Gulf Coast Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports Sarasota County, Florida, its immediately surrounding communities, and Boca Grande, in the areas of civic and economic development, education, health and human services, and the arts. Unsolicited grant requests are accepted.

FUNDING AREAS: Civic and economic development, education, health and human services, the arts

IP TAKE: This is a great funder, with a streamlined application process, to know in Sarasota County. In addition to grants, it organizes lots of events and provides resources for local nonprofits.

PROFILE: The Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF) is headquartered in Venice, Florida, and has a philanthropy center in Sarasota, as well. This community foundation is the philanthropic home to over 790 families, individuals, organizations, and businesses. GCCF was created in 1995 following the sale of the Venice Hospital, making it one of many health legacy funders in the Southeast.

There are four main focuses at GCCF: civic and economic development, education, health and human services, and the arts. Civic and economic development support has gone to Sarasota Bayfront redevelopment, civic participation, and a community education series to bring together thought leaders to address civic issues. The organization's Gulf Coast Board Institute provides training for nonprofit board members, and the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute provides leadership development opportunities in the region.

Health and human services grantmaking targets adult homelessness, hungry families in Sarasota and DeSoto counties, homeless children and families, and financial literacy through a United Way Suncoast partnership. It also addresses youth homelessness and the opioid crisis.

This funder has lately been interested in STEM education for local middle school students but also supports language arts and social studies. GCCF backs a program to help local employers train skilled workers, a program to support one-on-one tutoring for first graders who struggle with literacy, and a collaboration to promote diversity in higher education. Arts appreciation grants provide flexible funding to help the region’s cornerstone arts groups focus on their missions.

GCCF awards small community grants under $10,000 and leveraged grants over $10,000 to address critical needs in the region. Community grant requests are accepted on a rolling basis, while leveraged grants typically have pre-application deadlines in August, December, and April. Small sponsorship grants help raise awareness and funds for important work. These requests are accepted on a rolling basis as well. The application process for all grants is entirely online.

The funder offers a web platform called NonprofitNext to groups in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties. At the end of a recent year, the foundation had assets of $339 million and invested at least $29 million in grants, scholarships, and initiatives. Current financial data and recent grant awards can be viewed here.

Mark Pritchett is the president and CEO and leads a staff of 16 professionals. The general email address is, and the phone is (941) 486-4600. Mailing address is 601 Tamiami Trail South, Venice, Florida 34285. Keep up with foundation events and publications on its website.


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