Community Initiatives

Foster Manatee

Together with support from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation is leading collaborative work with local organizations to produce better outcomes for children in foster care and foster families.  Funds have supported the Early Childhood Court system in Manatee and Sarasota counties and a marketing campaign to recruit new foster families. To participate in the conversations or give to the Foster Care Fund of Manatee Community Foundation, email Susie Bowie.


A Focus on the Animals

Some special donors who entrusted their charitable legacy to Manatee Community Foundation were passionate about animal welfare. This has enabled us to take an active role in helping adoptable dogs and cats receive medical care, rehabilitate wildlife from birds to sea turtles, ensure care and feeding of therapy animals, and support a free spay/neuter initiative in Manatee County. To learn more about needs of animals in Manatee County, email Joan McCaw, Manager of Grants and Scholarships.


Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

The ability of a child to read on grade-level by the end of the third grade is one of the greatest predictors of future success. Before third grade, students are learning to read, and after third grade, students are reading to learn. Manatee Community Foundation and its donors proudly support the local Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with funding, high level participation and strategy.  In Manatee County, United Way Suncoast is our lead agency, joined by MCF, Manatee County Schools, The Patterson Foundation, Manatee County Government, and the Early Learning Coalition as partners. Funds that support results in grade-level reading include the Soar in 4 Fund of Manatee Community Foundation, the Reach Out and Read Fund of Manatee Community Foundation, and the Dive Into Reading Fund of Manatee Community Foundation. To learn more or give, email Jennifer Abbott.


REACH Manatee

REACH Manatee

Manatee Community Foundation is a proud partner in the local College Access Network, REACH Manatee. Fewer than half of adults in Manatee County have achieved post-secondary attainment. By 2025, the state estimates that 60% of our population will need a degree or credential to meet the workforce demands. Together, we are bridging gaps to help low-income students achieve their highest potential, educate parents about the value of college and the trades, and improve FAFSA completion rates.  The Manatee Chamber of Commerce is the backbone organization of REACH Manatee with partners including MCF, Manatee Education Foundation, United Way Suncoast, UnidosNow, School District of Manatee County, Take Stock in Children of Manatee County, CareerSource Suncoast, CareerEdge, USF Sarasota-Manatee, Manatee Technical College, State College of Florida, and others. To learn more about a charitable gift to improve post-secondary attainment in Manatee County, email Susie Bowie.