Central Florida Foundation Announces up to $159,115 in grants to area nonprofits

One-of-a-kind experience teaches students about investing in local nonprofits

July 10 2017

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ORLANDO, Fla.,—July 10, 2017— Central Florida Foundation today announces the grants from its annual Community Investment Grant Round. The eight projects and nonprofits to receive grants include:

  • Up to $15,777 to Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida as a last-in match to establish an exhibit based on the collection of Joanie Schirm, a local author and advocate, whose father escaped Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia;
  • Up to $10,000 to Jack & Lee Rosen Jewish Community Center for the development of a strategic plan;
  • $20,000 to Easter Seals to remodel the spa/bathroom used by members and for the development of a marketing plan to promote the Day Break program offered for older adults;
  • Up to $16,000 to Guardian Care to provide development training for board members and development of marketing and strategic plans;
  • Up to $20,633 to Meals on Wheels Etc. to purchase one convection oven and two warmers to increase the number of clients they serve;
  • Up to $36,588 to NAMI Greater Orlando for the development of a marketing strategy that includes a segment focused towards the Latino/a/x population;
  • Up to $7,317 to Central Florida Vocal Arts to engage a marketing firm and implement recommendations;
  • Up to $32,800 to Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando to purchase tablets to help streamline the pet adoption process and to purchase the QLess Software system to reduce veterinary clinic wait times. The grant also covers the monthly fees for the first year.

The eight grants total up to a $159,115 investment in the community.

“Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is dedicated to experiential innovation and the integration of technology into guest-pet interactions,” said Steve Bardy, executive director of Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. “This generous grant from Central Florida Foundation will allow us to leverage technology creating efficiencies and operational excellence to better serve our community. We are grateful for this grant which supports our goal of providing forward-thinking, best-in-class pet welfare in Central Florida.”

The Community Investment grant round is part of Central Florida Foundation’s effort to educate the next generation about investing in nonprofits. For the fifth year in a row, students enrolled in Philanthropy in Society, a masters-level course in the School of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida (UCF), teamed up with mentors from the Foundation.

“As an emerging professional in the nonprofit sector, Central Florida Foundation provided an amazing opportunity for myself and my peers to participate in the Community Investment Grant Round,” said Saraya Perry, a University of Central Florida master-level student. “We were exposed to the intricate details of the grant-making process, and also to a network of nonprofits working for the greater good. It was a great experience to make investments in the nonprofits so that they can reach the next level.”

For the second year in a row, the class partnered with students enrolled in Government and Nonprofit Accounting, a masters-level course taught by Dr. Lynda Dennis in the College of Business Administration also at the University of Central Florida. The students in the accounting course reviewed the financial statements of the nonprofits under consideration by the students in the philanthropy course. Their observations helped inform the students in the philanthropy course as they narrowed their decisions and crafted their grant recommendations.

The students used Nonprofit Search to research nonprofits and present grant recommendations to the Foundation’s board of directors for approval. Mentors on this year’s committee include Fredrick Meixell, AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust; Mike Scures, United Legacy Bank; Andrew Knutson, Valhalla Consulting Services; Rhonda Pearlman, Community Volunteer; Julie Tindall, City of Orlando; and Tammy White, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

“I am thrilled to have been a mentor for the UCF students in the class this year,” said Julie Tindall, community outreach coordinator/grant programs at City of Orlando. “While I have worked in grant-making programs for many years, I had a chance to put my experience to work in a new setting and share the skills and strategies I’ve learned with these up and coming community leaders.”

Endowed funds at Central Florida Foundation make the Community Investment grant round possible. These permanent community assets were originally established at Central Florida Foundation by generous individuals whose desire was to help maintain and improve the quality of life in Central Florida. While the contributions have out-lived their lives, they will help meet future needs of the community that could not have been anticipated when the funds were established.

“I love tying the mission of the Central Florida Foundation, building community by building philanthropy, into the learning process for the students in the Philanthropy and Society class at UCF,” said Sandi Vidal, vice president of community strategies and initiatives at Central Florida Foundation. It is amazing to see their growth in understanding about investing in local nonprofits for capacity and sustainability. The students have an opportunity to put knowledge from the classroom into action, and that makes a real difference in the community.”

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About Central Florida Foundation

Central Florida Foundation is the place for people who want to invest in their community. The Foundation serves as the region’s community foundation and is home to more than 400 charitable funds. The Foundation manages and invests funds, offers personalized service and expert giving advice, connects caring people, businesses, governments and organizations to local initiatives that build and inspire community, and empowers them to make informed decisions that make a difference now and in the future. The Central Florida Foundation works with individuals, families, businesses, professional advisors and nonprofits. For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.cffound.org.

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