BUILDING COMMUNITY
BY BUILDING PHILANTHROPY

In 1994, ten visionary thinkers gathered around a table to discuss a simple question:
How can we really change Central Florida for the better?

The answer was to join forces not just with their dollars, but with the full power of their vision, passion and community connection. Only then, could they drive deep and lasting social change. This partnership evolved into the Central Florida Foundation.

As our region’s community foundation, Central Florida Foundation serves as a launchpad for high-impact philanthropy. We coordinate the commitment and investment of multiple philanthropists, nonprofits and community partners to target the most critical challenges of today, and those on the horizon, to truly transform our community.

The Beginning

Ten visionary thinkers come together to discuss the challenges facing Central Florida, the path to real change and philanthropic solutions for donors and nonprofits. The conversation inspires them to launch Central Florida Foundation, the region’s community foundation in 1994.

1988-1994
 
 
1996

Winter Park Community Grants

The administration of Winter Park Community Trust and its 68 funds is transferred to Central Florida Foundation, becoming the basis to support the Winter Park Community Grants.

Hitting Milestones

Mark Brewer named President/CEO. Foundation establishes plan for growth, grant-making structure and makes its first home in College Park.

2000
 
 
2006

Orlando's Children

CFF administers an investment from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the City of Orlando in launching the Parramore Kidz Zone. PKZ levels the playing field for Parramore’s children, equipping them to become successful, healthy, well-educated adults.

100 Women Strong

Formation of 100 Women Strong, a strategic giving circle committed to improving the lives of women and children in our community

2006
 
 
2009

Nonprofit Database

Nonprofit Search, a powerful and searchable database of all nonprofits in the region, goes live.

Homeless Impact Fund

Launch of Homeless Impact Fund and shift to Housing First model changes the region’s approach to addressing homelessness

2015
 
 
2016

Better Together Fund

Better Together Fund opens after Pulse tragedy on June 12. Fund supports four key areas to assist survivors and families and to help community heal.

Rally

Rally: The Social Enterprise Accelerator begins with first cohort.

2017
 
 
2019

housd

housd, the Central Florida regional housing trust, officially launches to help create more affordable housing options for people.

TableTalk

The inaugural TableTalk brings over 3,000 people together over coffee or a simple meal to discuss the good and bad of the community and how to make it better.

2019
 
 
2020

COVID-19

With the onset of a global pandemic, CFF invests over $1.5 million to support COVID-19 relief in Central Florida and hosts on-going Critical Community Conversations.

WE ARE A LAUNCHPAD FOR

HIGH-IMPACT PHILANTHROPY



COLLABORATION

We bring all the essential partners to the table - researchers, policy makers, business leaders, supporters and other stakeholders.

IDEAS

We generate ideas to address the root cause of the challenge rather than simply fixing the symptoms.

INVESTMENT

We connect strategy to philanthropy, driving community-wide investment in truly one-of-a-kind solutions.

INNOVATION

We pilot big-picture, systemic solutions with the potential to change things for good. True impact requires unique approaches to issues.

LEGACY

We create real, lasting change as stewards of our community’s resources, passion and investment since 1994.

OUR VALUES



Spirit of Service – We value, respect, and serve as a catalyst to bring all people together. We collaborate with community partners to make Central Florida a place where everyone feels at home and our giving (or philanthropy) reflects our diverse community.

Take Action – We work with the community to solve our region’s emerging and ever-changing needs. Creative ideas, proven research and innovative strategy fuel the way we approach social problems.

Words Matter – We respond quickly, share ideas openly, welcome direct dialogue, and encourage challenging conversations. We are open to listen and to do better.

An Open Book – We provide data and knowledge about our operations and the state of the community. We are honest and direct about how decisions are made. We believe transparency and inclusiveness help create lasting change.

Preserve & Respect – We acknowledge the history of Central Florida and its residents – both positive and negative. We are wise stewards of the philanthropy and legacies of our donors.

As we work to create a better Central Florida, we follow the guiding principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.