The Community Foundation has been helping Florida Keys organizations for 25 years

September 1 – Non-profit organizations can be the lifeblood of communities and support for them is critical.

Jennifer McCombs, the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM to talk about the efforts of the organization.

The Florida Keys Non-Profit Day will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on September 13 at the Marathon Community Theater. It’s a joint effort with the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, the Ocean Reef Community Foundation, and the United Way of Collier and the Keys.

First State Bank of the Keys is the sponsor.

To sign up, click here:

McCombs said, “I’m really excited that we’ve already had about 100 people sign up. This is our first time doing it. We have two great speakers.”

Dr. Dr. Janelle Abela from Canada will discuss how to improve non-profits by including diversity, equity and inclusion.

John Riley, Vice President of Philanthropy for the United Way of Collier and the Keys, will provide tips for donor relationships for non-profits.

A networking reception will follow the discussion.

McCombs said, “Hopefully your listeners can make it.”

The Community Foundation has given out more than $1.7 million in grants so far this year.

McCombs said, “We’re very proud of that. By the end of the year, we might make it to a record of $2 million granted for the year.”

Yesterday, the foundation gave $20,000 to Cooking with Love. It came from the Marion Stevens Fund.

McCombs explained, “A lot of our funds at the Community Foundation were created by donors through their wills and they give grants literally forever in perpetuity. It’s just a pleasure and honor to be giving these large grants to organizations.”

The Guidance Care Center received $10,000 for suicide prevention and awareness last week.

McCombs said, “Monroe County has more suicides than I believe any county in Florida at least. That was from the Aaron Davis Broadaway Suicide Prevention Fund created by Billy and Miki Davis, They are living, but they created it in honor of their grandson who they lost through suicide.”

The Community Foundation is celebrating over 25 years of serving the Keys.

Unsung heroes are named and recognized every year for working with the non-profits every day.

McCombs said, “That’s probably what we’re best known for in the Keys and we do serve the entire county. We’re known for our unsung heroes celebration that’s every year in late January or early February.

The next one will be held February 3, 2023 at the Marriot Beachside in Key West. Every year more than 80 non-profits attend and recognize their volunteer of the year.

Volunteers are incredibly important for the non-profits.

The Florida Keys Volunteer Center opened on August 1. It’s mostly virtual and run by the foundation. The website is

McCombs said, “It came directly out of the wishes of the non-profits.”

A survey from the unsung heroes celebration discovered a lot of the non-profits need help finding volunteers and maintaining volunteers.

The volunteer center has 25 non-profits that have signed up and posted volunteer opportunities, so please take a moment to see if any might interest you.

More than $32 million in grants have been given by the Community Foundation since 1996.

McCombs said, “We’ve made a very big push to have more donors and more grants in the middle and upper Keys and we’ve created councils in those areas and also the lower Keys, the Big Pine area we have a council of ten people as well and they’re just helping us spread the word and we are doubling all donations for the Middle Keys Future Fund, Upper Keys Future Fund and Lower Keys Future Fund.”

Anything you give will be doubled and it goes straight out into the community.

Mike Stapleford of KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM said, “The entire Keys is one Keys. We have a lot in common throughout the Keys and the Community Foundation has really done a great job under your direction of bringing it all under one umbrella.”

The rising costs of energy, gas and groceries make the need for help that much greater.

McCombs said, “We have had a lot more calls lately.”

The grants process is open once a year and it will happen again next year.

McCombs said, “We like to hear what’s happening because we work with a lot of donors. It’s good for me and our staff to know what the needs are, so please keep in touch. We encourage that.”

Community foundations across the country hold permanent funds that will help the community forever.

McCombs said, “A lot of people can’t write a huge donation check during their lifetime. We have a lot of people they’ll leave five or ten percent of their estate to charity, but that could be a large amount if you own a home in the Keys. We can help with that and make sure that the money every year goes to the charities and causes that you like. So even if say, 30 years from now, the charity that was your favorite doesn’t exist anymore, our staff will direct the money to a very similar cause.”

The Leadership Success Academy will be held again next year in March. It’ll be the 17th year and is geared toward non-profit board members.

McCombs said, “We teach all you need to know. It’s like the boot camp for non-profit leaders. Fundraising. Marketing. Finances. Just a little bit of everything. It’s a great two-day course.”

For more information, call 305-809-4991 or log onto