing the clubhouse and golf course for the day, The Sanctuary Golf Club is a true reflection and a great example of the caring nature of our islands.

 From left, The Sanctuary Golf Club COO Ken Kouril, Director of Golf Brett Kist, Charitable Foundation of the Islands Board President Al Hanser, event honorary chairs Chip and Nancy Roach, Sanctuary Tournament Committee Chair Jackie Bingham and Board of Governors President John Schmidlin

From left, The Sanctuary Golf Club COO Ken Kouril, Director of Golf Brett Kist, Charitable Foundation of the Islands Board President Al Hanser, event honorary chairs Chip and Nancy Roach, Sanctuary Tournament Committee Chair Jackie Bingham and Board of Governors President John Schmidlin

The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company was once again a Diamond Sponsor and Cart Sponsor for the event and helped raise a record amount in this year’s tournament. Tournament committee member, CFI board member and Trust Company Executive Vice President Steve Greenstein was the winner of $3,220 in the Helicopter Ball Drop and donated his winning back to the cause.

“I believe in Charitable Foundation of the Islands’ mission and am happy to join my fellow Sanctuary members in making a difference in the lives of those in need here on the islands,” said Greenstein. “The Sanctuary staff did their usual fantastic job of making this tournament the premier golf event of the year and it was a great day in support of a great cause.”

CFI, a public charity originally founded in 2000, makes grants to nonprofit organizations that affect the health, education and well-being of our community and directs emergency grants to help those needing assistance for food, housing, healthcare and mental health crises.

“The Sanctuary has embraced Charitable Foundation of the Islands from the beginning,” said CFI Board President and Trust Company founder Al Hanser. “I can’t express enough gratitude for their support of this public charity which does so much for our island community.”

Proceeds from this event, combined with the stewardship of permanently endowed funds, allow CFI to promote philanthropy and build a spirit of community to enhance the quality of life on the islands for now and generations to come. 

Published February 3, 2017 by the Island Sun

CFI Grant to Children's Center Is Value-Added for Teachers

A special Capacity Grant to the Children’s Education Center of the Islands, given last year by the Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI), has had a signal impact on the work of the Center, according to Center Director Cindy DeCosta.

“Children come to CECI at many different stages in their development. Some have learning disabilities or special needs,” DeCosta said. “This grant has given our teachers wonderful state-of-the-art training opportunities that help us better understand early childhood learning, regardless of individual challenges.”

CFI’s grant, in the amount of $2935, is intended to advance professional development at the Center. “Helping the teachers helps the children,” said CFI Board Member Ginny Stringer. “The more training the teachers receive, the greater the benefit to the students. We are delighted at the dedication of Cindy and her staff. They are doing wonderful things at the Children’s Education Center.”

CFI’s grant funded, for all five members of the CECI staff, in-house training led by the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. The workshop featured such items as classroom design strategies for optimal learning and methods for teaching math in early childhood.

“Visuals are essential for young children,” DeCosta said. “Thanks to this training, our classrooms have been changed to reflect natural environments, and our color scheme is more neutral—it makes for a calming atmosphere.”

The grant has also helped CECI teacher Bryanna McNamee, age 22, advance her education. “This funding has been crucial to my career,” she said. “Without such scholarships, I would be unable to attend college.”

McNamee is currently in pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree at Florida Gulf Coast University in Early Childhood Education. In her classes, she said, “I am learning about early-childhood learning preferences, as well as modes of teaching that view the teacher as a facilitator for the child’s own learning. It is arts-based project learning.”

In future, DeCosta would like to see CECI offer more arts instruction, “and to get the children more up close and personal with the natural world. Children can never have enough music or art in their lives,” she said, “and helping them forge a permanent connection to nature is essential. We are taking baby steps toward those goals.”

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI) provides continuing financial support to worthy causes exclusively on Sanibel and Captiva. Its primary concerns are basic human needs, arts and education, the environment and unforeseen emergencies. Its mission is to promote philanthropy to help people in need on Sanibel and Captiva, and to strengthen non-profit organizations in order to build a spirit of community for generations to come.

For more information on Capacity Grant giving through the Charitable Foundation of the Islands, visit CFI’s website at http://www.charitablefoundationoftheislands.org. For information on the Children’s Education Center of the Islands, 350 Casa Ybel Road, call 239-472-4538, or visit http://www.childrenseducationcenter.com.

CFI Invites Participation in Unique Island Charitable Giving Opportunity

by Jan Holly

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands invites Islanders wishing to enhance their philanthropic reach to consider its Donor Advised Funds giving opportunity.

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands is an organization that provides continuing financial support to worthy causes exclusively on Sanibel and Captiva. Its primary concerns are basic human needs, arts and education, the environment and unforeseen emergencies.

As its mission statement reads: “Our mission is to promote philanthropy to help people in need on Sanibel and Captiva, and to strengthen our non-profit organizations that will build a spirit of community for generations to come—through distribution of annually raised funds and stewardship of permanently endowed funds.”

Since its inception in 2000, CFI has given $3 million to Islanders and Island organizations in need. CFI’s Donor Advised Funds are an essential component of that philanthropy.

Donor Advised Funds are ongoing charitable accounts tailored to suit the needs of donors wishing to remain actively engaged in preferred causes and benefit from favorable charitable-giving tax savings. 

CFI’s Donor Advised Funds benefit many important Island non-profit organizations. Ralph Clark, secretary of CFI’s Board of Directors, is delighted with a Donor Advised Fund that he set up last year at the suggestion of his accountant. “The process was effortless, CFI’s funds bear no administrative charges, and I enjoyed a welcome tax benefit,” he said. “It is a much better way to manage my charitable giving.” 

Investing in a Donor Advised Fund through CFI is easy. A minimum investment of $5,000 establishes an account, either named or anonymous. The account is managed by CFI, through the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, on behalf of the donor, but the donor is free to direct allocation of the funds. Donor Advised Fund grants are given in the name of the fund, unless the donor requests anonymity. 

Many donors make contributions to their favorite charities at the end of the year, while tax benefits for that year are available. Prospective donors can still join CFI’s Donor Advised Funds roster and enjoy the tax benefits that such generosity allows.

Donor Advised funds represent an essential avenue for partnering with CFI for the benefit of the many charitable causes in our Island community. For further information on CFI’s Donor Advised Funds, visit this CFI webpage. To establish and customize a CFI Donor Advised Fund for yourself, your family or your business, contact CFI today. Through CFI, support all of your favorite charities over time, and receive an immediate tax deduction for your donation.

Published by the Santiva Chronicle on December 20, 2016.

Sanibel Sea School Completes Strategic Planning with Support from Charitable Foundation of the Islands

A Capacity Grant from the Charitable Foundation of the Islands enabled Sanibel Sea School to carry out strategic planning with guidance from an experienced consultant. At the nonprofit’s annual Board Meeting, Donna Gillroy of Gillroy and Associates facilitated a three hour session to help Trustees create a clear vision and an actionable plan for the next five years. 

 Chip Roach, Vice Chair of the CFI Board of Directors, awards Dr. Bruce Neill, Executive Director of Sanibel Sea School, with a capacity building grant. 

Chip Roach, Vice Chair of the CFI Board of Directors, awards Dr. Bruce Neill, Executive Director of Sanibel Sea School, with a capacity building grant. 

“We are so thankful to have received this support,” said Mark Summit, President of the Sanibel Sea School Board of Trustees. “With Donna’s leadership, we were able to construct a plan that is ambitious but realistic, and we now have a series of specific steps to guide us forward. This level of expertise would not have been available to us without support from the Charitable Foundation of the Islands.” 

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands’ mission is to help people in need on Sanibel and Captiva, to promote philanthropy, and to strengthen nonprofit organizations that will build a spirit of community for generations to come. They do this through the distribution of annually raised and permanently endowed funds. The foundation’s Capacity-Building Initiative aims to help nonprofits accomplish work that requires time, energy, expertise, and innovative thinking beyond everyday operations. Learn more at www.charitablefoundationoftheislands.org.

Sanibel Sea School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. Learn more at www.sanibelseaschool.org.

 

Charitable Foundation of the Islands Grant Provides Continuing Education for CHR Employees

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands recently chose Community Housing and Resources, Inc. as a recipient of a capacity building grant. 

 CHR’s Office Assistant Helen Jedel, left, and Housing Administrator Nicolle Mastroianni attended the 2016 Florida Housing Coalition Conference in Orlando. (CHR photo)

CHR’s Office Assistant Helen Jedel, left, and Housing Administrator Nicolle Mastroianni attended the 2016 Florida Housing Coalition Conference in Orlando. (CHR photo)

In addition to providing valuable funding for maintenance and upkeep on CHR’s properties, these funds have also afforded two CHR employees the opportunity to attend the 2016 Florida Housing Coalition Conference in Orlando. The FHC Conference is the premier statewide affordable housing training event which attracts more than 700 affordable housing advocates, lenders, developers, administrators and policy makers.

CHR’s Housing Administrator and Office Assistant, who together oversee 74 rental properties and handle all applications, rent collection, resident issues and housing policies, greatly benefited from the educational opportunities offered at the FHC Conference and look forward to being able to better serve CHR residents as a result. 

“I am currently working on implementing some very important policies and really enjoyed networking with other housing veterans and policy makers, discussing strategies and gaining insight from their personal success stories,” said Nicolle Mastroianni, CHR’s housing administrator.  “I was particularly interested in one of the workshops on Housing for Elders and Individuals with Special Needs as it directly relates to our aging population on Sanibel. I left this conference equipped with new ideas and techniques in formulating a better system to achieve our program goals.” 

Funding from CFI is so appreciated. It allows CHR to offer professional training opportunities to help our staff stay abreast of best practices and hot topics in the affordable housing industry.
— Kelly Collini, Executive Director, CHR

The conference also offered sessions on fair housing practices, funding strategies for affordable housing and housing individuals with developmental disabilities. 

“Funding from CFI is so appreciated,” said Kelly Collini, CHR executive director. “It allows CHR to offer professional training opportunities to help staff stay abreast of best practices and hot topics in the affordable housing industry.” 

About CHR

Community Housing and Resources, Inc. (CHR) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for families and individuals working full-time on Sanibel as well as long-time retired or disabled residents of Sanibel. For more information, visit SanibelCHR.org, or call 239.472.1189.

Published September 21, 2016 by the Santiva Chronicle

Community House Receives Charitable Foundation Grant

The Charitable Foundation Of The Islands (CFI) recently granted $6,000 to the Sanibel Community Association (SCA) to support operations at the Sanibel Community House. The grant will be used to purchase new computer equipment to enhance customer service, record keeping and administration when the Community House reopens this Fall following renovation.

Commenting on the grant, SCA Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall said: “This is an exciting year for the Community House as we bring our entire facility up to a new standard,
and this grant from the Charitable Foundation of the Islands will allow us to upgrade the office operations as well. The SCA, along with other island nonprofits, is fortunate to have the support of a community-focused organization like Charitable Foundation of the Islands to help us accomplish our mission of service to the citizens of Sanibel and Captiva.”

The Charitable Foundation Of The Islands provides assistance to island non-profits for capacity building, operating support, program expansion, endowment, scholarships and emergency needs, such as after a disaster. One of CFI’s areas of concentration is helping nonprofits build stronger organizations with technology, strategic planning, marketing, social media resources and staff development. Since 2000, CFI and its predecessor organizations have distributed more than $3 million in grants and scholarships to Island causes.

The Sanibel Community Association is a non-profit 501c3 with a long history of service to the local community. Formed in 1928, SCA is owns and operates the Sanibel Community House whose mission is to enrich community life through educational, cultural and social gatherings in its historic facility. Currently the Community House is undergoing major restoration and renovation work and will reopen to the public in the Fall of 2016. 

Published June 17, 2016 by the Island Sun

Seven Scholarships Awarded to Dependents of City Employees

Following Hurricane Charley in 2004, an endowment fund was established with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to provide scholarships for dependents of City employees.

This year, there are multiple sources contributing to the City’s Employee Dependent Scholarship Program. The Charitable Foundation of the Islands contributed $5,302.27; the Southwest Florida Community Foundation endowment will grant $3,500 in scholarship awards; $1,000 grant from the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis and $697.73 in proceeds from City vending machines; for a total of $10,500 in scholarship awards for academic year 2016 - 2017. This is the largest amount awarded in an academic year from the City of Sanibel Employee Dependent Scholarship Program since its inception in 2004. 

The following dependents of City employees will each be awarded a $1,500 scholarship:

Jacob Crandon graduated from the Canterbury School on May 27, 2016, with a 3.48 GPA.  This fall, he will attend Berry College where he will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science.    

This is Jake’s first year in the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program.  Jake is the son of Lt. Frank Crandon, Sanibel Police Department, who has been employed by the City for 16 years.


Hayden Cummins is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at Florida Gulf Coast University.  Hayden graduated from Fort Myers High School in 2012. 

This is Hayden’s fourth year in the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program. Hayden is the son of Terri Weich, Planning Department, who has been employed by the City for 17 years.


Phillips-Dakota_medium.jpg

Dakota Phillips is currently pursuing a degree in Sports Management at Florida South Western State College.  Dakota graduated from South Fort Myers High School in 2013.      

This is Dakota’s second year in the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program.  Dakota is the son of Major James Phillips, Sanibel Police Department and Trish Phillips, Recreation Department, who have together have a combined 44 years of City service.


Nicolas Smith graduated from Fort Myers High School on June 4, 2016, with a 3.99 GPA.  This fall, he will attend The Citadel where he will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.    

This is Nick’s first year in the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program.  Nick is the son of Bert Smith, Director of I.T. Department, who has been employed by the City for 18 years.


Connor Tomlinson is currently pursuing a degree in Engineering at the University of South Florida. Connor graduated from Fort Myers High School in 2014.

This is Connor’s third year in the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program.  Connor is the son of Chief Bill Tomlinson, Sanibel Police Department, who has been employed by the City for more than 30 years.


Madeline Tomlinson – graduated from Fort Myers High School on June 4, 2016, with a 5.29 GPA.  This fall, she will attend Florida State University where she will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology.    

This is Madeline’s first year in the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program. Madeline is the daughter of Chief Bill Tomlinson, Sanibel Police Department, who has been employed by the City for more than 30 years.


Alec Worth – is currently pursuing a degree in Legal Studies at the University of West Florida.  Alec graduated from Florida South Western State Collegiate High School in 2015, with a 4.15 GPA and an Associates in Arts Degree. 

This is Alec’s second year in the Employee Dependent Scholarship Program.  Alec is the son of Sgt. Dustin Worth, Sanibel Police Department, who has been employed by the City for 26 years.

Published June 8, 2016 by the City of Sanibel

CHR Receives Grant From Charitable Foundation Of The Islands

Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI) granted $25,000 to CHR (Community Housing and Resources), which will be used to provide emergency assistance for CHR residents, and an additional $2,000 to help with capacity building efforts.

“The Charitable Foundation of the Islands is, indeed, pleased to support CHR,” said CFI Board Chair Al Hanser, “as it is a very real part of the fabric of the community and provides such necessary support to so many. After completing a needs assessment, our board and grant making committee felt CHR was very deserving of this grant.”

As part of its mission of providing affordable housing on Sanibel, CHR maintains a special fund to help any of its residents who are in crisis. “Sometimes, life just happens and people need extra help to make it through a temporary financial crunch,” said CHR Executive Director Kelly Collini.

Richard Johnson, president of CHR’s board of directors, agrees: “The financial support provided through the grant from Charitable Foundation of the Islands will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our families, he said. “We appreciate the significance of our partnership with CFI and are eager to recognize the benefits they bring to our community.”

Residents must meet certain criteria to be eligible to receive financial assistance through the CFI grant. CHR also maintains close ties with other local nonprofit service agencies and is able to direct residents to other necessary assistance when needed. “That is the ‘resources’ part of our name,” Collini said. “CHR provides island housing that working people can afford, but we don’t stop there. We also help our residents to become engaged in their island community and we can sometimes help families through their difficulties. That, after all, is what ‘community’ is all about.”

CHR (Community Housing and Resources, Inc.) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing affordable housing for families and individuals who work full-time on Sanibel and for long-time or disabled residents of Sanibel. For more information, visit CHR online at SanibelCHR.org, or call 472-1189. Donations and contributions to CHR are tax deductible. 

Published June 5, 2016 in the Island Sun

Sanibel Sea School Receives Grant from Charitable Foundation of the Islands

Sanibel Sea School has been selected by the Charitable Foundation of the Islands to receive a 2016 Capacity Grant. This grant will make it possible for the nonprofit organization to hire an independent consultant to observe and evaluate management structure, facilitate strategic planning, and make suggestions that will increase staff effectiveness in areas like marketing and development as the organization grows. 

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands’ mission is to help people in need on Sanibel and Captiva, to promote philanthropy, and to strengthen nonprofit organizations that will build a spirit of community for generations to come. They do this through the distribution of annually raised and permanently endowed funds. 

The foundation’s Capacity-Building Initiative aims to help nonprofits accomplish work that requires time, energy, expertise, and innovative thinking beyond everyday operations. “Having a local foundation like CFI is so meaningful, because it allows island nonprofits like Sanibel Sea School to better fulfill our missions with local support,” said Dr. Bruce Neill, Sanibel Sea School’s Executive Director, “It really is a demonstration of how special the Sanibel community is.”

Published May 26, 2016 by Sanibel Sea School

Charitable Foundation of the Islands Funds Capacity Building Opportunities for Island Non-profits

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI) has selected six island non-profit organizations to receive Capacity Building Grants in 2016. The foundation’s Capacity Building Initiative aims to help non-profits accomplish work that requires time, energy, expertise, and innovative thinking beyond everyday operations.

This year's recipients include the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), the Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI), Big Arts, Community Housing and Resources (CHR), the Sanibel Community Association (SCA), and Sanibel Sea School. Funds awarded to SCCF will support the development of a new website, CECI will receive grant money to enroll staff members in professional development courses, and Big Arts will receive support to develop a new and improved database management system. Two CHR staff members will receive financial support to attend the Florida Housing Coalition’s Annual Affordable Housing Conference, SCA will use funds to upgrade its outdated technology infrastructure, and Sanibel Sea School will receive funds to hire a professional strategic planning consultant. 

“Having a local foundation like CFI is so meaningful, because it allows island non-profits to better fulfill our missions with professional assistance and local support,” said Dr. Bruce Neill, Sanibel Sea School’s Executive Director, “It really is a demonstration of how special the Sanibel community is.”

CFI’s mission is to promote philanthropy to help people in need on Sanibel and Captiva, and to strengthen island non-profit organizations that will build a spirit of community for generations to come – through the distribution of annually raised funds and the stewardship of permanently endowed funds. Since 2000, CFI and its predecessor have awarded millions of dollars in grants to those in need on our islands. To learn more, visit CharitableFoundationoftheIslands.org.

Helping Neighbors: F.I.S.H. and Charitable Foundation of the Islands Work Together to Help Island Neighbors

Written by Maggie Goldsmith

F.I.S.H OF SANCAP has collaborated over the years with Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI) to help island neighbors through an array of programs, services and workshops. CFI provided a grant to FISH, which was used in their Helping Hands Program, for a one year grant cycle from May, 2015 through April, 2016.  “CFI is a dedicated partner that helps us provide assistance beyond what the resources of FISH can provide alone. Our partnership is a vital link between FISH and those we serve,” says Maggi Feiner, President & CEO.  “FISH is very grateful to have received this grant, as it is used to bridge the gap for many families on the islands.”  Partnering with CFI has made a difference in the lives of our island neighbors, such as Eleanor:

Despite her age, Eleanor has continued to work in a retail store on Sanibel to supplement her social security income.  She lost her employment this past May when business slowed down, and needed help to obtain food and emergency financial assistance to help her pay her rent.  Through the CFI grant, FISH was able to help with rent payment and assist Eleanor to find additional employment.  Once her employment became steady, she learned how to analyze her monthly bills and to build a budget by attending the FISH Budgeting 101 Workshop.  “Without this help, I would have fallen so far behind I fear I would never have been able to catch up. I’m sure I would have lost my apartment. Now that I have been working steadily and managing my income, I’m sure I will remain independent in my home.”

Without the strong, caring partnership between FISH and CFI, Eleanor may have lost her home and her independence.  “Our partnership with CFI provides such necessary support to so many.   During the 2015-2016 grant cycle, FISH was able to assist 36 individuals through the CFI grant.  We cannot thank CFI enough for their support,” states Maggi Feiner.

Published May 10, 2016 by F.I.S.H.

Charitable Foundation of the Islands Supports Those in Need

Article by Brian Johnson.

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI) continues to provide generous assistance to individuals and non-profit organizations on Sanibel and Captiva. "We are here to help those in need," said Al Hanser, the Chairman and CEO of the Sanibel Trust Company and Chair of CFI. 

 CFI Chair Al Hanser with Board Members Paul Roth, Melissa Congress, Cindy Brown and Secretary Ralph Clark.

CFI Chair Al Hanser with Board Members Paul Roth, Melissa Congress, Cindy Brown and Secretary Ralph Clark.

As a result of their exhaustive survey of non-profits on the islands, they have developed a 2016-17 Capacity Grant Program that will help these non-profits function with optimal performance over a long-term time horizon. 

"It's coming together," said Hanser. "For the coming year we are awarding 5 grants of up to $6,000 to increase the capacity of island organizations."

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands donates to organizations such as FISH, Big Arts, and CHR. Deserving individuals on the islands have received aid for needs such as repairing a broken car to major medical surgery. FISH plays a key role in the difficult task of vetting applicants.

"CFI is a dedicated partner that helps FISH of SanCap provide assistance beyond the resources that FISH can provide alone," said FISH President Maggi Feiner. "Our partnership is a vital link between FISH and those we serve. During the 2015-16 grant cycle, FISH in partnership with CFI was able to assist 36 individuals through a time of hardship. We cannot thank CFI enough for their support." 

"The goal of Community Housing and Resources is to enable families and individuals working in our community to live here," said CHR President Richard Johnson. "This takes a concerted effort and is made possible through partnerships such as the one CHR enjoys with the Charitable Foundation of the Islands. For years now, CFI has provided much needed funding to help us put the 'Resources' in CHR. They have also helped us maintain our most valuable program assets; our properties. In our community, renters and first time home buyers have a hard time finding an affordable place to live. With the help of CFI, CHR is home to 88 families consisting of 165 adults and 55 children. Thank you Charitable Foundation of the Islands for your confidence and support."

The Sanctuary Community Golf Challenge, hosted each of the past 16 years at The Sanctuary Golf Club, has been the primary fundraiser for the Foundation. The event typically exceeds $100,000 in donations.

The board meets six times per year. Hanser is joined by Vice Chair Chip Roach, Treasurer Tim O'Neill, Secretary Ralph Clark, and Directors Cindy Brown, Steve Brown, Melissa Congress, Steve Greenstein, Chris Heidrick, Mike Kelly, Jennie Kendall, Tony Lapi, Paul Roth, and Virginia Stringer. 

To make a donation or find out how to contribute to CFI, please contact Al Hanser at the Trust Company at (239) 472-8300. The Trust Company is located at 2460 Pine Ridge Rd., Sanibel, FL 33957.

Published in the 2016 issue of Island Scene.

Charitable Foundation of the Islands Supports Seven Non-Profits in 2015-16 Grant Cycle

The Charitable Foundation of the Islands (CFI) continues to increase its support of fellow Sanibel and Captiva non-profits in 2015. During its most recent grant cycle, the foundation awarded grants to seven organizations. CFI also provided individual grants to a number of families in need.  

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This year’s non-profit grant recipients will include Friends in Service Here (FISH), the Sanibel School, the City of Sanibel, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), the Children’s Education Center of the Islands, the Sanibel Community Association, and Lee Memorial Hospital. The awarded grants will allow each organization to increase its capacity to serve our island community effectively through benefits like staff training, the purchase of new equipment, support for new programs, and more. Additional funds will support island residents and employees who have demonstrated financial need, often due to unexpected emergency circumstances. 

CFI’s mission is to promote philanthropy to help people in need on Sanibel and Captiva, and to strengthen island non-profit organizations that will build a spirit of community for generations to come – through the distribution of annually raised funds and the stewardship of permanently endowed funds. Since 2000, CFI and its predecessor have awarded millions of dollars in grants to those in need on our islands. To learn more, visit CharitableFoundationoftheIslands.org.