Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

FPN 2019 Highlights Report

Publication date: 
March, 2020


Take a trip through Florida Philanthropic Network's work, from programs and resources to policy leadership and organizational development, in our 2019 Highlights report. Learn about our efforts on behalf of the 2020 Census, college access, and disaster response. Read about how our many funder groups, including education grantmakers, community foundations, and health funders, advanced their work in 2020.

Want to see all photos from 2019 or print the report for reading offline? Download a PDF version.

Events & Programs | Funder Groups | Policy Leadership | Membership & FPN



February 13-15 | 269 Attendees

FPN’s 11th Annual Statewide Summit on Philanthropy, Spark: What Sparks Your, Action, Connections, and Ideas, brought together Florida’s philanthropic leaders and grantmaking professionals to learn from each other, make new connections from across the state, and rediscover what sparked their interest in philanthropy. Sessions exposed attendees to best practices and opportunities for collaboration, while setting the table for an invigorated 2019 philanthropic agenda. Participants almost exclusively rated the quality of the content and the quality of presentations as “excellent.” The event raised $201,029, a new FPN record in sponsorship support.


February 12-13

FPN staff laid the groundwork for our 2020 Statewide Summit on Philanthropy, Charting a Course for the Future, including recruiting the planning committee, beginning fundraising efforts, planning most sessions, scheduling speakers and panelists, developing a logo and theme, and launching the registration portal. FPN raised $176,000 towards its 2020 goal.

Foundations on the Hill (FOTH)

March 11-13

FPN led a delegation of Florida funders to this annual event for philanthropic representatives on Capitol Hill. The group shared its top four legislative priorities and a packet of materials with all 29 of Florida’s federally elected members of Congress. At the request of staff of Rep. Charlie Crist, who sits on the appropriations subcommittee, FPN worked with the entire Florida Congressional Delegation to complete an official appropriations request for Census Bureau funding.

Learning Tour

April 8-10

FPN partnered with Funders for a Just Economy to take state and national funders on a tour of Immokalee and Fort Myers focused on the history of workers and immigration in the state. The tour explored those issues’ intersections with some of the most pressing issues of our time, from immigration policy and women’s rights to mass incarceration and civic engagement.

College Access & Success Initiative (CASI)

FPN organized two planning meetings and met with several Florida College Access Network members about possibly organizing a CASI 2.0. It also surveyed prior participants to gather further information. With feedback from The Kresge Foundation and Helios Education Foundation, funder partners of the initial edition of CASI, FPN drafted and revised a concept note for the potential extension and submitted it in December. It later earned approval to proceed with a full proposal.

From February to November, FPN held a series of interactive webinars, known as Ask an Expert sessions, on higher education topics, including financial aid, scholarships, and legal guidance. Each half-hour event consisted of an opening presentation and a Q&A session. All sessions were recorded and added to the online CASI toolkit.

Program Highlights

Partnering with the Florida Housing Coalition, FPN hosted an online discussion on Opportunity Zones—the good, the bad, and the ugly—in July.

FPN organized a meeting in August on funder support for LGBTQ communities in Florida, reviewing pressing issues, how Florida philanthropy is responding, the current funder landscape, and opportunities for partnerships and collaboration.

Joining with Alliance for Justice, FPN offered an in-person session in November on how foundations can play a role in advocacy through their actions and grantmaking, support civic engagement in Florida, and FPN’s role in advancing this work.

With the support of The Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation and national funders, FPN collaborated on Improving Florida’s Water Quality: A Collaborative Problem-Solving Roundtable, held in December in Jupiter, Florida. This funder-NGO meeting focused on pursuing solutions to the state’s water issues, particularly harmful algae blooms.

FPN organized a luncheon for South Florida grantmakers in December to facilitate new connections, peer-learning, and an introduction to FPN programming.


Community Foundations of Florida (CFF)

222 Members | 25 Foundations | $1.9B in Assets | $155M Annual Grants 

FPN produced a one-page factsheet on CFF to reflect changes in membership and the latest state statistics, as well as CFF’s new color scheme and logo.

With FPN providing staff support, CFF organized a CEO Retreat November 21-22, hosted by the Indian River Community Foundation. It was attended by 16 community foundation CEOs. Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, gave the keynote address, and attendees received a copy of his 2019 book.

CFF conducted for its 3rd Trustee and CEO Convening, was held February 12-13, 2019, as a preliminary event of the FPN Summit, with 42 in attendance. CFF also made preparations for its Summer Meeting, which will be hosted by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation from June 25-26, 2020, and planned a Community Foundation Boot Camp for new staff and trustees to be held August 25-26, 2020.

FPN surveyed CFF members on their asset size, giving, geographic coverage, etc., and more than 88 percent responded. The data will be used to create a profile of community foundations to inform future FPN communications and to share with CFF members for benchmarking and informational purposes.

Education Affinity Group (EAG)

113 Members

EAG’s Summer Convening, hosted by the Helios Education Foundation on June 11, featured presentations on Florida’s early learning policy landscape and the state’s new Talent Development Council.

EAG’s Fall Convening, hosted by the Central Florida Foundation on October 10, offered a deep dive on systemic collaboration strategies for kindergarten readiness and transition. It also featured presentations on the opportunity myth, the education policy landscape, aligning investments and standards, and post-secondary attainment data.

To better serve members’ needs, FPN converted its monthly education update newsletter into a bi-weekly digest in July, issuing 11 briefs on the latest state and federal developments in early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary policy.

Florida Health Funders

113 Members

FHF produced a one-page brief, How Will Census 2020 Impact Florida’s Health Funders?, to provide context, clear action steps, and resources for health funders to get involved in the 2020 Census. The document also offered concrete examples of ongoing efforts by the Health Foundation of South Florida and The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg.

FHF created a two-page brief, How Florida Funders Are Addressing Behavioral Health, to share the behavioral health efforts of three of its members: Florida Blue Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and Space Coast Health Foundation. The document provides tangible examples of what funders can do to address behavioral health issues in their communities.

Florida Women's Funding Alliance (FWFA)

28 Foundations

FWFA published Status of Girls Well-Being in Florida, the second in a three-part research study series that considers how girls’ needs are being met, or not, in Florida. The 76-page report, produced by the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, found significant rates of violence and victimization among certain segments of girls in their communities, particularly girls of color and those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or unsure. The report was featured at the See the Girl Summit in Jacksonville in October.


Census 2020

FPN joined with seven non-partisan organizations to form Florida Counts to support and advocate for grassroots census efforts. The effort raised more than $1.6 M in philanthropic funds for Census 2020 outreach, education, and messaging. As part of Florida Counts, FPN partnered with a wide range of member foundations, strategic partners, and national funders to coordinate robust philanthropic engagement and funding for Census 2020, including hosting a funder and nonprofit census convening in Orlando in September. As the fiscal sponsor for the Florida Counts! Pooled Fund, FPN was tasked with regranting more than $1 M to over 50 nonprofit organizations working across multiple counties, all of which included hard-to-count communities. The majority of funds will be granted by the end of April 2020, with final grants anticipated to be completed by August 2020. FPN’s Director of Programs, Geula Ferguson, serves on the fund’s steering and grant committees.

Partners | Florida Counts!

  • Florida Philanthropic Network
  • Wallace H. Coulter Foundation
  • Florida Nonprofit Alliance
  • Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
  • Florida C3 Civic Engagement Table
  • Urban League of Broward County
  • The New Florida Majority Education Fund
  • Ventus Charitable Foundation

FPN also partnered with Florida Nonprofit Alliance in 2018 to plan and prepare for Census 2020, which led to co-publishing an op-ed in April 2019 on the importance of an accurate census count in the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida Counts! and FPN are grateful to the generous donors who have made our work possible:

  • Allegany Franciscan Ministries
  • Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County
  • Comcast; Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
  • Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation
  • Fair Immigration Reform Movement/Community Change
  • Florida Blue Foundation
  • Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg
  • Four Freedoms Fund/NEO Philanthropy
  • Hopewell Fund    
  • JPB Foundation
  • Knight Foundation New Venture Fund/Census Equity Fund
  • President's Discretionary Grantmaking Fund at Central Florida Foundation
  • Raikes Family Foundation
  • Space Coast Health Foundation
  • The Patterson Foundation
  • The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation
  • University of Miami President’s Fund
  • Ventus Charitable Foundation
  • Winter Park Health Foundation

Policy Influence

FPN secured an appointment from the Florida Surgeon General to the State Health Improvement Committee, and FPN’s President & CEO was appointed to the Florida Student Success Advisory Board.

Disaster Response & Emergency Preparedness

FPN coordinated with and supported Community Foundations of Florida in raising funds to respond to Hurricane Dorian in September, as well as in providing continued relief for victims of 2018’s Hurricane Michael. CFF has raised more than $10.1 million for disaster response since Hurricane Irma in 2017. FPN also shared learnings with disaster preparedness specialists, including representatives from Louisiana and FEMA.


Membership Analysis

With support from Candid (formerly the Foundation Center), FPN conducted a thorough review and research process to update its Membership Analysis. It found FPN’s 105 members in 2019 made up 1.8 percent of the total number of grantmaking institutions in the state and included 10 of the top 25 foundations. It determined community foundations constituted the largest portion of membership, accounting for 25 percent, and private independent foundations and private family foundations tied for second place with 20 percent each, among other findings.

Organization & Staff

FPN received its third consecutive audit with unmodified opinion.

Staff continued developing their skills, with Bob McFalls earning a renewal of his Certified Association Executive credential through December 2022, and staff attending media-related training with the Conroy Martinez Group and webinars on metrics and benchmarking, personal development, and nonprofit taxes.

About Florida Philanthropic Network

FPN is Florida’s NETWORK of grantmakers. As a Network, we lead with a collective and influential voice for effective philanthropy. We are grateful for you our members! Together we work to increase the impact of philanthropy to build a better Florida.

FPN engages, connects, and helps our members to:


Through shared learning and collaboration, member-funded research, and matching support from national resources, FPN MEMBERS address key issues to ensure Florida’s civic health. Thank you for your leadership and engagement in this dynamic Network!


Many thanks to our Leadership Circle

Visit our Leadership Giving page to see the full list of the sponsors who made our work in 2019 possible. A big thanks to all of them!



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