Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation’s Board of Directors recently approved over $5 million in grants.
The funding includes 11 grants to regional nonprofit organizations working in education, mental health, humanitarian causes, and arts and culture. The Board also directed significant funding to the Foundation’s First 1,000 Days Suncoast initiative ($700,000) and Affordable Housing initiative ($1.5 million). The grants and initiative investments were approved at the Board’s quarterly meeting in early November.
“Across many of these grants, we see the difficulties that families in our region face as they try to remain financially stable,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO. “On the whole, we are investing in everything from early interventions to crisis response, and we are grateful to our nonprofit partners that are doing this innovative and necessary work.
“We also recognized the chance to help launch or grow some innovative and exciting new educational and artistic programs,” Hansen added. “We can’t wait to see how they impact and enhance our communities.”
What we funded:
FUNducation, Inc., a nonprofit with a mission to expose, engage, and empower youth—particularly those who are underserved—through STEAM education, received $150,000 to expand its early STEAM programming in Sarasota County. Why we care: The STEAM subjects encourage children of all ages to be critical thinkers, become problem solvers, and prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. FUNducation works with community partners that serve kids K-12 to give their children, especially those underrepresented in these fields and unsure of what they want to do in the future, an opportunity to explore STEAM in a safe, fun way.
Manatee Education Foundation was awarded $150,000 to help fund a variety of programs that will support at-risk children and families in partnership with local nonprofit organizations and the School District of Manatee County. The big picture: With almost 15% of Manatee’s school-age children living in poverty and 41% of households struggling to make ends meet, students and their families need access to more educational, health, and community programs. This grant supports a focused, strategic collaboration between the school district and nonprofit partners that will help families navigate and overcome obstacles to get the help they need.
State College of Florida Foundation will receive $429,445 to expand its baccalaureate degree programs in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education as well as its College Reach-Out Program (CROP). Why we care: With enrollment in its four-year education degree programs more than doubling in just a year, SCF Manatee-Sarasota is directly addressing the teacher shortage in the region. CROP, meanwhile, which seeks to increase college admission and success for low-income, educationally disadvantaged students, will be enhanced in several ways, including the addition of North Port High School as a partner and the availability of on-site tutors at all nine participating middle and high schools.
Harvest House will receive $600,000 to make improvements to housing units, increase therapy services, and support a range of other programs for those in need of safe, affordable housing, addiction recovery, and wraparound support. The big picture: Harvest House is a longtime collaborator with Barancik Foundation and a key partner in our affordable housing and criminal-justice recidivism initiatives. The organization addresses everyday inequities that too many in our community experience, including attainable housing, behavioral health services, access to nutritious food, and the daily struggle to make ends meet.
Turning Points was awarded $316,000 to expand its navigator program, which helps residents in crisis locate and access community services available to them. Why we care: Turning Points is the central organization in Manatee County providing support and services for individuals and families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
Women’s Resource Center was awarded $275,000, which includes a $50,000 matching grant, to enhance its programming to help women in Sarasota and Manatee counties break the cycle of poverty. The big picture: Females are the largest demographic living in poverty in Southwest Florida; 78% of single female heads of household don’t make a sustainable wage. Topping their list of needs are affordable housing, access to mental health services, and quality childcare. WRC’s comprehensive approach helps clients overcome these and other obstacles keeping them from financial stability and security.
Margwine Organization was awarded a $95,000 grant to build its capacity by enabling the all-volunteer organization to hire its first full-time staff member. Why we care: Margwine, which provides empowerment programming to young girls, is poised to elevate its fundraising, volunteer management, and outreach, as well as its programming, to make a greater impact in the community.
Chicago Botanic Garden was awarded a $100,000 grant for Windy City Harvest, which provides nutritious food, job opportunities and training, and access to nature through a network of urban farm sites on Chicago’s South and West Sides. The big picture: Windy City Harvest is a model for addressing nutrition and workforce education in communities challenged by health-equity issues. As part of this grant, Barancik Foundation and several local partners will seek to learn from and possibly replicate its efforts in Sarasota.
SRQ Strong will receive $250,000 to build its capacity in transitioning from an all-volunteer program to an independent and sustainable nonprofit organization. Why we care: SRQ Strong convenes and educates individuals and organizations to promote trauma-informed care and provide opportunities to heal from trauma across the community.
Arts & culture
Azara Ballet will receive $180,000 for operational support to hire staff and build out its dance company as it continues its inaugural season and prepares for its second performance season. The big picture: Azara is a nonprofit professional dance company that strives to inspire joy, foster unity, and promote mental health through the universal language of dance. To do so, it emphasizes mental well-being for its dancers, promotes body positivity and inclusivity, and offers outreach programming for the neurodivergent and autistic communities.
CreArte Latino Cultural Center was awarded $126,000 to build its capacity through staff and operational support and increase revenues to fund its performance and educational programming. Why we care: CreArte Latino serves as both a creative hub for the Latino community in Sarasota and Manatee counties and a cultural exchange channel for learning and connection with the wider community.
Barancik Foundation’s Board of Directors also earmarked significant funding for two of the Foundation’s regional initiatives:
$700,000 was approved for the First 1,000 Days Suncoast initiative, to serve as matching funds as Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation raises money to sustain the initiative. Launched in 2018 by Barancik Foundation and more than 30 partners, First 1,000 Days Suncoast is now housed within Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where it is operated by a dedicated four-person staff team.
$1.5 million was approved for Barancik Foundation’s Affordable Housing initiative for direct investment in workforce housing units. The initiative utilizes a variety of tools—from policy advocacy to grants for nonprofit service providers—to ease the region’s affordable housing crisis.
The Barancik Foundation Board also seeded a new evaluation fund with $200,000 to provide training and resources for nonprofit organizations to increase their program evaluation and fundraising capacity.