Women’s Foundation of SWFL Announces Program to Motivate Local Women to Save for College by Matching Their Savings Dollar for Dollar

May 26, 2016 – (Naples, Florida) – The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida has announced a partnership with Florida Community Bank, and United Way of Collier County, to launch a program designed to empower women in Southwest Florida through education – Becoming Economically Successful Together (B.E.S.T.) enables working women, earning low to moderate incomes to improve their lives by establishing money saving goals and setting aside a portion of their earnings in FDIC-insured accounts. Once the savings goal is reached, every dollar collected will be matched dollar for dollar to pay directly for education or training at a qualified institution such as Hodges University, a Foundation partner.

The pilot program is funded by a $100,000 federal grant from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Assets for Independence. The federal funds will be matched by $100,000 in non-federal funds pledged by donors and corporate underwriters.


“Florida ranks in the bottom third nationally among women 25 years and older holding at least a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, we know that education is the key to higher paying jobs and financial security for women and their families,” stated Nancy Merolla, Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida Board Chair and Florida Community Bank Vice President. “This first-of-its-kind grant in the history of Southwest Florida will allow corporations, government agencies and nonprofits to partner together to make this pilot project successfully in creating a network that allows women and girls in Southwest Florida to thrive through education – this is both empowering for them and exciting for us.”

For additional information visit: http://fundwomenfl.org/initiatives/save-for-college/

About The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida

The Women’s Foundation, serving Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties, is the only non-profit in Southwest Florida focused exclusively on women and girls and was the first to publish academic research assessing the status of women in the area. Signature programs include (1) stopping the sale of our children for sex and (2) economic security for females. The Board of Directors will build a $5 million endowed organization dedicated to the advancement of women and girls in Southwest Florida by 2020. With this sustained funding source, The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida will make significant and sustainable investments in collaborative partnerships, create and fund innovative solutions to complex problems and deliver measurable impact.  For more information, visit http://www.fundwomenfl.org or email contact@FundWomenFL.org. Follow The Women’s Foundation online at http://facebook.com/WomensFundFL and on http://twitter.com/WomensFundFL.