Ocean Reef Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This community funder supports Ocean Reef, Homestead, Florida City, and the Upper Keys in the areas of education, youth and families, art and culture, and the environment.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, youth and families, art and culture, environment

IP TAKE:  This funder has one big charity event each year that is the focal point for overall grantmaking. This is a good local funder to know for building and equipment needs.

PROFILE: The Ocean Reef Community Foundation (ORCF) is based in Key Largo, Florida, and was established in 1994 to support the local community of Ocean Reef and the surrounding area. It seeks to “encourage and administer effective philanthropy by the Ocean Reef Community, supporting charitable efforts throughout Ocean Reef and the surrounding areas and helping Members to meet their individual charitable goals.”

The foundation and other charities introduced the All Charities Auction in 2008 to consolidate support for the community on one weekend of festivities. In addition to this grantmaking effort, ORCF operates a community grants fund for efforts in education, youth and families, art and culture, and the environment. The community grants program supports groups in the Ocean Reef community, Homestead, Florida City, and the Upper Keys each spring season. The program has awarded over $6.1 million to local nonprofits since the All Charities collaboration began. All Charities Partners are Ocean Reef Art League, Ocean Reef Community Foundation, Ocean Reef Conservation Association, the Medical Center at Ocean Reef, The Academy at Ocean Reef, and ORCAT. The annual event takes place each February.

Funding typically supports the medical and cultural centers, academy, art league, and conservation association of Ocean Reef. Ocean Reef-based charities receiving grants include the Ocean Reef Chapel Foundation for landscaping and the Ocean Reef Volunteer Fire Department for a trauma response vehicle. Grants to Homestead, Florida City, and Upper Keys charities include the YMCA of South Florida, Take Stock in Children, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Paramount Dance, and Motivational Edge.

Most grants range from $2,000 to $20,000. Total grantmaking in a recent year was just over $1 million. Ocean Reef Community Foundation funds programs, services, building improvements, equipment, and collaboration within its geographic region. It does not provide general operating support except for an occasional one-time request for a new organization’s growth or for new program offerings. Geographic interests are within the confines of the Ocean Reef Club and the surrounding communities of Key Largo, Florida City, and Homestead. In the past, ORCF has also accepted applications to hurricane response funding needs in Florida.

ORCF has an annual application deadline of October 1; it awards grants the following spring. Site visits are possible. Final decisions are made by mid-April, and notifications are sent out by April 30. Grant seekers can fill out an optional pre-application form online for guidance about which project to submit a full application for.

Direct general questions to the foundation at foundation@oceanreef.com or (305) 367-4707. The foundation’s address is 35 Ocean Reef Drive, Suite 148, Key Largo, Florida 33037. Yurianna Mikolay is the executive director of ORCF, and Lesa Crayne is the executive director of Ocean Reef All Charities. Keep up with foundation news and events on the funder’s website.


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