COVID-19 Response

Meeting (and beating) the greatest needs.

Together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has provided               $6.2 million in grants for COVID-19 relief.

6 million dollars

In times of need, we come together.

Children jumping for joy

To apply for a COVID-19 related grant, please go here.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation has responded quickly and strategically to the impacts of COVID-19 in our region. We partnered with Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to launch the COVID-19 Response Initiative, a joint philanthropic initiative to complement governmental response to the pandemic and ensure the well-being of our region. Through the initial phase of our initiative, we have invested $2.6 million in grants to ease strains on lead health, human-service, and safety organizations serving those hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.

Our initiative is designed to adapt and evolve as our communities move from response to recovery and eventually rebuilding. While we continue to provide immediate relief to nonprofit partners that are serving the most vulnerable, we also will build the capacity of lead agencies to meet longer-term needs yet to come. Here are the areas where grants from our COVID-19 Response Initiative have been invested so far:


More than 130 Gulf Coast donors and funding partners have contributed to this initiative, positioning us to address new impacts that will emerge. That includes 100% participation by our Gulf Coast Board of Directors, reflecting their commitment to our approach. On top of those gifts to our initiative, Gulf Coast donors have recommended over $3 million in grants from donor funds at the foundation specifically for COVID-19 relief, both locally and beyond.

And while our initiative prioritizes support for the health and human-service safety net, Gulf Coast also recognizes the devastating impacts across our entire nonprofit sector. Arts and cultural organizations have been among those hit hardest, and we responded by awarding $470,000 in emergency Arts Appreciation Grants to 10 of our region’s lead arts agencies. They are providing much-needed cash flow to these vital institutions while also energizing their donor bases to lean in with their own support at a uniquely difficult time.

Ways to give:




  • To learn about the very latest needs emerging from this crisis and unique opportunities to help meet them through your giving, you may always contact our Philanthropy team


Give from your fund at Gulf Coast by making a grant through DonorView.

Make a gift by credit card on our COVID-19 Response donation page.

Latest News

Gulf Coast Earns National Seal of Excellence

Gulf Coast Community Foundation is excited to share the news that our accreditation with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® has been renewed for three years.

Gulf Coast Invests $100,000 More into Venice Urban Forest

Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently made its third $100,000 matching grant to support the project, which will transform an abandoned railway bed into a nearly two-mile greenway along the Intracoastal Waterway from the Venice Train Depot south to Center Road and U.S. 41.

Marking a Mental Health Milestone

Elected officials voted last week to approve a dedicated millage for a mental-health district in the county’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, these elected leaders have responded constructively to a crisis in our community, listened carefully to their constituents, and taken responsibility for helping to solve a problem they didn’t create.

$12.6 Million in Grants

Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Board of Directors approved nearly $12.6 million in grants and initiative funding last month at its final meeting of the foundation’s 2021 fiscal year. Some highlights of these community investments are detailed below.

Pauline Wamsler Elected as Gulf Coast Board Chair

The Board of Directors of Gulf Coast Community Foundation has elected Pauline Wamsler as Chair and David Green as Vice Chair for a one-year term as officers. The Board also reelected Green and Rod Hershberger to a second three-year term as directors. All terms began on July 1.
More News
We are so grateful to the many generous philanthropists and funding partners who have co-invested in our COVID-19 Response Initiative. Their gifts are making it possible to provide immediate relief for the nonprofit organizations responding to this crisis by serving our neighbors who are most vulnerable to its impacts. They will also help us prepare for the long-term needs associated with the recovery and rebuilding yet to come.

Funding Partners: Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation Bank of America Charitable Foundation FCCI Charitable Foundation Jane’s Trust Foundation William G. and Marie Selby Foundation Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Truist Charitable Fund 

Anonymous (27) Ken and Peggy Abt - Judy Alexander – Regina Morris and John Annis - Shari and Steve Ashman - Bob and Pat Baer - David and Betty - CJ Bannister - Jeff and Cynthia Baumeister – David and Betty-Jean Bavar - Willa and Bob Bernhard - Kelly and Travis Howard Borgia - Barbara Brizdle - Julie Brogan - Judy Cahn - Carol Camiener - Kelly Carlstein - Doug and Sharyn Chapman - Travis and Jessy Cheney - Pam Claiborne - Richard and Mary Conroy - Rebecca Cook - Warren Cook - Corey Foundation - Paul and Nancy Couzelis - Elizabeth Anne Deane - Alex and Christina Dell - Karla Detert - Paula Miller and Jim Doyle - Betty Dunbar - Sandy and Martha Edinger - Samantha Eplin - Anne and Bob Essner - Nancy Ferraro - Rita Fenichel -  Kirstin and Dave Fulkerson - Kristin Gardner - Harold and Esther Garfinkel - David and Linda Green - Joelle Hamovit - Rod and Elaine Hershberger -Diane Hessler -  L Kellie Dixon and Michael Heyl - Deborah Hill -  Allen and Stephanie Hochfelder - Doug and Carolyn Ann Holder - Kathleen Johnson - Jennifer Johnston - Karen and Bob Jones - Rabbi Samantha and Matt Kahn - Daniel and Arlene Kates - Jacintha Knox -Tom and Sherry Koski - Joan and Bart Levenson - Scott and Jill Levine - Hetty Lima - Peter Lima - Greg and Beth Luberecki - Dick and Jean Maier - Jane Marcin - Ed and Peggy Martin - Joan Mathews - Bill and Elaine McClure - Jay and Beth McHargue - Bill and Monica Mehserle - Hollie and Tony Mowry - Liz Mummert - Michael and Lynn Nemser - Nichols Family Foundation - Dick and Betty Nimtz - Isabel Norton - Anand Pallegar - Julie Peck - Steve and Redenta Picazio -  Gary and Barbara Rodkin - Burt and Kelly Romanoff - Dave and Michelle Romine - Alfred Rose - Skip and Gail Sack - Michael Saunders - Clare and Rich Segall - Peter and Elsa Soderberg - Susan and Zuheir Sofia - Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council - Sharon Stark - Joe and Nora Stephan - Ruth Stearns - Bayne and Jeanie Stevenson - Chris Stobaugh - Michelle Stout - Marcia Jean Taub and Peter Swain - Skip and Jan Swan - Kristin, Josh, Blaike and Aiva Taylor - Mark Pritchett and Gina Taylor - Veronica and Patrick Thames - Jon Thaxton - Bob and Sally Theis - Ann Thompson - Jerry and Harriet Thompson - Joe and Betty Thro - Tracy and Dough Tibbitts - Jerald Ross - Steven Vedro - Venice Sunrise Rotary - David and Kay Wagner - Pauline Wamsler - Tom and Gwen Watson - Amy and Steven Weinberger - Dan and Sheila Weiss - Elton and Gordie White - The Williams Group - Bob and Lin Williams - Ron and Geri Yonover -  Barbara and Kim Zelley