In our recent article, the Sanibel New Resident Guide, we outlined a few helpful resources to answer common questions that new residents have. Before we knew it, the guide became “information overload,” so we decided to break the list of Sanibel nonprofits and local memberships into a separate article here.
Take a peak at some of the great non-profit organizations on island, as well as a few city-run programs in which residents should take full advantage. Let me know if I left any out – we’ll be adding to the list as we go.
Sanibel Non-Profit Organizations, Clubs and Memberships
Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum – This non-profit is an island favorite and in fact the only shell and mollusk museum in the Nation! There are plenty of volunteer opportunities, and programs to get involved in as an island resident. Click here for more information.
BIG ARTS – Another island favorite, this non-profit was started by the community for the community. BIG ARTS is a special gathering place for artistic and educational experiences for all ages. Check out the volunteer opportunities and membership benefits by clicking here to their website.
CROW Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife – Caring for the island’s sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife is the mission of this Sanibel non-profit organization. CROW offers a number of educational opportunities and relies on it’s volunteers to care for the 3,500 wildlife patients it typically receives each year. Click here for more information on how to get involved.
J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Friends of the Refuge is a non-profit organization that supports Ding Darling and the environmental education services on Sanibel Island. There are a number of ways to support the refuge, either through funding or volunteer work. Read more by clicking here to the Ding Darling Society website.
F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva – F.I.S.H. is a human services organization with a mission of “neighbors helping neighbors” here on the islands. F.I.S.H. offers an array of Food Programs (F), Island Based Workshops (I), Social Services (S), and Helping Hands (H). Find out how you can get involved at www.fishofsancap.org/.
Kiwanis Club Sanibel & Captiva Islands – Focused on the children of Sanibel and Captiva, Kiwanis is a service club of about 95 members here on the island. These island residents and businessmen have been serving the community for years, funding a number of scholarships and organizing community events. Click here to learn more about Kiwanis Club of Sanibel & Captiva.
Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) – This non-profit organization is dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on the islands. You can help SCCF in many ways to support their landscape and garden center, walking trails, marine laboratory and more. Click here for more information on SCCF programs.
Sanibel Captiva Lions Club – An international organization, the Lions Club is a non-profit serving local communities through advocacy, environmental, health, and youth programs. With weekly meetings and numerous ways to get involved, the San Cap Lions Club is a great way to meet others while serving the community. Click here for more information.
Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club – “Bringing out the best in kids,” is the mission of the San-Cap Optimist Club, another great non-profit organization here on the islands. The club hosts a number of your favorite island events each year, and also offers scholarships for the island’s youth. Visit their Facebook by clicking here.
Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club – An active service club here on the Islands, the Rotary Club hosts events and fundraisers to provide financial support to a number of local organizations. The club meets for breakfast and networking every week, where all rotary members and visiting members are welcome to join. Check out the San-Cap Rotary Club website for more information.
Sanibel Community House – A cornerstone in the Sanibel Community, this non-profit operates on Membership dues, fundraisers, special events, donations and room rental income. The Community House mission is “To enrich community spirit through educational, cultural and social gatherings in our historic Community House.” Click here to learn more about the Community House.
Sanibel Historical Museum and Village – Seven historic buildings were moved from their original island sites to make up the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village. Tours and events at the village are run by trained docents and volunteers like yourself! Check out the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village website here to learn how to get involved.
Sanibel Public Library – Our library is one of our favorite places on the island, and has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the country. There are a number of programs, including great kids camps, and knowledgeable librarians who are always happy to help. Click here to learn more about library cards which are free to all residents.
Sanibel Recreation Center – Open to the public, this City of Sanibel facility includes treadmills, weight equipment, heated pools, tennis courts, fitness classes, and a gymnasium. A number of different memberships are available. Click here to learn more.
Sanibel Sea School – With camps for kids and adults, the Sanibel Sea School is a popular educational source for the whole family. The school has opened new locations and now offers more programs than before, therefore, they are always welcoming willing volunteers. Click here to check out the Sanibel Sea School website.
Tarpon Bay Explorers – A licensed concession of Ding Darling, Tarpon Bay Explorers offers an array of tours and cruises packed with environment education. You can rent everything from kayaks and bikes to motorized canoes, and enjoy a day of exploration on the water. Click here for more information on Tarpon Bay Explorers.
Sanibel Churches – Last, but certainly not least, there are a number of Churches and other non-profit organizations on the island that thrive on the work of their volunteers. Some of the island’s churches include the Sanibel Community Church, the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, St. Isabel Catholic Church, Saint Micheal & All Angels Episcopal Church, and the Captiva Chapel by the Sea. Getting involved in a parish here on Sanibel and Captiva is one of the best ways to meet other island residents and welcome visitors to our wonderful community.