FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwest Florida Foundations Launch Relief Funds For Those Affected by Hurricane Ian
100% of contributions will be disbursed across Southwest Florida
FORT MYERS/NAPLES/PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (Oct. 6, 2022) – In response to one of the most devastating natural disasters to ever hit the state and country, the region’s three community foundations, Collaboratory, Collier Community Foundation, and Charlotte Community Foundation, have launched relief funds in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian to collectively help Southwest Florida rebuild, supporting local nonprofits helping individuals needing immediate and long-term resources to recover.
Southwest Florida experienced sustained 150+ mph winds, intense rainfall, and a significant storm surge causing catastrophic destruction, massive power outages, and widespread flooding, wiping out homes and neighborhoods and obliterating entire communities.
Because this disaster is regional in scope and urgent critical needs know no boundaries, three disaster relief funds have been established by the community foundations serving the three coastal counties devastated by Hurricane Ian and the inland communities also hit.
Collaboratory launched the SWFL Emergency Relief Fund in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties. Located in Lee County, Collaboratory serves the entire
five-county region, including two inland and more rural counties also affected by Hurricane Ian. The fund supports Southwest Florida nonprofits helping people and areas of most pressing need. Donors can contribute at collaboratory.org.
“There is only one way through this disaster, and that is working together,” said Sarah Owen, President and CEO of Collaboratory. “I am grateful for the spirit of collaboration that our three community foundations share, together with the hundreds of nonprofits that are responding tirelessly to the many needs of hundreds of thousands of our fellow residents.”
Collier Community Foundation reactivated its Collier Comes Together Hurricane Relief Fund to provide immediate relief to Hurricane Ian victims and the nonprofits that provide support in the aftermath of the storm. Once immediate needs such as food, water, and shelter are met, the focus will turn to long-term needs such as housing and transportation. Donations can be made online at
colliercf.org, mail checks to the Collier Community Foundation at 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples, FL 34108, or Venmo @colliercommunityfoundation.
“The community’s outpouring of support has been amazing. Donations and offers of help from around the nation give us hope that we will be able to rebuild and restore Southwest Florida to the paradise we all love,” said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Collier Community Foundation president and CEO. “We are dedicated to working with our philanthropic partners to address the needs of our communities, friends, and neighbors.”
In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, the Charlotte Community Foundation has activated the Charlotte County Disaster Relief Fund. This fund was established in 2017 as a
direct response to Hurricane Irma. Since then, more than $10.5 million has been distributed to Charlotte County residents during COVID-19 and the Tornado Relief efforts. This fund, managed by Charlotte Community Foundation, was deemed the official fiscal agent for Charlotte County Disaster Relief. Funds will be used to provide financial assistance and resources to Charlotte County residents impacted. Donors can give at c harlottecf.com.
“We are fortunate that our community, and other affected communities nearby, have such strong philanthropic support systems. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of a crisis, fraudulent donation sites are not uncommon,” said Ashley Maher, CEO of Charlotte Community Foundation. “It’s important for generous donors to trust the organization receiving donations and the process for distribution. The Charlotte County Disaster Relief Fund administered by the community foundation assures that donors’ support will reach its intended cause.”
Early contributors to the relief funds include individuals, businesses, national foundations, media networks, and more.
Contributions are tax deductible. One hundred percent of the funds donated will be used to coordinate ongoing relief efforts to help people across the region recover from the impacts of Ian.
About The Foundation Partners
Collaboratory is committed to coordinating the solving of all of Southwest Florida’s social problems on an 18-year deadline including homelessness, poverty, mental illness, racism, illiteracy and more. We plan to do this with the entire community working together including people of all ages, colors, abilities, beliefs, and imaginations across all five counties.
Collaboratory was founded in 1976 as the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. It has made over 96 million in grants since then and is home to more than 650 philanthropic funds. To learn more and get involved, call 239-274-5900 or visit collaboratory.org.
Collier Community Foundation
Collier Community Foundation™ is a tax-exempt, public, charitable organization established in 1985 to increase and focus on local private philanthropy. Today, the Collier Community Foundation manages more than 850 funds, works with hundreds of nonprofits, and has granted over $268 million to nonprofit organizations, community programs, and scholarships. Informed giving. Powerful results.™ Learn more at colliercf.org or call 239-649-5000.
Charlotte Community Foundation
Charlotte Community Foundation (CCF) envisions a community where all have equal opportunity to thrive. As a center for Philanthropy, CCF initiatives include grant-making and community partnership development, with an emphasis on higher education. The Foundation focuses exclusively on enhancing quality of life for Charlotte County residents and provides personalized donor services to help establish tax-advantageous charitable funds that support Charlotte County nonprofits.
Established in 1995 as a 501c3, tax-exempt, public, charitable organization, Charlotte Community Foundation’s mission is “Connecting People Who Care With Causes That Matter.” To learn more, visit charlottecf.org or call 941-637-0077.
Communications Lead, Collaboratory Direct: 239-333-4101
Senior Director of Marketing and PR, Collier Community Foundation Direct: 239-307-4525
Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Charlotte Community Foundation Direct: 941-286-3219