VENICE, FL (November 1, 2022) – Through a unique philanthropic collaboration, PLANit Sarasota received $100,000 in grants to promote postsecondary education with a focus on historically underrepresented students who rarely go on to achieve college degrees or trade diplomas. These grants were made possible through an initial investment of $50,000 from Florida Philanthropic Network, with funding from the Helios Education Foundation and Kresge Foundation. Their support was matched dollar for dollar by Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and corporate sponsors. Collaboration between nonprofit and for-profit sectors is the power of PLANit Sarasota, a collective effort to invest in students and a strong local workforce.
“PLANit Sarasota consists of dozens of community partners, including our school district, youth-serving organizations, colleges, and funders working together to introduce students to the exciting college and career opportunities in their backyard,” shared Jennifer Johnston, Director of Community Leadership with Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
Education Foundation of Sarasota County President and CEO Jennifer Vigne said, “Since 2018 when The Education Foundation of Sarasota County began serving as the convening organization for PLANit Sarasota, it has been exciting to see cross-sector partners collaborating on both short-term and long-term solutions to multi-dimensional problems in education and career planning. As each stakeholder pools their unique knowledge base to reach for the greater good, they are helping to achieve transformational change in extending outreach and services to all youth and their families throughout Sarasota County.”
The support of business partners fueled the success of the matching opportunity. Florida Power & Light Company and PGT Innovations joined Bank of America (BofA), which provided a $25,000 grant toward the match. For many years, BofA has worked with nonprofit partners, local organizations, and leaders across public and private sectors to help support workforce development and education. “Bank of America shares PLANit’s mission of strengthening Sarasota by providing underserved members of the community access to critical workforce development opportunities,” said Erik Vatter, president, Bank of America Sarasota-Manatee. “Our partnership will help the next generation reach their full long-term potential and accomplish their educational and career goals.”
PLANit Sarasota will utilize the funds to support Sarasota students in achieving their career and educational goals post-high school. Offering success coaching, digital tools, college application support, and financial aid guidance, PLANit Sarasota, our community’s Local College Access Network, is critical to the future success of our student population. “Gulf Coast is proud to partner with the corporate sector, individual donors, and PLANit Sarasota to help students make their dreams come true,” said Jennifer Johnston, Director of Community Leadership with Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
The Florida Philanthropic Network College Access and Success Initiative (CASI 2.0) Challenge Match grant was made possible by Helios Education Foundation and Kresge Foundation.
# # #
About Gulf Coast Community Foundation
Headquartered in Venice, Fla. and with a second office in downtown Sarasota, Fla., Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed the region through bold and proactive philanthropy for over 25 years. Serving the needs of the region as a partner in philanthropy, and leader in community initiatives, Gulf Coast has granted nearly $500 million in the areas of: health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Gulf Coast was named one of the “Best Nonprofits to Work For” nationally by The Nonprofit Times in 2010, 2011, 2017, 2020, and 2021. To learn more visit GulfCoastCF.org and follow us on Facebook at @GulfCoastCommFnd.
About the Education Foundation of Sarasota County
The Education Foundation of Sarasota County (EdFoundationSRQ.org) is an independent, philanthropic partner with Sarasota County Schools. The Education Foundation’s mission is to enhance the potential of all students, promote excellence in teaching, and inspire innovation in education, guided by strategic philanthropy and the belief that each and every student is prepared for life beyond high school.
About PLANit Sarasota
PLANit Sarasota, the Sarasota Local College Access Network, is an alliance for education and career planning whose members comprise a cross-sector group of education and youth services organizations and community partners focused on increasing the rate of students who pursue a purposeful postsecondary pathway, particularly among those historically underrepresented in higher education. The Education Foundation of Sarasota County serves as the convening organization for PLANit Sarasota.
About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).