Winter Park Community Foundation Awards Grants to Area Organizations

December 02 2014


ORLANDO, Fla. — DECEMBER 2, 2014 — The Winter Park Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Florida Foundation today announces the award winners from its grant round this year held in collaboration with Rollins College students enrolled in the undergraduate course called “Impact Investing” designed to allow students to experience the real-world process of grant-making first hand.

The “Got Bach” program at Bach Festival Society of Winter Park; development of a fundraising plan, outreach materials and an outreach coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida; and professional development and the development of a marketing plan at Mead Botanical Garden are the three organizations and projects in Winter Park to receive funding. The three awards total a $62,000 investment in the Winter Park Community.

“We are extremely grateful to be a recipient of this year’s Winter Park Community Foundation grant recipients,” said Todd Hess, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida. Over 2,000 children are presently waiting for the one-to-one mentoring we provide, 86 being residents of Winter Park,” said Hess.

To qualify for the Winter Park Community Foundation grant round, organizations have to be located in and serving the City of Winter Park, or its vicinity, and have a Reviewed portrait in the Central Florida Foundation’s Nonprofit Search. The Winter Park Community Foundation grants are supported by 65 of the more than 400 funds that the Central Florida Foundation manages.

“Through these grants, we honor the legacy of individuals and families who entrusted us to invest in the Winter Park Community in perpetuity,” said Michelle Chapin, vice president of community strategies and initiatives. “Our partnership with Rollins College also enables us to educate the next generation about making investments that have a social return, while at the same time enhancing the quality of life in a community,” said Chapin.

Students from Rollins College participate in the process, as mentees of the Winter Park Community Foundation Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee is made up of volunteer community leaders who serve as mentors. The students are undergraduates enrolled in a one-of-a-kind course called “Impact Investing.”

The Advisory Committee works with the students to design capacity-building grant recommendations to organizations in Winter Park. The process concludes when the students present recommendations to the Central Florida Foundation’s board of directors. This is the Foundation’s third year creating this unique educational experience in partnership with Rollins College.

“I was impressed by the conscientious and thorough research done by the students,” said Thad Seymour, Winter Park Community Foundation Advisory Committee member. “They obviously learned a great deal about philanthropy and its impact on a community. Serving as a mentor wasa pleasure and a privilege,” said Seymour.

About Winter Park Community Foundation

Established in 1951 as the Winter Park Community Trust, administration of the Trust was transferred to the Central Florida Foundation in 1996. The Winter Park Community Foundation, now an affiliate of the Central Florida Foundation holds 65 individual and family grant-making funds established by local residents to enhance and support the quality of life here in the Winter Park community. Its mission is to build philanthropic capital dedicated to improving the community’s quality of life; strengthen the community’s nonprofit organizations; and fund projects and programs offering new solutions to community needs.

About Central Florida Foundation

The Central Florida Foundation is a public grant-making foundation headquartered in Orlando, Florida, that serves as a trusted philanthropic home for more than 400 charitable funds established by generous individuals, families and corporations. The Foundation manages and invests funds, offers personalized service and expert giving advice, connects donors with charitable organizations that they feel passionate about, and empowers them to make informed decisions that make a difference in the community. The Foundation works with individuals, families, businesses, professional advisors and nonprofits. For more information on the Foundation, please visit