Manatee Community Foundation Inc
2820 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton FL 34205
Manatee Community Foundation connects the charitable interests of donors with the ongoing needs of the community.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Susie Bowie
Board Chair Lisa Johnson
Board Chair Affiliation CS&L CPAs
General Info
Supported Organization Community Foundation of Sarasota County
Tax Exempt Status Public Charity Type I Supporting Organization
Incorporation Year 1998
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Jan 2019
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
The impact of Manatee Community Foundation lives in thousands of stories from local nonprofits and individuals that have received more than $18million in grants and scholarships awarded since 1998. Every positive outcome achieved through our Foundation in this community is a direct result of a donor who has invested his or her dollars to help meet the human service, educational, health, animal welfare, environmental, and civic engagement needs of Manatee County.
Manatee Community Foundation provides a variety of charitable giving vehicles that help each donor make the difference most important to him or her while capitalizing on tax benefits and knowledge of the community that our staff and organization provide.
Our strategic planning process has led us to the renovation of a 5,000 square foot building which allows us the ability to grow our staff and share a 100 seat community room with nonprofits and community members. This will allow Manatee Community Foundation to expand our role as a neutral convener for issues important to Manatee County and the people who care about our future.
Needs Statement
  • Meaningful connections with philanthropic individuals and businesses that want to make an impact through charitable giving in Manatee County.
  • Corporate Ambassadors who seek visibility with philanthropic clients and local nonprofits.
  • Partners who wish to work together to establish progress in key areas impacting Manatee County including positive civic engagement, support to resolve the local foster care crisis, commitment to build a strong nonprofit sector, strengthen educational opportunities for students.
Background Statement

In June of 1998, a Steering Committee of local civic leaders took steps to formalize the Manatee Community Foundation by incorporating and filing for tax-exemption. Capitalizing on the administrative and investment services provided by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Manatee Community Foundation was incorporated as a “supporting organization” under section 509(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.  In 2003, as part of an initiative to start, support and grow community foundations in its 26 newspaper communities, the national John S. and James L. Knight Foundation challenged the new Manatee Community Foundation’s Board of Directors to raise the first $1 million of endowment funds. The Knight Foundation gave MCF three years to raise the money. MCF successfully met the challenge in only six months.

Today Manatee Community Foundation has grown to over 240 donor funds and $37 million in assets. Thirty local nonprofit agencies in the community have placed their endowments under the “umbrella” of MCF.

MCF encourages donors to established either endowed or non-endowed funds to accomplish their charitable giving.  Types of funds that can be established are: donor-advised, designated, field of interest, unrestricted, scholarship, future (legacy), and operating.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments

Grants awarded from Manatee Community Foundation support nonprofits that serve Manatee County, Florida including Bradenton, Palmetto, Lakewood Ranch, Anna Maria Island, Parrish, and unincorporated areas of our county. Many of our donors also choose to support organizations including churches and universities in Sarasota County, Florida, and around the United States. Most scholarships are awarded to students living in Manatee County.

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, a component fund of Manatee Community Foundation, has its own grant cycle and advisory board to connect the resident of Lakewood Ranch with charitable giving in and around the Lakewood Ranch area. 
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Philanthropy,Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

 As board chair of Manatee Community Foundation, I am proud of the history of our organization and the professional philanthropic services we have offered to caring people in Manatee County for nearly 20 years. Our board members each make personal financial contributions and are deeply committed to working side by side with our staff team to further increase the impact of our work in education, human services, animal welfare, health, civic engagement, and the environment. MCF is poised for continued growth as we engage new donors who would like to establish their own charitable funds with expert guidance to help their giving make the greatest difference.

Working with clients through my professional career as a CPA at CS&L, I have experienced first hand that people are searching for confidential, trusted partnerships for their philanthropy. MCF is a partner that knows and understands our community as well as the ways individuals can get full tax benefits from their giving. It is an exciting responsibility to be part of the ways charitable legacies and the funds of living donors at MCF can influence opportunities for people, places, and animals in Manatee County. With a focus on a new strategic plan, the board has committed to further growth, which will ultimately allow the nonprofit missions in our community to be even better served with resources that help us all thrive. 

-Lisa Johnson, CPA, MCF Board Chair

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
Living and working in Manatee County with all of its diverse communities--Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, Lakewood Ranch, Parrish, Palmetto--we have an opportunity to interact with so many people who want to make the biggest difference for the causes most dear to them. The opportunity to be at the forefront of so this good work across our county positions Manatee Community Foundation to understand our community needs and the role philanthropy can play.
The next three years, our board and staff will be working to grow our assets by developing new relationships with donors who wish to have their own professionally managed charitable fund. This will allow us to increase the grantmaking and scholarships we facilitate in this community, all focused on getting the best results. Our team serves as a resource to help people make good choices about where to give and how to give, based on what is most important for them to accomplish with their philanthropy.
The past year has been full of new experiences for us Manatee Community Foundation as we have welcomed more than 4,300 people to use our community room and board room. Because of generous donors who recognize that we needed collaborative spaces for important conversations shaping our future, we have completed the fundraising phase for our space at 2820 Manatee Avenue West. We look forward to welcoming you here too, whether it is for your charitable planning or for your nonprofit's next board retreat.
-Susie Bowie
Executive Director 
Description Manatee Community Foundation funds programs, services, capital needs, and capacity building opportunities for nonprofit organizations in the animal welfare, arts, education, human services, health, environment, and civic engagement spaces. These grants support organizations located in and serving Manatee County, as well as donor directed grants to 501c3 organizations in other parts of the state and country. The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, a component fund of Manatee Community Foundation, targets its grant making in the Lakewood Ranch area specifically.
Budget $2,300,000
Category Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking, General/Other Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success In the short-term, Manatee Community Foundation grants help nonprofits meet immediate needs of the clients they are serving and the needs of their own staff and operations as they continue to increase their impact.
Long Term Success Over time, the grants awarded in our community provide a stronger nonprofit sector that enhances the health and well-being of people, places, animals and citizens of Manatee County.
Program Success Monitoring Organizations are required to submit grant reports that detail the outcomes, outputs and successes of the funded programs or need being addressed. Reports include commentary on how to improve the intervention, and we value open communication with our grantees.
Program Success Examples Through the passion and thoughtfulness of Bill and Maryann Vinall, donors to the Manatee Community Foundation, philanthropic dollars are available to improve animal welfare in Manatee County. The fund has awarded grants to the Pets for Life program at the Humane Society of Manatee County, providing operating support for a program manager who helps low-income families take better care of their pets with vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, and other services. This program allows families to concentrate their resources on other needs in their household, while providing the education needed to help prevent pet overpopulation. At a recent event--a small piece funded by the grant--298 pets received much needed vaccinations at no cost to their owners. 162 pet owners and children who accompanied them were provided with valuable education about pet overpopulation and the proper care of their dogs and cats.
Description Manatee Community Foundation awards scholarships to graduating high school students pursuing post-secondary education and to adult learners who are going back to school.
Budget $90,000
Category Education, General/Other Student Financial Aid
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success In the short-term, students who receive scholarships have the opportunity to attend a school or educational program of study that would otherwise be unavailable to them or unavailable without significant debt carried into adulthood.
Long Term Success In addition to the economic and societal impact of post-secondary education in our community, the long-term success of our scholarships can be seen in individuals who access greater opportunity and security in their lives. This not only benefits the individual, but the entire family structure.
Program Success Monitoring

A competitive application process overseen by a volunteer committee selects students for scholarships that are most likely to be successful based on grades, community service and leadership, and financial need. Success of students in school is most often monitored by renewable scholarships in which students have a vested interest in reporting their success and continued pursuit of the field of study originally applied for.

Program Success Examples

Ludonir Sebastiany received his first scholarship from the Manatee Community Foundation's Manatee Medical Education Foundation. After having success in his coursework, he applied for a much larger scholarship to cover expenses at FSU College of Medicine. Now for the third year, Ludonir will be receiving a $25,000 Johanna P. Hagedoorn Scholarship for his academic excellence. Manatee Community Foundation will be a major contributor to his future success in the medical field and to the patients he is expected to serve with excellence and compassion.


Through the new spaces available at Manatee Community Foundation's new headquarters at 2820 Manatee Avenue West, local nonprofit organizations, governments, donors, and citizens have a neutral place to convene to talk about the intersection of issues such as social services, animal welfare, health, environment, and education.

Budget $40,000
Category Community Development, General/Other Organizational Development & Training
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success Organizations and those who support them have a neutral space in our community to meet about important issues. The 18-seat community board room and 100-seat community event room allow vital discussions to take place, networks to be built, and connections to be made between organizations and people who want to make a difference. In the short-term, these conversations can serve as launching points for new and strengthened collaborations, new funding opportunities, and citizen engagement.
Long Term Success Over time, the community will see an impact in the dollars nonprofit organizations save for their program work by making the space available at no cost/low cost. We are working to develop a system that will allow us to track the impact of conversations, new/strengthened relationships, and meetings that take place in (and because of) these neutral spaces.
Program Success Monitoring

A staff member will monitor the number of people using the rooms, the organizations represented, and follow up with questionnaires about the confirmed and possible decisions, collaborations or movement that will result from convenings in the space.

Program Success Examples

In one week at Manatee Community Foundation, our community board room was used by a group of state and local executives from nonprofits, Manatee School District, and a local university who gathered to discuss forming a local College Access Network; five local animal welfare organizations meeting for the first time about a collaboration for a joint spay/neuter event serving low-income populations; and an arts organization that did not have local space for a meeting about programming in the library system.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Susie Bowie
CEO Term Start Apr 2016
CEO/Executive Director Email

Susie Bowie is the executive director of Manatee Community Foundation, the leading philanthropic organization in Manatee County that has provided more than $16 million in grants and scholarships since 1998. Susie has worked in the philanthropic sector for 11 years, most recently at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County where she focused on capacity building with organizations of various operating budgets to help them tackle the challenges of running an effective social sector business. Her specialties include: informed philanthropy, communications, nonprofit management. She led the development and execution of Guide Star's Donor Edge (The Giving Partner)—a tool helping donors and funders understand more about local nonprofits—and the Giving Challenge, a local day of giving resulting in $15 million infused into the community over the last 4 years. Susie was a Hull Fellow at the Southeastern Council of Foundations and was a 40 Under 40 winner in 2008.  

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Marilyn Howard 1999 - Dec 2015
Senior Staff
Susan Atherton CFP, CPADirector of Charitable Legacy Planning & Development
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 16
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Manatee Community Foundation collaborates with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for administrative support services for investments, financial services, legal services and other efficiencies which enable MCF to focus on the needs of charitable individuals who either live in Manatee County or give in Manatee County and beyond.
As part of the Manatee Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Manatee Community Foundation partners with United Way and other organizations to increase the number of students reading on grade-level by the third grade, a significant predictor of success in life. We are a founding partner in the local Manatee College Access Network, charged with increasing the post-secondary attainment levels of students graduating from high school. MCF partners with Manatee County Government to provide community and capacity building services.
We are the lead partner in the Manatee County Foster Care Initiative, bringing together groups such as local nonprofits, Manatee County Sherriff's Department, and Manatee County Government to address the foster care crisis in our community.
Florida Philanthropic Network- Member
Manatee Chamber of Commerce
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Board Chair
Board Chair Lisa Johnson
Company Affiliation CS&L CPAs
Board Term July 2017 to June 2019
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Eugene Beckstein Community Volunteer
James Bruen Community Volunteer
Dr. James A. Davis Community Volunteer
Nicolas Drizos Horizon Wealth Advisors
Lillian Elliott Community Volunteer
Jonathan D. Fleece Blalock Walters, P.A.
Lisa Johnson CS&L CPAs
Jeanie Kirkpatrick Community Volunteer
Stewart Moon Community Volunteer
Rebecca Neal Community Volunteer
Christopher Romine Northern Trust
Dr. Howard A. Seider Community Volunteer
Charles L. Slater Community Volunteer
Conrad Szymanski Retired Beall's Inc. Executive
Denise Williams Hancock Bank
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 10
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Board Meeting Attendance % 81
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month July
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year End Month June
Fiscal Year End Day 30
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $565,525.00
Projected Expenses $563,173.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign Yes
Campaign Purpose A building that is the center for philanthropy in Manatee County, including a community room available for community, nonprofit, and philanthropic events and forums
Campaign Goal $1,200,000.00
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 750000 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$2,276,561$293,097$3,177,924
Investment Income, Net of Losses$3,025,244$138,810$2,262,566
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$148,349$0$103,764
Revenue In-Kind$551,367$79,544$1,037,957
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$3,794,999$76,731$2,704,395
Administration Expense$533,467$92,138$550,848
Fundraising Expense$236,930$17,382$193,928
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.292.661.62
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%41%78%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue9%6%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$38,255,024$36,103,693$36,605,616
Current Assets$2,635,226$2,254,412$2,157,208
Long-Term Liabilities$6,783,097$7,174,635$7,271,310
Current Liabilities$107,544$123,881$89,199
Total Net Assets$31,364,383$28,805,177$29,245,107
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $3,025,244Contributions, gifts, grants $293,097Contributions, gifts, grants $3,177,924
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $2,276,561Investment Income $138,810Investment Income $2,262,566
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountRelated Organizations $189,139Administrative Fees $63,544Administrative Fees $272,711
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities24.5018.2024.18
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets18%20%20%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

The Manatee Community Foundation’s financials are comprised of funds established by nonprofit organizations and donors including the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund. The investments of MCF which are pooled with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County are guided by an experienced investment committee who oversee the investment portfolio, review annually the Investment Policy Statement and meet with portfolio management. The goal of our investment strategy is to grow principal within a moderate risk tolerance.

Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from the organization's Federal tax return.  The audited financial statements include the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc. and its subsidiaries and support organizations; accordingly the Federal tax return and audited financial statements do not reconcile. During 2016, Manatee Community Foundation, Inc. changed its accounting period to a June 30 year end.
Nonprofit Manatee Community Foundation Inc
Address 2820 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone 941 747-7765