Modeled on the Zonta International Foundation (now the Zonta Foundation for Women), our club established its own foundation, the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida, Inc., in 1995. As an organization determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be a 501(c)(3), the foundation enhances our ability to raise funds, oversees the distribution of funds, and allows contributors to obtain charitable deductions as permitted by law. Funds available for distribution come principally from the proceeds of the previous spring’s major event, Peek at the Unique.

The club board functions as the board for the foundation, with the exception of the positions of secretary and treasurer, which are separate and distinct. Every club member is also a member of the foundation.

Your dollars go directly to programs that benefit women and girls right here in Southwest Florida. Each year in June a committee of seasoned members begins an in-depth process which involves distributing grant applications to chosen organizations which support Zonta’s mission reviewing completed applications and making recommendations to the foundation board on the amount each should receive. The recommendations are then voted on by the club/foundation membership.

Each January, the previous year’s Peek proceeds are awarded in grants through the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida to local organizations that — like Zonta — seek to empower women. Grantees are required to report on their projects at 6 and 12-month intervals. In January an award ceremony is held at which representatives from each organization receive their checks.

“Human rights is a universal standard. It is a component of every religion and every civilization.”

-Shirin Ebadi
Jill Janda-Kanner
Co-President Elect

Board of Directors

2020-2021 Zonta Foundation of SWFL Board Members

Most of the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida, Inc. board members also serve on the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva board of directors, with the exception of the secretary and treasurer who are unique to each board.

Zonta Board Ross
Joyce Ross
Co-President
Board Member Tucker
Susan Tucker
Co-President
Board Member Janda
Zonta Member Swank
Elaine Swank
Co-President Elect
Zonta Member Swofford
Nancy Swofford
Vice-President
Zonta Member Layton
Pat Layton
Secretary
Zonta Member Steiner
Erika Steiner
Treasurer
Zonta Member Langley
Judy Langley
Past President

Board Members at Large

  • Jan Alden
  • Laura DeBruce
  • Julie Hayles
  • Suzie Nowell
  • Nori Ann Reed

Helping Women Locally

In 2020, our foundation awarded $104,700 in local grants — another near-record for our club. Requests from the 17 organizations submitting grant applications totaled more than $167,000, the highest ever, so — as always — the Grants Committee faced the delicate task of balancing needs against available funds. To help the process, the committee focused on programs that educate, uplift, and empower, with the goal of ensuring that women’s lives continue to improve.

2020 Zonta Grant Recipients

Program to support 18-year-olds aging out of foster care and female caregivers who take in children of family members

Educational support (priority) and emergency funds for female residents facing crisis

Support naturalist program specifically designed for PACE girls

Foster Grandparents program, uniting seniors and children with special needs

Helping women to gain employment or become entrepreneurs

Support for college or trade education for lower income women

Emergency medical and dental care for female clients on the islands

Support for the MicroEnterprise Institute promoting economic independence

Initiation of new program ArtReach on the Streets, for pre-teen awareness

Healing Stitches program and sewing skills for immigrant women

Attendance at PACE day, a field trip to State Capitol, and other incentives

Literacy classes and support services for immigrant women

Economic empowerment for women in recovery

Helping Women Worldwide

In 2020, our foundation awarded a budgeted amount of $34,900 for Zonta International’s global projects, helping women throughout the world. For more on the projects that ZI supports, visit Zonta International.

“We are so grateful for F.I.S.H.’s long-time partnership with Zonta. Time and again they have shown their commitment to helping those in our community through their volunteerism, supply drives and grant funding.”
“With support from mission aligned organizations, like Zonta, our annual Women Build initiative creates affordable homeownership opportunities for female led households, creating wealth and empowering women in their natural determination to uplift themselves”
“Helping the underprivileged is my passion but knowing that there are people who are working so hard to support your mission brings great joy.”
“Our collaboration with the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva and the Zonta Foundation of SWFL continues to advance the potential for hard working, but income challenged, women to complete their higher education.”
“We are thankful to be a recipient of the Zonta Grant and utilize these funds to assist women and children within the CHR program with emergency funds during a time of crisis and also with education expense to improve their lives.”
Maggie GoldsmithMaggie GoldsmithF.I.S.H. OF SANCAP
Becky LucasBecky LucasCEO - Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties Inc.
Nida C. ElunaNida C. ElunaExecutive Director - Dr. Piper Center for Social Services Inc.
Brenda TateBrenda TateCEO - Earn to Learn FL
Melissa RiceMelissa RiceExecutive Director - Community Housing and Resources

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