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Our Initiatives & Affiliates

Central Florida Foundation supports community initiatives of engaged and invested individuals who gather to address our region’s most pressing issues.

Social Enterprise

Central Florida Social Enterprise Accelerator connects entrepreneurs with resources, funding and mentors to help them build their ideas into self-sustainable ventures that solve pressing community issues. This initiative helps nonprofits and for-profits in the early stages of product or business development to advance a business model that achieves a double bottom line. This program is the first of its kind in the region and is poised to position Central Florida as a hub for social enterprise.

Partners include: Rollins College, Downtown Credo, Clean the World, City of Orlando and Entrepreneurs in Action (EIA)

Invest and Apply | News Release

Scholarships

In 1996, the first scholarship fund was established at Central Florida Foundation. Today, we have awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships through 11 unique scholarship funds. These endowed scholarship funds were established by generous donors who wanted to create a lasting impact in the community by providing deserving students support toward achieving their educational and professional goals.

Impact Funds

Homeless Impact Fund

The fund brings local funders and government around the table to invest in a Housing First model to reduce chronic and family homelessness. The fund has helped to build a system for this model in our community with an initial investment of $6 million from Florida Hospital. The community has housed nearly 100 of its most vulnerable citizens. This unique impact investment fund has also attracted another $1 million for family homelessness and affordable housing initiatives at the Foundation.

Better Together Fund

Provides a way to help respond to the needs of our community after the Pulse nightclub tragedy. The fund supports four key areas:

  • Gaps in the support nonprofits are providing to survivors and families
  • LGBTQ, Latino, faith, and other affected communities
  • Underlying causes of this tragic event (not related to policy and advocacy)
  • Other needs we cannot anticipate until we face them

The fund uses strategic impact investment strategies to leverage money from state and federal funders to provide necessary support and healing resources for communities affected by the Pulse nightclub tragedy.

Find out more about the Better Together Fund here.

Women in Philanthropy

Women in Philanthropy provides opportunities for women to contribute to the community through giving circles that focus on issues affecting women and children. These are Central Florida’s only opportunities for women to come together to learn about and practice strategic philanthropy.

Venture Philanthropists

100 Women Strong

Student Led Grant-Making

Students enrolled in Philanthropy in Society, a masters-level course in the School of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida, team up with mentors from the Foundation. Students use Nonprofit Search to research local nonprofits and structure grant recommendations that they then present to the Foundation’s board of directors for approval. This one-of-a-kind education initiative gives students the opportunity to learn philanthropy from the ground up with real grant-making resources.

“The partnership between Central Florida Foundation and University of Central Florida afforded our class an invaluable service learning opportunity to firsthand experience the work of non-profit organizations and understand the grant-making process. We learned how to apply best practices and recognize investable organizations, partnerships, and social entrepreneurship opportunities,” said UCF student Jennifer Roth Miller.

Pictured are students from the Philanthropy in Society class from 2017.
Pictured are students from the Philanthropy in Society class from 2017.

Winter Park Community Foundation

The Winter Park Community Foundation committee teams up with Leadership Learners from the Leadership Winter Park Alumni Circle to research nonprofits in Winter Park using Nonprofit Search. They they make grant recommendations to the Foundation’s board of directors for approval. This initiative provides real-world leadership experience for Winter Park’s emerging leaders and important charitable capital for Winter Park nonprofits.

It’s mission is:
To build philanthropic capital dedicated to improving the community’s quality of life
To strengthen the community’s nonprofit organizations
To fund projects and programs offering new solutions to community needs

Grant-Making Services

We provide the same high quality grant-making services that we provide for our fund holders to private foundations, corporation and public sector jurisdictions. Data driven discovery, grant design and performance measurement are paired with online application processing and a facilitated review process to create a turn-key process for other funders in the region.

Lake Community Foundation

In 2005, Lake Community Foundation was established as an affiliate of Central Florida Foundation to build philanthropy in Lake County.

The Lake Community Foundation’s mission is to provide a community foundation through which philanthropists can support their favorite charities and to use its endowments for the benefit of the community.

Visit http://lakecommunityfoundation.org/index.html to learn more.

Sandi Vidal

Vice President of Community Strategies & Initiatives

Need assistance?

Contact Sandi Vidal.

Latest News & Events

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100 Women Strong Member Spotlight: Alexa Padilla

We recently had the opportunity to get to know one of 100 Women Strong’s members, Alexa Padilla. Learn more about her from our conversation below....

Avani and Neeraj Desai

“We picked the Central Florida Foundation because of its community connection. Our family will live here for the long term and we want to put roots here. We have already met wonderful people and we know Orlando is a great place to raise our family. I find it refreshing for the soul to meet people who have the same desire to do good.” - Avani Desai

Read their story  link

Why Does Philanthropy Matter in a Crisis?

When a natural disaster strikes or a tragedy hits home, it’s part of our instinct to rush in and help our community in need. We see the hurt and confusion taking over friends and neighbors in need and almost immediately funds from all corners start piling in to show compassion and to help meet immediate needs. That is the human response.

But what happens once the news trucks go home and the bright lights turn off?

That’s where the work to rebuild begins. We’re talking about the long-term repair and healing of our community. This includes things like mental health counseling for those that are living with the grim effects of trauma, increasing our cultural competency in a diverse and vibrant community, organizing and facilitating community conversations between groups that usually don’t talk to each other - all of these important pieces come together to make a community stronger than before. These pieces include long term needs that can carry on for years after the event.

Keep reading here >>

Twitter Our president/CEO @mrkbrewer was named one of the most important leaders in solving homelessness in #centralflorida bit.ly/2yfmUtV - 12 Oct - Follow us!