Building Philanthropy to Build a Better Florida

College Access & Success Initiative

Learn more about FPN's College Access & Success Initiative

Florida Philanthropic Network is proud to announce a new opportunity for Community Foundations of Florida (CFF) members as part of a partnership with Helios Education Foundation and The Kresge Foundation. With their support, FPN is launching College Access & Success Initiative, a new, two-year project that builds on the success of the Florida College Access Network (FCAN) and its mission to create and strengthen a statewide network that catalyzes and supports communities to improve college & career preparation, access and completion for all students.

Community Foundations of Florida members will have the opportunity to enhance, strengthen and sustain their local college access networks with dollar-for-dollar matching challenge grants that community foundations can employ to support local collaborative efforts. The grant will also fund a statewide learning community and toolkit focused on strategies and best practices to support local collaborative efforts; data collection and analysis; an innovative scholarship working group to explore non-traditional scholarship programs and products; and a white paper documenting the working group's findings.

Now accepting applications for the College Access & Success Exploratory Grants from community foundations serving counties with nonexistent or early stage LCANs. Learn more.

College Access & Success Initiative is intended to leverage local private investment, through Florida community foundations, to engage and sustain college access coalitions, thereby increasing the college-going and post­ secondary completion rates of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education and building a college­ going culture throughout the state.

The submission period for Exploratory Grant applications is closed.

What is the Exploratory Grant?

FPN’s College Access & Success Exploratory Grants provide opportunities for community foundations to further advance or develop local college access networks (LCANs). These grants are designed to assist in catalyzing the formation of non-existent/newly created LCANs or support community foundation engagement with existing LCANs where the foundation hasn’t been actively involved.

Exploratory Grants are $5,000 and require no match.

Why should my community foundation apply?

The initiative is intended to leverage local private investment, through Florida community foundations, to engage and sustain college access coalitions, thereby increasing the college-going and post­ secondary completion rates of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education and building a college­ going culture throughout the state.

Exploratory grant expenditures may be used to support community foundation administrative costs such as staff time, travel, meeting logistics, data collection and planning, including related exploratory activities such as:

  • A community audit to identify existing resources, future needs and potential gaps;
  • LCAN vision mapping workshops to increase community engagement;
  • Identifying best practices in data collection and building a data-driven mindset to track community college access and success;
  • Developing strategic partnerships and mapping sustainable funding models;
  • Professional development related to college access and success and capacity building; and/or
  • Additional exploratory programming to identify needs to support and strengthen LCANs. 
Is my community foundation eligible?

Exploratory grants are available on a competitive basis to community foundations that are current FPN members and:

  • Are not currently in a geographic area served by an LCAN;
  • Have an interest in catalyzing the development of an LCAN; and
  • Agree to take an initial convening role to gauge local stakeholder interest in forming an LCAN.

Exploratory grants are also available on a competitive basis to community foundations that are current FPN members and:

  • Are in a geographic area served by an LCAN in a nascent stage of start-up; or
  • Have not previously taken a leadership role within the LCAN; and
  • Have an interest in contributing to the growth and development of the LCAN.

Challenge Grant recipients that meet these eligibility requirements in an underserved county may apply for exploratory grants.

Applications for Exploratory Grants will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 31, 2017, or until all available funds have been distributed. 

The deadline for second round applications is Monday November 20, 2017 at 5 p.m. 

The College Access & Success Challenge Grant builds on the success of the Florida College Access Network (FCAN) and its mission to create and strengthen a statewide network that catalyzes and supports communities to improve college & career preparation, access, and completion for all students. The purpose of this grant is to leverage local private investment, through Florida community foundations, to engage and sustain college access coalitions, thereby increasing the college-going and post­ secondary completion rates of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education and building a college­ going culture throughout the state.

Download the second round application

Grant Eligibility Requirements 
Challenge grants are available to Florida community foundations that meet the following criteria:

  • members of Community Foundations of Florida and FPN; and
  • in compliance with National Standards for US Community Foundations; and
  • partnering with the Local College Access Network associated with the FCAN.

*Community foundations that do not meet these criteria but have an interest in catalyzing the development of a local college access network may qualify for an exploratory grant.

Grant Applications-Deadline for Submission Monday, November 20, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Any use of the CASI logo and or name, preparation and distribution of news releases, or promotional materials, development of a public relations strategy, including special events, news conferences or other public announcement regarding the Grant shall be coordinated with the Grantor’s marketing and communications department. Only the approved CASI logo may be used.

The following language shall be used when the logo is not applicable: The College Access and Success Initiative is an initiative of the Florida Philanthropic Network, made possible through funding from the Helios Education Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.

Print-Ready Files (Vector Logos)
CASI Primary Logo
CASI Badge

Web-Ready Files
CASI Primary Logo
CASI Badge

Leadership Kit For Increasing College and Career Readiness, Access, and Completion

Improving college and career readiness, access and success is complex work requiring significant resources and deep involvement by many. As capable, connected community leaders, community foundations can play a number of roles to guide their communities toward greater education attainment, a more prepared and skilled workforce, and as a result, a better quality of life for the community as a whole.  

This website and its companion toolkit prepare community foundations to define a leadership role in the context of a “local college access network” (LCAN), a community coalition of leaders and organizations collectively devoted to increasing college and career preparation, access and success, and to leverage successful leadership strategies used by community foundations and other partners already engaged in this work.

Funding for the College Access and Success Initiative and this toolkit was made possible by generous gifts from Helios Education Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, and adapted from a brief and toolkit developed by the Council of Michigan Foundations.

Open the Toolkit

EAG Resources

  • EAG Summer 2018 Convening - Resources and Presentations

    Florida education funders and education leaders gathered at Central Florida Foundation in Orlando for presentations on Florida Policy Landscape for Early Success, Early Success Plans, High School Graduation Rates and Statistical Dissconnects, and Innovative Scholarships' Survey Results and Goals. In addition, Philanthropy's Role with the Florida Partnership for Attainment was discussed.

  • The Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment & Earnings

    Women have made progress over the past several decades; there are, however, significant areas for improvement for women in Florida. Since the publication of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s 2004 report The Status of Women in the States, Florida’s grade for women’s employment and earnings has worsened from a C- to a D+. The Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment & Earnings examines data on women’s employment, earnings and occupations and trends over time, including research and analysis necessary to make data-driven decisions.

  • The Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment & Earnings

    The Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment & Earnings examines data on women’s employment, earnings and occupations and trends over time, including research and analysis necessary to make data-driven decisions. Released by the Institute for Women's Policy Research in partnership with Florida Philanthropic Network and Florida Women’s Funding Alliance.

    In this webcast, Julie Anderson, M.A., Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Women's Policy Research, and members of Florida Women's Funding Alliance discuss: 

    • New data on women's employment and earnings status in Florida
    • Findings on wide disparities in the employment and earnings of women of color
    • Updates on recommendations for policies and programs to reduce barriers and ensure equity in Florida women’s employment and earnings
  • Innovative Scholarships - Updating Practices for Improved Outcomes

    Session resources from #2018FPN Driven, FPN's 10th Annual Statewide Summit on Philanthropy. 

    Moving the needle to create equity is no easy task. In order to create measurable change, foundations and other educational organizations must be willing to take risks and try new, nontraditional approaches to support students. During this session, attendees learned about new practices and innovative programs highlighted in a recently published white paper authored by Helios Education Foundation. The session will also include roundtable discussions facilitated by experts with practical experience creating and administering innovative approaches to support student success. Attendees left the session with an understanding of how nontraditional approaches such as emergency scholarships, wraparound supports, Promise scholarships, and performance-based scholarships can be applied to promote postsecondary success among traditionally underserved students.