Community Foundation 20th Anniversary Grants Awarded 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 13, 2017 – In celebration of our 20th anniversary, The Community Foundation of North Florida is pleased to announce that we are awarding a total of $60,000 in grants to area nonprofits. The purpose of these grants is to strengthen the internal capacity of these organizations in a systemic way so they can deliver their services more effectively or efficiently.  These grants are made possible by a generous gift from the Ethel and Edwin Ramsey Fund.  In 2011, Mrs. Ramsey left a significant gift to the Community Foundation in her Last Will and Testament and asked us to support a wide variety of local charitable organizations carrying forward the Ramsey’s legacy.

Operating dollars and support of internal workings are often the most needed yet toughest dollars for charities to obtain.  Because of this, the Community Foundation focuses its unrestricted funds on infra-structure support helping nonprofits get the training, tools and technology they need to execute their mission. Some examples of activities that would qualify for the funding are improving technology; training or education for board and/or staff members; strategic planning; implementing or improving assessments of programs, management, board, financial, fundraising, or otherwise; and increasing knowledge, skills or resources for accounting, financial management, fundraising, marketing and communications.

One nonprofit will receive $20,000 and eight others will receive $5,000 each.  The recipient organizations are listed below including a brief description of their mission and information about the infra-structure support they will receive.

Eight $5,000 grants:

  • Alzheimer’s Project, Inc. exists to provide comfort, support, and assistance to persons with memory disorders and their caregivers in the Big Bend area. The grant will provide them the ability to purchase a complete fundraising and management system to capture donor data, use it effectively, leverage client support of the organization, and evaluate and track their progress. Over time, the system will help increase funding for the organization to meet the growing demand for its services. For more information about this activity please contact Debbie Moroney at debbie@alzheimersproject,org or 850.386.2778.
  • Calhoun Liberty Community Outreach, Inc. is laying the groundwork for civic capacity to increase cross-sector efforts to address community wide issues and improve circumstances. This grant will be used to strengthen the proficiency of the organization’s Board of Directors. The funds enable them to receive fundraising and grant writing training and complete a strategic planning process. By reinforcing the board’s abilities in these areas it will help the organization achieve and sustain lasting change. For more information about this activity please contact Winter Collins at or 850.643.7724.
  • Lee’s Place provides grief, loss and trauma therapy to individuals regardless of their financial circumstances. The grant dollars will be used to replace outdated and inefficient technology for fundraising, financial and client records and compliance.  The technology will enable staff to be more efficient in their administrative functions leaving more time to focus on client care. For more information about this activity please contact Beth Tedio at or 850.841.7733.
  • LeMoyne Art Foundation promotes and advances education, interest and participation in the contemporary visual arts. This grant will allow the organization to update computer systems and technology in order to integrate all systems within the multi building complex. This upgrade will increase efficiency, and create a more cohesive working environment for employees, board members and volunteers. For more information about this activity please contact Dianne Perkins at or 850.566.2949.
  • Refuge House serves all people affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. The grant will be used for technology and equipment upgrades to support staff training and community awareness. This will let staff achieve skills, knowledge and empathy required to provide services to the clients and allow the organization to provide public awareness while protecting client privacy. For more information about this activity please contact Meg Baldwin at or 850.922.6062.
  • Friends of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge supports all aspects of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and their efforts to conserve the natural diversity of North Florida. This grant will allow the organization to upgrade their accounting system to provide financial statements required by public and private grant making entities. The improvement also gives the organization the necessary information needed so they can expand their ability to fundraise and seek grants enabling them to continue their work. For more information about this activity please contact John Haines at or 850.656.6540.
  • Tallahassee Youth Orchestra works to enrich the musical and creative lives of young musicians through affordable instruction and performance opportunities. The grant will provide improved technology, equipment and software including a single database system and upgraded accounting software.  This increased efficiency will enable the staff and board to operate TYO in a more effective manner and increase capacity to grow their donor base. For more information about this activity please contact Stephen Masterson at or 850.445.3657.
  • The Village Square is a unique model for civic engagement encouraging communities to have factually based, civil conversations across ideological, racial, ethnic and religious divisions. This grant will make available fundraising training and development for staff. In addition to training, a fundraising model for the organization will be developed for future use. These activities will result in long term sustainability by making staff more effective in raising money for current and future work of the organization. For more information about this activity please contact Liz Joyner at or 850.264.8785.


One $20,000 grant to increase the capacity of a relatively new community organization
that educates, trains and advocates for nonprofits of all kinds in our community:

Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence (INIE) is a management support organization that helps support the capacity building of all nonprofits in our areas by advocating for the sector and helping agencies access resources and training to better fulfil their missions. The INIE grant increases staff capacity to focus on (a) membership recruitment and retention, (b) planning and execution of nonprofit trainings allowing more area nonprofits to benefit from the valuable services and professional development that INIE provides and (c) sustainability fundraising.   The grant also funds strategic planning for the board and a site visit to a like organization in another city increase the board’s understanding of how management support organizations, like INIE, function and help the organization be better positioned to refine its business model and programming to achieve maximum impact and greater financial sustainability. For more information about this activity please contact Jessica Lowe-Minor at or 850.201.9766.

 “We excited to celebrate 20 years of helping people with charitable giving and honored to carry out Ms. Ramsey’s wishes. I know Ms. Ramsey would be thrilled that her gift is strengthening the internal capacity of a variety of local nonprofits.” said Joy Watkins, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of North Florida. 

General Information

The Knight Foundation Fund is currently the only fund at the Community Foundation that accepts grant applications. Information about the priority area and application process is below.

About The Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation logo

The Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

Knight Foundation Fund – Grant Opportunity

The Community Foundation accepts grant applications through the Knight Foundation Fund, a component fund at the Community Foundation.

The 2016 grant cycle is now closed. The priorities remained unchanged (see below) from 2015, but the 2016 grant cycle was invitation-only.

This year, the cycle involved a two step process. In Stage 1 applicants submit an abbreviated proposal describing their project and how it helps Knight Foundation accomplish its priorities as set forth below. From there, in Stage 2 a limited number of applicants are invited to submit full proposals for final consideration for funding.

Please read the information below to learn more about the Knight Foundation Fund’s grant guidelines and application process.

You may click here to see the organizations and projects awarded grants in previous years. Note: Projects funded in prior years before 2014 were funded under a priority area of interest and guidelines different from the 2014-2016 priority area and guidelines.

For more information about the Knight Fund grant cycle, please contact Laura Harwin or 850-222-2899.

Knight Foundation Fund Guidelines

The Knight Foundation Fund supports the success of the 26 Knight Communities through investments that attract, retain and harness talent; that expand opportunity by increasing entrepreneurship and economic mobility; and that support civic infrastructure to accelerate the growth of ideas and bring people from diverse social and economic backgrounds together.

Promoting civic innovation and robust engagement will enable our communities to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Knight wants their investments to (a) inspire the actions of residents of Tallahassee and (b) help Knight build successful cities.

Talent: Knight Foundation invests in residents, immigrants and entrepreneurs as economic growth, job creation and neighborhood revitalization drivers.

Place: Knight Foundation invests in places that are primed to accelerate talent and opportunity.

Civic Innovation: Knight Foundation invests in innovation in governance and civic capacity.

Places that accelerate talent and opportunity:

  • Connect assets and people
  • Attract and retain talent
  • Foster economic integration
  • Result in a change that can be felt in the near term
  • Incorporate quality design and new tools or technologies
  • Respond and are authentic to the community
  • Are sustainable
  • Leverage public and private partners and enhance market potential

Knight is most interested in projects that reflect one or more of the following:

  • Represent a true innovation
  • Have the ability to be breakthrough or transformative
  • Accelerate learning and the exchange of ideas
  • Have a champion equipped to execute
  • Have a path toward sustainability or completion
  • Promote retention and attraction of talent
  • Enhance opportunity and economic mobility
  • Incorporate opportunities for robust citizenship and/or engagement
  • Result in a change that can be seen or felt in the near term

Knight Foundation Fund Application

The 2016 invitation-only grant cycle is now closed. The application process was a two stage process.

Stage 1: Organizations interested in receiving a grant from the Knight Fund must submit an Abbreviated Proposal using the following form:Abbreviated Proposal Form

A limited number of applicants will be selected as finalists and invited to submit a full application as described below in Stage 2. 

Stage 2 (for Finalists only): Finalists from Stage 1 will be invited to submit a full Proposal for funding consideration. Participation in Stage 2 is expected to involve the completion and emailing of the following required documents by the Stage 2 deadline to Laura Harwin:

  1. Grant Proposal Form completed in full; and

  2. Project Budget Form.* completed in full

*Project Budget Form Example

Actual requirements for Stage 2 will be described to finalists when they are selected and notified.

What organizations are eligible to apply for a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund?

Applicants to the Knight Foundation Fund must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Good standing as a not-for-profit with the Florida Secretary of State’s office;
  • Currently exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3) and classified as organizations to which contributions are deductible under Section 170(c)(2), normally a public charity under Section 509(a); and
  • Doing the work described in the application, in the Community Foundation’s primary geographic area (Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor or Wakulla County).

May an individual apply for a grant?

No. Each applicant must be an organization meeting all of eligibility requirements set forth in the preceding paragraph. We are unable to make grants to individuals.

What is the maximum or minimum grant amount we can apply for?

There is no maximum or minimum limit on the amount for which you may apply. The Knight Foundation Fund had a total of $167,000.00 to invest in local projects for this grant cycle.

Is multi-year funding available?

Grants are typically made for activity undertaken in one year. Grant recipients may apply in future years for funding but are not given priority or guaranteed additional funding.

Where should questions regarding the Knight Foundation Fund be directed?

Any questions concerning the Knight Foundation Fund and the application process should be directed to Laura Harwin, Director of Nonprofit Relations, at 850.222.2899 or by email.

Are there activities that are not likely to be funded by the Knight Foundation Fund?

Yes. The following are not likely to be funded by the Knight Foundation Fund:

  • Activities outside the Fund’s stated areas of interest;
  • Activities outside the Fund's stated geographic area;
  • Requests for general operating support, annual fund-raising campaigns, fund-raising dinners, or operating deficits;
  • Activities that normally are the responsibility of governments;
  • Medical research, organizations or project whose mission is to prevent, eradicate and/or alleviate the effects of specific diseases, and requests from hospitals
  • Activities to propagate a religious faith or restricted to one religion or denomination, support of political candidates, and memorials;
  • Programs or projects that take place outside the US or are conducted by organizations headquartered outside the US; and
  • A second request for a capital campaign for which Knight Foundation previously approved a grant from its own funds or advised a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund.

Knight Foundation Fund Grant Recipients and Project Descriptions

NOTE: In all years below, the Knight Foundation priority area differed from the current priorities.