Commissioner Putnam, Cabinet Approve Resolution To Honor Florida's Community Foundations

By: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Email
By: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Email

News Release: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Tallahassee, FL – The House Regulatory Affairs Committee today unanimously passed a bill proposed by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Cabinet today unanimously approved a resolution today to honor the 100th Anniversary of community foundations.

“Florida’s 29 community foundations connect charitable donors with the causes that matter to them, in order to improve the quality of life in our communities,” said Commissioner Putnam. “We are proud to recognize Florida’s community foundations and the positive impact they’ve had on our state over the last century.”

The first community foundation was created in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914 in order to pool charitable resources of the community members into a permanent endowment to benefit those in need. Community foundations in Florida now represent $1.8 billion in assets and give grants of more than $160 million each year.

In Florida, many community foundations are represented by the Florida Philanthropic Network, which partnered this year with Commissioner Putnam on a key proposal to strengthen reputable charities and help prevent fraud and deception.

The legislation, filed as HB 629 by Rep. Jim Boyd and as SB 638 by Sen. Jeff Brandes, would:

  • Ban organizations that have violated certain laws in other states from soliciting funds in Florida.
  • Prohibit felons from soliciting funds for charity.

  • Require professional solicitors who operate like telemarketers to provide fingerprints for background checks if they collect sensitive financial information, submit scripts used to conduct solicitations and report the percentage of contributions collected that will be provided to the charity.

  • Require a charity that receives more than $1 million, but spends less than 25 percent on its cause, to provide detailed information, including board members and family relationships between board members and staff.

  • Increase fines for fraudulent or deceptive acts in violation of the law.

The legislation would also create an interactive online database where consumers can access the information charities will be required to report. Information made available online would include: leadership, location, contact information, financial reports and actions taken by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for violations. With this information, Floridians can make informed decisions when choosing which organizations deserve their support.

To find more information on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit

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