After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in business, Lila Dickerson launched a career in real estate investment while also cultivating a deep respect for the environment around her. Long before topics like sea-level rise were on Greater Miami’s radar, Lila believed it was important to protect our natural resources sooner rather than later.

With the help of her financial advisor, Lila set up a charitable Fund at The Miami Foundation to support local environmental initiatives. Her passion for giving back also extended to children and education. Today, her forward-thinking enables us to support these causes and organizations working on the ground, such as Voices for Children Foundation, Overtown Youth Center and Miami Children’s Initiative.

Through our Community Grants program, the Foundation honors more than 100 donors, like Lila, who have created permanently endowed funds with the Foundation. Using the Our Miami Report in tandem with Fundholders’ intent, we connect donors’ philanthropic legacies with issues currently impacting Greater Miami’s quality of life. Because of them, we’re able to invest more than $1 million annually in solutions that improve the health, well-being and livelihood of local residents.

Lila Dickerson

While Lila’s passion for giving back started with the natural world, Staci’s, another Community Grants donor, started with her mother, a breast cancer survivor. Staci pushed for Florida to have a license plate for breast cancer research. From there, she began working with Lauren’s Kids, Florida Heart  and other nonprofits. But she still desired to do more.

“I really wanted to make some kind of an impact on children,” she said. “I know there is the well-being of youth and children category in the Community Grants, and I thought that would be a good idea to put the Fund to work.”

By setting up a Fund, Staci knows her assets will reach different organizations, causes and missions, now and for future generations. “I felt strongly that I wanted to touch and make some kind of an impact and help several causes,” Staci shared. “I find children are the most innocent and most vulnerable, and that’s why I’m doing this.”


Dana DeGreff is an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Miami and founder and executive director of PageSlayers Summer Camp.


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