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Ask half a dozen people why they are involved in the Cape Coral Community Foundation’s (CCCF) four giving networks, and chances are you will get half a dozen answers. If you listen closely, however, you’ll hear a similar refrain, with words like “change” and “collaboration” and “camaraderie” peppering their responses. 

The philanthropists who give through the CCCF network are different from the norm. The generous givers join to create, change, commit, connect, collaborate and celebrate. 

There is a powerful giving movement happening in Southwest Florida and CCCF is a respected leader in stimulating philanthropy. Generous people love to give their time, talent and treasure to their communities. 

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Giving networks are dynamic groups of Southwest Florida area philanthropists who are passionate and knowledgeable about specific topics.  By collaborating, they can achieve greater impact by learning and giving together. 

CCCF currently supports four giving networks: Generous Couples, Giving Alliance of Women, Real Men Give and Youth Philanthropy in Southwest Florida. Each giving network awards grants to organizations that are working to create sustainable change in that area of interest. 

Giving networks are not membership clubs. They are grant-making networks comprised of generous givers who want to make impact grants to local and regional nonprofit organizations. There are no fundraising events. The contributors to the grant-making fund pool their donations together to provide grants to charitable organizations. 

Each giving network receives administrative back-office support from the CCCF to provide charitable tax deductions to donors and help facilitate grants to nonprofit organizations selected by the giving network contributors. Each giving network has a lead donor who serves as a liaison between the foundation and the giving network.

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Generous Couples

“We believe couples who give together, grow stronger and stay in love,” said Kevin and Kimberly Morris. Kevin is pastor of Hope United Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers and Kimberly is an estate planning and personal injury attorney at Jones, Haber & Rollings in Cape Coral. 

The concept behind Generous Couples is simple. Each couple brings a $1,000 check to one annual reception and votes for the nonprofits they feel should receive a grant. The goal is to recruit 25 couples ($1,000 each) who collectively give $25,000 and award the group’s grant at the Friends of the Foundation annual reception held each year in the spring. “It’s all about giving and loving together as couples – and giving back to the community,” Morris said. “Too often, due to scheduling conflicts and work commitments, couples end up giving apart from each other. We want to bring couples together. True love is about growing as a couple. Learning about each other and loving and giving together.”

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Giving Alliance of Women

Patricia Portman, Co-Founder of the Giving Alliance of Women, along with a prestigious group of women started the giving network in February 2003. 

Sixteen years later, Giving Alliance of Women is stronger than ever. Every year, women host a recruitment reception to invite others to become philanthropists. The women enjoy the camaraderie of being part of a cause-driven network of generous givers. 

The goals of the Giving Alliance of Women are to increase philanthropy in the community, involve women in strategic giving that produces lasting impact, serve as a catalyst for enduring change and build an endowment to benefit future generations. 

Real Men Give

The thought behind Real Men Give is that real men invest in the legacy of future generations by looking out beyond their sphere of influence. Under the umbrella of the CCCF, men have started their own donor circle to give $25,000 in grants to Southwest Florida nonprofits focused on scholarships and sports programs. 

The concept behind Real Men Give is simple. Each man brings a $500 check to one annual meeting and vote for the nonprofits they feel should receive a grant. They set a goal to raise $25,000 and award the group’s first grant at the foundation’s annual ‘Friends of the Foundation’ reception. 

“It’s all about giving back and making a bigger impact,” said Dr. Don Neace, pastor of Water’s Edge Church in Cape Coral. “In the past, men have done events through civic service and optimist clubs and burned themselves out with fundraising events.” 

Youth Philanthropy in Southwest Florida

The mission of the Youth Philanthropy in Southwest Florida initiative is to teach youth the art, science and business of philanthropy using a learning paradigm that consists of creating community impact, vitalizing donor engagement and building strategic volunteerism.

The overarching purpose of Youth Philanthropy in Southwest Florida is to provide the Southwest Florida community with a pipeline of future wealth builders and philanthropists. With the knowledge and experience youth will gain, the next generation of community leaders will be prepared to lead in the future. 

Michael Chatman is president & CEO of the Cape Coral Community Foundation, the global center for generosity, and can be reached at michael@capecoralcf.org, on Twitter @michaelchatman. The foundation is located at 1405 SE 47th Terrace, Unit 2, Cape Coral. For information, call 239-542-5594 or go to www.capecoralcf.org. 

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