Eleven Emerging Philanthropists Award $55,000 in Grants through the Weaver Philanthropic Initiative

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The group represents the tenth class to complete the experiential learning program in its 25-year history

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Eleven emerging philanthropists have completed the Weaver Philanthropic Initiative, The Community Foundation’s hands-on learning program about strategic philanthropy, and made grants totaling $55,000 to support nonprofits that align with their philanthropic missions.

The 2024 class participated in six months of facilitated learning, exploring the needs and opportunities in the Northeast Florida region, and studying frameworks for strategic philanthropy that enabled them to clarify their personal giving approach. The 2024 class includes Ansley Busch, Brian Bush, Maureen Bush, Marion Cangemi, Melanie Cost Young, Stephanie Harden, Brooke Michaelis, Shelita McGowan, Erik Rostholder, Entrice Rowe, and Jake Wolfburg.

“It has been a privilege to work with the 2024 class of the Weaver Philanthropic Initiative,” said Tom Caron, Vice President of Donor Services. “These young leaders have demonstrated their commitment to making their community a better place through strategic philanthropy, and we are proud to support them in their philanthropic journeys.”

After exploring community issues and defining their philanthropic priorities, each class member chooses a nonprofit in which to invest. The Community Foundation matches each participant’s grant with discretionary dollars, resulting in a grant of $5,000 to each of the following nonprofits:

  • 904WARD
  • Ability Housing
  • Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida
  • Child Guidance Center
  • Daniel Kids
  • Feeding Northeast Florida
  • Florida Nonprofit Alliance
  • Here Tomorrow
  • Jacksonville Jewish Center
  • Read USA
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville

The Community Foundation has been identifying and guiding the next generation of philanthropists through this program since 1999. In 2013, in recognition of the philanthropic leadership of J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, the initiative was renamed the Weaver Philanthropic Initiative. There are now more than 100 alumni of the initiative, now in its 25th year.

“The Weaver Philanthropic Initiative is a powerful experience that helped me think more strategically about my own philanthropy, with a clearer understanding of how to align future giving with my motivation and values, as well as a more complete understanding of the landscape of need and opportunity in our community,” said Melanie Cost Young, one of the participants. “It helps foster a multi-generational sense of generosity, a gift that I look forward to sharing with my family, as well.”

About The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (, Florida’s oldest and one of its largest community foundations, works to stimulate philanthropy to build a better community. The Foundation helps donors invest their philanthropic gifts wisely, helps nonprofits serve the region effectively, and helps people come together to make the community a better place. Now in its 60th year, the Foundation manages more than $650 million in assets as of 12/31/2023 and has made more than $750 million in grants since inception.


Contact: Stephanie Garry Garfunkel
VP, Strategic Communications
904-356-4483 |

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