OVERVIEW: This funder supports Manatee County, Florida and the surrounding region with grants in the areas of arts, human services, education, animal welfare, environmental, civic engagement, and health.
FUNDING AREAS: Arts, human services, education, animal welfare, environmental, civic engagement, health related causes
IP TAKE: This community funder broadly funds work focused on Southeast Florida. This funder's capacity-building projects have been gaining steam.
PROFILE: The Manatee Community Foundation (MCF) is based in Bradenton, Florida. Dorothy Ridings, a former Publisher of The Bradenton Herald, first suggested the concept of this foundation in 1993. With help from a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant, MCF was officially incorporated in 1998 as a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Today, the foundation has assets of over $37 billion and has awarded more than $20 million in grants and scholarships. The funder seeks to “connec[t] the charitable interests of donors with needs in the community.” It funds the arts, human services, education, animal welfare, environmental, civic engagement, and health-related causes.
MCF has been awarding grants to local groups since 1998 in these program areas. More recently, the funder has partnered with United Way Manatee and the Manatee County Government to establish a new framework for its grantmaking and make better-informed decisions about how local organizations help change the lives of their clients.
A majority of MCF grants range between $3,000 and $10,000, and both well-established groups and grassroots organizations receive MCF grants. Past MCF grantees include the Art Center Manatee, Honor Animal Rescue, the Manatee Audubon Society, and Manatee Habitat for Humanity.
As a supporting organization, MCF pools its own assets with those of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for investment purposes. View the foundation’s financial data here. In addition to grants, this MCF also offers scholarships to local students, meeting room space for local groups, agency endowment funds for nonprofits, and professional development opportunities. You can find a list of upcoming events on the Manatee Connects page. You can also keep up with what this foundation is doing in its news section and events calendar. General questions can be directed to the foundation staff via online form.
The foundation does not require an initial letter of inquiry and makes its grant application available for download on its website. It is important to register your organization with The Giving Partner, an online tool that lists profiles of over 500 nonprofits that serve the Florida counties of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and DeSoto. Grantmaking is typically restricted to this geographic region and especially the area around Bradenton, Florida.
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