Our Impact

Civic Leadership

United in Change

The Community Foundation’s work stretches beyond grantmaking to advance diverse ideas, perspectives and solutions across Northeast Florida. Leveraging all forms of capital—social, moral, intellectual, reputational and financial—we serve as true community stewards and partners. Bringing deep and broad experience and understanding, we create impactful inroads and bridges to achieve lasting change.

Jacksonville Public Education Fund

In 2005, The Community Foundation launched The Quality Education for All Initiative, a 10-year, $2 million investment to improve Duval County public education. The initiative brought together more than two dozen community leaders, while also creating the Jacksonville Public Education Fund in just 18 months. Today, JPEF serves as an advocate and catalyst, mobilizing diverse stakeholders in a constructive partnership with the school district.

First Coast Relief Fund

The Community Foundation, United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund joined forces in 2016 to establish the First Coast Relief Fund, in order to raise funds and mobilize emergency aid for those impacted by natural disasters. Since then, the Fund has provided relief during multiple hurricanes and the pandemic.

Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee

The Community Foundation answered a call for action in 2019 to focus on young people in our court system. As part of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC), participants reviewed current juvenile diversion programming in the Fourth Circuit, and produced a comprehensive report and recommendations to reduce juvenile recidivism and crime in Northeast Florida. Read the report.

Partnership for Mental Health

As an initiative of the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund, we joined with Baptist Health to focus $2.4 million on improving access and strengthening the region’s mental and behavioral health care systems. The Partnership for Mental Health provided sixty grants to 49 local agencies in their pursuit of innovative ways to address mental health in our region.

Common Goals, Shared Success

The Community Foundation, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, United Way of Northeast Florida and the Henri Landwirth Family Advised Fund began hosting a series of conversations to understand the state of housing and homelessness in our region. Initiating, supporting and guiding a high-level report and strategic roadmap, we created a common data set and recommendations to guide a more effective and efficient community response.

Caring for Our Community

Working collaboratively as funding partners, The Community Foundation, the Riverside Hospital Foundation, Baptist Health and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund supported the launch of JaxCareConnect, which then positioned this new initiative to receive support from the City of Jacksonville and other supporters for its initial three-year pilot. The project serves uninsured Duval County adults ages 18 to 64 who have incomes of 250% or below the federal poverty guidelines, addressing complex care needs in our community while also avoiding costly hospitalizations.

Partnering with the City of Jacksonville

In the months prior to the 2015 election for the mayor of the City of Jacksonville, we joined with other funders and the nonprofit community to talk about how we could work more closely with city government to have a shared agenda on important issues. Those conversations led to an agreement in 2016 with the newly elected mayor, Lenny Curry, to create a new senior advisor position in his administration that would be known as Director of Strategic Partnerships. Initial funding for the position came from local funders, including The Community Foundation, with a commitment by the City to incrementally fund the position each year and fully fund it by the City’s 2019-20 fiscal year. Dawn Lockhart was hired to be the first Director of Strategic Partnerships for the City of Jacksonville in 2017, and she has worked tirelessly to find ways to unite government and private philanthropy for the betterment of our entire community.
Dawn Lockhart, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the City of Jacksonville

Interested in learning more? Contact us.

Here to Help

For more information, contact:

Wanda Willis, M.A.

Vice President,  Civic Leadership


Kalilah Jamall

Civic Leadership Impact Officer