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.
In December, Peek proceeds for the year 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. An award ceremony is held at which representatives from each organization receive their checks.