The Community Foundation of Collier County provides strategic philanthropy that strengthens our community - forever.
The Community Foundation was incorporated in 1985 by local visionaries who believed that a community foundation in Naples, like foundations in other cities across the country, could help charitable-minded people create legacies for the immediate and future needs of the area.
William Oberhelman, a retired businessman from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Donald T. Franke, a well-known Naples attorney, combined resources and formed a Board of like-minded citizens and raised $300,000 to fund the fledgling organization’s permanent charitable endowment. Bill Oberhelman was named executive director and Don Franke continued as chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Their dedicated efforts in the early years of the Foundation ensured a perpetual source of income to meet the ever-changing needs of Collier County.
The Foundation’s first grants, awarded in 1986, included seed money for a new agency – The Shelter for Abused Women, and support for construction of the band shell in Cambier Park. By 1987, assets increased to $975,000 and 21 nonprofits were awarded grants, among them funds for a recycling project at the Conservancy.
After many years, with generous community support, the Foundation’s assets have grown to over 60 million dollars. The Foundation currently manages hundreds of funds established by charitable individuals and organizations and makes grants from the investment earnings on these funds to address the community’s needs and issues.
Since 1985, the community has benefited from the power of this endowment, as the Foundation has been able to award millions of dollars in grants to hundreds of nonprofits and scholarship recipients.
What we do
The Community Foundation of Collier County is a tax exempt, public charitable fund, established in 1985 to increase and focus private philanthropy in the area. The Foundation manages a pool of permanent endowed funds established by charitable individuals, and makes grants from the investment earnings to address community needs and issues. Through sound investing, effective grantmaking and building the capacity of Collier County nonprofits, the Community Foundation seeks to strengthen our community forever.