Grants to Our Partners

These grants for immediate relief of those hit hardest by COVID-19 impacts are just the start of a long, hard road ahead. Complementing governmental responses, philanthropy is positioned to support the recovery and rebuilding yet to come. To date, our joint initiative has supported over 60 grantees on the front lines of this crisis here in our region, and together with our donors we have invested over $6.5 million in total for COVID-19 relief locally and beyond.



Grants from our COVID-19 Response Initiative:


Health care and mental health

Wingspan Production  $10,000 to support film productions aimed at mental health awareness, and vaccine education to local youth

CenterPlace Health  $50,000 to support vaccine outreach to communities who may not have access in partnership with the Shots in Arms initiative

Embracing Our Differences  $40,000 to support a community art project that will bring together poetry, dance, and visual arts, to draw on the healing power of the arts to overcome trauma

Tri-County Counseling &Life Skills Center  $30,000 to support mental health and substance abuse counseling services for patients who are unable to pay

Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County  $15,000 to treat mental health needs of students in Sarasota and Manatee Counties suffering academically due to the pandemic

Community Assisted and Supported Living, Inc.  $27,250 to purchase technology for in-the-field support and telehealth services and to support emergency food distribution to clients 

First Step of Sarasota  $101,370 to prevent acute psychiatric or substance-use crisis, especially for youth and high-need individuals, from becoming emergencies that require law-enforcement involvement or involuntary hospitalization

SunCoast Blood Centers  $35,000 to purchase a Gemini Automated processing instrument to speed the testing process for female blood work. This equipment will allow for the rapid and affordable collection of plasma to treat patients with COVID-19

First Step of Sarasota  $78,129 to help fund services for Sarasota adults in crisis—particularly those whose underlying mental health issues have been exacerbated by COVID-19

Child Protection Center  $10,000 to help fund an anticipated increase in child abuse investigations. Teachers and school staff are the highest reporters of abuse and even without school being in session due to COVID-19, there has been an increased number of services between April and July year over year

Ringling College of Art and Design  $10,000 to provide trauma-informed training to faculty members at schools within Cross College Alliance in order to better support students impacted by the pandemic

Forty Carrots  $15,000 to support the rise in demand for virtual child and family therapy through technology upgrades

Suncoast Blood Bank  $14,877 to help support at-home blood collection efforts via a mobile unit, allowing donors to safely give from the comfort of their homes

Genesis Health Services  $10,000 to provide Genesis Dental office with tech support, personal protective equipment, and a portable x-ray sensor to help serve uninsured residents

Mental Health Community Centers  $3,700 to purchase additional equipment to provide free remote mental healthcare services

Resilient Retreat  $67,000 to provide resources and support to people who have experienced abuse or faced trauma in the workplace. This trainer will assist first responders and nonprofit partners that are on the frontlines of care during COVID-19

Suncoast Science Center  $10,000 to produce personal protective equipment to protect healthcare workers and their patients against COVID-19

Centerstone of Florida  $27,500 to provide remote mental health services to clients and to help bring in a full-time IT-qualified position to assist with increased reliance on technology to provide services

Good Samaritan Pharmacy & Health Services $9,000 to meet the increased demand for prescription medications amid the pandemic

Tri-County Counseling & Life Skills Center – $40,000 to cover fees for mental-health and substance-abuse counseling for low-income clients in North Port

Operation Warrior Resolution – $3,200 to provide telehealth counseling sessions to Sarasota-area veterans and their families

Florida Center for Early Childhood – $25,000 to provide much-needed mental health resources for vulnerable young children and their families not fully covered by Medicaid or other insurance providers

Family Network on Disabilities – $5,000 to provide relief for caregivers of children with disabilities through virtual respite care

Tidewell Hospice – $110,000 to support additional staffing and medical supplies amid a surge in need for in-home care as area hospitals must manage their bed capacity

Easterseals Southwest Florida  $25,000 to continue therapy for children with autism and developmental disabilities through telehealth delivery until one-on-one contact is safe again
First Step of Sarasota  $11,800 to deep-clean residential facilities for its most high-risk individuals in substance-abuse recovery. Facilities prioritized for cleaning include high-touch, high-traffic clinical and therapeutic areas for crisis-stabilization, jail-diversion, and high-risk adolescent programs

First Step of Sarasota – $26,000 to buy laptop computers for telemedicine services, so staff can remain safe and work remotely while still serving clients

CenterPlace Health – $20,000 for software and equipment to provide telehealth services, so it can conduct virtual clinic visits with clients who experience symptoms or live in outbreak areas

Multicultural Health Institute – $5,000 to expand its outreach to vulnerable populations most at-risk for COVID-19


Jobs and financial security

WSLR  $4,640 to support a part-time COVID community reporter

Manasota SCORE  $5,000 to provide mentoring programs to small businesses who were negatively impacted by the pandemic

CreArte Latino Cultural Center – $9,586 to help re-open to the community after months of shutdown due to the pandemic

WUSF Foundation – $25,000 to support journalists through health disparities reporting and help them reach people of color in Sarasota and Tampa Bay

The Hermitage Artist Retreat – $40,000 to offset the costs incurred to safely reopen and produce live events during the pandemic

Women's Resource Center – $44,000 to support emergency funding to for existing clients who have already tapped or are ineligible for other financial resources to meet unexpected financial needs

Gulf Coast Legal Services – $18,000 for a full-time housing attorney in Sarasota County to support residents who have experienced pandemic-related financial setbacks and now face eviction or foreclosure

Restore Global – $75,000 to expand operations to Sarasota County and offer group purchasing opportunities and surplus goods to nonprofit agencies who have been stretched thin due to the pandemic

Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce – $15,000 to help build the financial capacity of business-owning members affected by COVID-19 through education, analysis tools for credit improvements, access to a Certified Financial Counselor, and transferring high-interest loans to low-interest loans   

WUSF Public Media – $14,700 to purchase work from home kits so staff can limit exposure COVID-19 while providing consistent, quality news and music to Sarasota/Manatee/DeSoto listeners

Jewish Family and Children's Service of the Suncoast – $12,000 to purchase computer servers to allow for remote counseling work 

Harvest House – $8,400 to provide a safer environment for staff and clients through the addition of plexiglass barriers on each desk and by purchasing additional forehead thermometers

WSLR – $4,500 to hire a part-time news producer who will provide supplemental news coverage focusing on COVID-19 and share the stories of inequities that COVID-19 has unveiled

Salvation Army Sarasota – $20,000 to reemploy furloughed staff so the agency can meet the increased demand for its services across Sarasota County

Women's Resource Center – $5,000 to assist hospitality-industry workers who have lost jobs or wages due to COVID-19

Goodwill Manasota – $33,700 to hire back five GoodPartner Coaches, who will provide counseling and assistance connecting with available services to more than 330 Sarasota-area team members who were furloughed because of the pandemic

CareerEdge – $20,000 to support displaced workers in Sarasota and Manatee counties. This grant was funded by a $10,000 gift from the Truist Charitable Fund, matched by $10,000 from our COVID-19 Response Initiative Fund

CareerSource Suncoast – $20,000 to support displaced workers in Sarasota and Manatee counties. This grant was funded by a $10,000 gift from the Truist Charitable Fund, matched by $10,000 from our COVID-19 Response Initiative Fund

Women’s Resource Center – $21,500 to provide women critical counseling sessions and social support through enhanced telecommunications

Gulfcoast Legal Services – $1,000 to support software to securely transmit sensitive client data via email as more of its work is done virtually

Capital Good Fund – $30,000 to launch a new Crisis Relief Loan program that provides residents on the economic edge with a flexible, low-interest alternative to predatory lending. This grant was funded from Gulf Coast’s Financial Sustainability Initiative


Basic needs

Hope 4 Communities  $7,500 to support the 2021 Day 4 Hope event that provided homeless or needy children with a back to school event

All Faith's Food Bank  $25,000 to support the Campaign Against Summer Hunger's increased needs due to the pandemic

Urbanite Theatre  $50,000 to support an upgraded HVAC system as part of the Staging a Comeback campaign aimed at raising funds to resume normal operations

Loveland  $40,000 to support necessary campus upgrades and additional sanitation efforts

Senior Friendship Centers  $55,000 to support the Friendship at Home program which matches volunteers with seniors who may need assistance in their homes to include friendly conversation, assistance with errands, playing games 

Sarasota County Public Utilities – $6,635 to help 32 households pay off their past-due water bills, an effort driven by donors

Meals on Wheels of Sarasota – $75,000 to help meet increased demand for food delivery due to the pandemic, especially for households that don’t have the ability to pay

All Faiths Food Bank – $25,000 to help fund the Campaign for Summer Hunger which provides funds and food to feed children over the summer months

ITN Suncoast – $4,500 to purchase computers and other technology to allow for staff to organize schedules and communicate with drivers from the safety of their homes during the pandemic. ITN Suncoast provides safe, affordable transportation to seniors.

Unidos Now – $25,000 to provide culturally competent case management to Spanish-speaking individuals and families who need critical services and resources during the pandemic

Bridge a Life – $5,000 to help cover rent and other basic needs for foster and adoptive families who have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19

Second Chance Last Opportunity – $5,000 to purchase equipment to share Life Skills programs virtually, and to purchase a projector and screen for community presentations or "road shows"

Laurel Civic Association – $6,000 to support cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of its facility so the organization can provide summer programming

Laurel Civic Association – $10,000 to aid displaced, low-income workers and their families through rental/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, and supplemental access to food

Ringling College of Art and Design – $10,000 to support international students who are unable to return home due to COVID-19 and are experiencing financial hardship

The TWIG Cares – $2,500 to provide “TwigBoxes” filled with personal-care items, gift cards, and other support to young adults who have aged out of foster care

Meals on Wheels of Sarasota – $75,000 to provide hunger-relief services to clients as they experience increased demand due to the pandemic

All Faiths Food Bank – $40,000 to provide hunger-relief services in Sarasota County. This grant was funded by a $20,000 gift from the Truist Charitable Fund, matched by $20,000 from our COVID-19 Response Initiative Fund

All Faiths Food Bank – $110,000 to address increased demand for food in Sarasota and DeSoto counties due to the pandemic. This grant was funded by an $85,000 gift from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, matched by $25,000 from our COVID-19 Response Initiative Fund

All Faiths Food Bank – $7,000 to distribute meals to furloughed restaurant workers

Harvest House – $50,000 to help meet the immediate needs of clients, including increased demand at its community food pantry

Harvest House – $4,650 to buy laptop computers so staff can transition to remote work and reconfigure their desktop PCs for safe use by Harvest House residents for job searches and other needs

SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center) – $10,700 to deep clean its shelter facility, supply food for clients, offer virtual therapy, and provide hazard pay for shelter staff

The Salvation Army – Sarasota Area Command – $650 to provide emergency assistance to North Port residents

New College Foundation – $28,600 to meet the basic needs of students who remain in residence because they have nowhere else safe to stay and to help other students who evacuated safeguard their belongings. Students who remain in residence are either homeless, would be unsafe if they returned home, or are internationals who cannot repatriate

Family Promise of South Sarasota County – $25,000 to provide rental assistance for low-income families with children in southern Sarasota County

HOPE for North Port – $500 to support food pantry assistance for the elderly, medically fragile, and families with children. This grant was funded from the Anna V. Pfister, Nellie Mae Koss, and Helen K. Hadden Memorial Endowment Fund


Education and childcare

Jewish Housing Council Federation  $10,000 to provide the organization with needed support through a COVID outbreak

Girls Inc.  $40,000 to provide scholarships for local Girls Inc. members 

Education Foundation of Sarasota County  $7,600 to support the PLANit student influencer campaigns aimed at increasing the rate of students who seek meaningful post-secondary education

Second Chance Last Opportunity – $5,000 to purchase backpacks, school supplies, masks, and hand sanitizer to help prepare students returning to the classroom during COVID-19

Hershorin-Schiff Community Day School – $5,000 to purchase software & learning equipment (classroom cameras and learning management system, additional technology, etc.) to provide flexibility for distance learning for students regardless of circumstances

Education Foundation of Sarasota County – $2,600 for PLANit Sarasota (a Local College Access Network) to create a campaign directed towards 2020 high school graduates disrupted by the pandemic help plan their postsecondary careers

Parenting Matters – $6,000 to purchase 3 laptops for parenting educator use, and 100 educational activity kits for effective work and learning from home

SOAR Learning Center – $15,500 to provide summer programming for at-risk youth (Kindergarten - third grade) through grade-level academic work packets, educational tools, and utilization of technology

Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County – $10,000 to financially support child care centers and ensure they have proper personal protective equipment and sanitation

Early Learning Coalition of Florida’s Heartland – $24,500 to provide virtual home visitation to mothers and grandmothers to address their children’s developmental concerns

Children First – $50,000 to support staff, children, and their families in Sarasota County during the pandemic. This grant includes $10,000 from the Truist Charitable Fund, matched by our COVID-19 Initiative Response Fund

Education Foundation of Sarasota County – $20,000 to support the foundation’s services to Sarasota County Schools during the pandemic. Funded by $10,000 from the Truist Charitable Fund, matched by our COVID-19 Response Initiative Fund

Suncoast Technical College – $4,000 to produce personal protective equipment on 3D printers for use by local healthcare providers


First responders

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County  $125,000 to support staffing needs for the Great Futures Academy empowering youth to achieve their full potenal

SKY Family YMCA – $25,000 to cover continued expenses for the childcare for essential personnel program and families affected by COVID-19 in Venice and Englewood

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County – $200,000 to cover continued expenses for the childcare for essential personnel program and sponsor an additional 200 children to participate in summer enrichment

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County  $120,000 to meet the childcare needs of parents and guardians at the front line defending our community’s health and safety by providing free childcare to essential workers employed by Sarasota County Fire Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and the City of Sarasota

SKY Family YMCA – $125,000 to provide childcare to essential healthcare and emergency response workers on the front lines of containing and treating COVID-19 in our region

Denise Amber Lee Foundation  $10,000 to ensure that 9-1-1 centers can continue to meet continuing education and training mandates for public-safety personnel by supporting the foundation’s transition to virtual training classes


Youth services

Child Protection Center – $7,500 to support virtual programming on abuse prevention education to children and teens. And to make the Supervised Visitation Program virtual, which allows children to have relationships with non-custodial parents in a safe, supervised environment

Safe Children Coalition – $17,800 to help the agency provide every foster family in the 12th Judicial Circuit with a $100 gift card to assist them with unanticipated needs

Teen Court of Sarasota – $10,000 to maintain the support of students and their families during the pandemic through opportunities including virtual jury duty and community service, increased counseling, and help with other unexpected needs

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast  $12,700 to help meet the social and emotional needs of children during this crisis by supporting technology to connect staff with children, their families, and mentoring volunteers


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.