Community Foundation News

Community Foundation Grants Record $9.98 Million to Charities in Fiscal Year

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties celebrated another year of monumental charitable giving.

Collectively, community impact funds of the Community Foundation granted nearly $1.6 million to nonprofit organizations in 2017.

In addition, the Community Foundation facilitated gifts of nearly $7 million to dozens of nonprofit organizations and $1.3 million in scholarships to 125 students. The Foundation currently has $160 million in assets under administration.

 “We’re here to serve as a resource and partner,” said Brad Hurlburt, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Our funding priorities for this year’s competitive grants included endowment building for our local nonprofit organizations and protecting and preserving the local environment. We also supported Achieve Palm Beach County, a collective impact initiative focused on enhancing the education system in Palm Beach County with other community partners.”

Community Impact grants were awarded through several charitable funds at the Foundation, including the Community Impact Fund; the Marie Graber Martens Fund and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund.  

The competitive grant cycle opened last fall and the process included full proposals; site visits; committee evaluations and scoring; and final recommendations to the Community Foundation board in May.

Community impact grants are only one part of the Foundation’s annual grantmaking. Most grants are directed by donors to the causes they care about through their charitable giving funds at the Foundation.

The Foundation also has more than 100 scholarship funds, making it one of the largest providers of scholarships in the two counties. This year, the organization awarded a record $1.3 million to 125 local high school students.

For more information on the grants program, or about establishing a charitable fund at the Community Foundation, please call 561-659-6800 or visit

Here are the 2016-2017 grantees by category:


2016-2017 Community Impact Grants 
(directed by the Community Foundation)

($1,599,368 total)





(Funded by the Community Impact Fund)

Palm Beach County Food Bank                                                            $25,000



(Funded by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund and the Martens Fund)


Armory Art Center                                                                             $25,000

Boca Raton Museum of Art                                                              $25,000                                                

CROS Ministries                                                                                 $25,000

Cultural Council of Palm Beach County                                        $25,000

Delray Beach Public Library                                                             $25,000

Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation                                        $10,000

Education Foundation of Martin County                                        $25,000

Education Foundation of Palm Beach County                              $25,000

Families First of the Palm Beaches                                                 $10,000

Gale Academy Leadership Endowment Fund                              $1,100

Habitat for Humanity, Palm Beach County                                    $25,000

HomeSafe                                                                                            $25,000

Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County                                      $25,000

Palm Beach State College                                                                 $25,000

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League                                            $10,000

Place of Hope                                                                                       $10,000

Quantum House                                                                                   $25,000

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County                               $25,000

United Way of Palm Beach County                                                   $25,000

Urban League of Palm Beach County                                              $25,000

YWCA of Palm Beach County                                                              $25,000


2016-2017 COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANT AWARDS ($1,010,068)


City of West Palm Beach                                                                           $115,000  

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund)     

Grant Highlight: This project was a joint funding effort with the Knight Foundation, Quantum Foundation and the City of West Palm Beach Staff. This project – Phase II of Gehl Studios West Palm Beach included a Public Life Survey to develop a comprehensive understanding of West Palm Beach – and included challenged areas like Howard Park, Historic Northwest, Pleasant City, Coleman Park and Northwood. The Foundation’s efforts often include revitalizing neighborhoods, and this project helps improve quality of life for residents, identifies opportunities to re-energize community engagement and improve economic development.


The Everglades Foundation                                                             $153,900

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund)     


Florida Fishing Academy                                                                   $165,000

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund) 

Grant Highlight: Florida Fishing Academy aims to create a fun, interactive public messaging Mobile Lab that promotes advocacy across all demographics, especially at Palm Beach and Martin Counties schools. With this new hands-on educational program, our students, at their school, will explore a working model of Florida's watershed, the effects of pollution and beach erosion and how it relates to the marine-life food chain. Students will have the opportunity to hold various marine life critters in the touch tank, and they will participate in an oil spill clean-up activity. These activities will explore the importance of water quality, conservation and a healthy marine environment.   


Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park                                                       $83,489         

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund)     

Grant Highlight: This grant provides further curriculum for 1st – 12th grade on science education, now including sustainability. Students that come to MacArthur Beach will be taught to incorporate sustainability life practices into their everyday life, with a focus on freshwater and ocean conservation. With this new unifying idea/focus, the Park can emphasize sustaining healthy environment for all to enjoy, now and into the future.


The Institute for Regional Conservation                                                      $35,000         

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund)     


Friends of Mounts Botanical Garden                                                            $160,000       

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund)     

Nature Conservancy                                                                                          $50,000         

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund)     


Sandoway Discovery Center                                                                             $62,679         

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund)     


Grant Highlight: Sandoway's Jr. Naturalist Program provides a path to success for disadvantaged students from low socio-economic and minority backgrounds from Title 1 schools and programs including Florence Fuller, Paul's Place and the Achievement Center through activity based programing. Sandoway will expand its Junior Naturalist Program with the help of this grant to include environmental crises classes that emphasize participation, protection and preservation to more Title 1 students. Many of these students have never seen the ocean before.  It also includes transportation, as part of the problem is getting disadvantaged students to the center to give them this type of hands-on education. T


South Florida Science Center & Aquarium                                  $100,000        

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund)     


United Way of Palm Beach County                                              $85,000         

(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund; Community Impact Fund and Susan R. John W. Sullivan Fund for Martin County)





The Arts Council                                                                               $10,000         

(Mosaic Fund) 

Bethesda Hospital Foundation                                                      $25,000

(Richard and Helen Grant Fund)      


Children's Case Management Organization (Families First of PBC)       $2,700

(Abby Gelles Knott Fund)         


 (Lawrence A. Sanders Fund to Promote Literacy and the Early Childhood Education Fund)


Digital Vibez                                                                                        $4,000

(Bailey Stein Fund and Cliff Williams Youth Recreation Fund)


Florida Outreach Center for the Blind                                              $1,000

(Perry-Belle and Phillip O’Connell Pioneer Fund)


Martin County School District                                                           $7,500


Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach                                         $17,000         

(The Walden Fund)


Speak Up For Kids of Palm Beach County                                    $8,500

(Henry and Mildred Baldwin Memorial Endowment Fund and Jack Taylor Fund for Abuse and Neglected Children) 


Student Aces                                                                                      $3,500

(John Giba Youth Leadership Fund)       


The Scripps Research Institute                                                        $34,000

(Betty S. Price Fund )        


West Palm Beach Library Foundation                                           $10,000         

(Lawrence A. Sanders Fund to Promote Literacy and the Early Childhood Education Fund)