Naples Children & Education Foundation invests more than $20M to support children in Collier County

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Credit: Naples Children & Education Foundation

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) has invested more than $20 million in 43 local nonprofit agencies that improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of children in Collier County. When factoring in program efficiencies and savings from the prior year, the full impact of the NCEF support reaches nearly $22.2 million.

This investment in future generations includes individual funding grants of $7.1 million, plus $15.1 million for seven multi-year strategic initiatives that fill fundamental gaps in children’s services.

“The 2020 Naples Winter Wine Festival was a record-breaking event with our largest attendance ever and generating the highest proceeds in our 20-year history,” said Joe Masterson, 2020 NCEF Grant Committee Chair. “We are proud that every dollar raised under the tent of our live auction goes right back into the community, improving the lives of the county’s most vulnerable children.”

This year, the number of agencies receiving annual grants totaled 33, plus 10 other agencies that help fill critical needs in the community by taking part in NCEF’s seven multi-partner, multi-year strategic initiatives focusing on the well-being of the whole child. These include early learning, healthcare, hunger, mental health, oral health, out-of-school time and vision. The “Fund the Future,” supporting all seven of these initiatives, brought in contributions of more than $5 million.

NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time. Each NCEF beneficiary is fully vetted and many utilize that process as a “Good Housekeeping Stamp of Approval.” The Blueprint Partner program builds upon that process.

“Our Blueprint Partner program is an endorsement of those strategic initiative partners who are able to have the greatest impact by leveraging resources, creating systems, aligning protocols and eliminating duplication of services,” said NCEF Chief Executive Officer Maria Jimenez-Lara.

This year’s Wine Festival also enabled NCEF to allocate $1.8 million into a fund for future projects and strategic initiatives. This funding will ensure NCEF has an adequate amount of funding should there be a year of additional needs and support that are not covered by the Festival proceeds.

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