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Community Foundation of Tampa Bay creates Critical Needs List for nonprofits

Mark Parker



The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay are among the organizations that could benefit from the Critical Needs List. Photo: Boys & Girls Clubs.

Nonprofits in the Tampa Bay area now have somewhere to turn to when faced with an unexpected, immediate need critical to continuing their mission.

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay (CFTB) has recently launched its Critical Needs List to highlight imminent threats that affect a local nonprofit’s ability to serve the community. Critical needs are unbudgeted, unforeseen and time-sensitive needs that could significantly interfere with a nonprofit’s ability to provide vital services. The idea stems from CFTB’s original Nonprofit Needs List that originated in April 2020 in response to the pandemic and ended last April.

“It was so popular and met so many needs, and the needs still continue, so we decided to launch this second list,” said Sheila Kinman, Sr. Vice President of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

Kinman said that the comprehensive list, where donors and nonprofits can directly come together, has been well-received and seems to be an unmet need in the community. Differing from competitive grants nonprofits simply need to register with CFTB, and their urgent need and specific information relating to the issue will appear on the list. Donors can then promptly provide the necessary help without those in need competing with other organizations or waiting for a funding cycle.

Examples of what goes on the list include the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa, whose catalytic converters were recently stolen off of its transportation buses – an unforeseen problem that is crucial to daily operations. Another example is Shepherd’s Village, which provides housing and support for single mothers, and whose washer and dryer have unexpectedly stopped working.

“These are just unforeseen, critical needs that could disrupt their service,” said Kinman. “So, we’re just helping them get the word out and hoping that donors will step in and leverage each other’s donations together to make something happen.”

As a bonus, CFTB will also match donations from its fundholders that give to these critical needs. For every $3 that comes out of donor-advised funds, CFTB will match $1. The minimum match is $250, and the maximum is $5,000.

“So that’s a really nice thing for fundholders and the nonprofits they are going to help,” said Kinman.

Through the original Nonprofit Needs List, CFTB provided $4.5 million in support to nonprofits between March 2020 and April 2021. That list helped over 765,000 local residents, and many more organizations received contributions directly from philanthropists who viewed the list. Kinman is hoping for a similar or greater impact with the new Critical Needs List.

“We don’t foresee a time when these critical needs will go away anytime soon,” said Kinman. “So, we will offer this list and fulfill this need as long as it’s needed.”

Registration for nonprofits is quick and easy, and new submissions are added to the list once the nonprofit has been verified – usually within 24 to 48 hours. Philanthropists can search the list using the organization’s name, focus area or geographic area. The amount of funding needed is also listed.

Kinman would like to stress that if there are nonprofits that need to register or if anyone would like to donate, please go to the website. You can also view the list at

Nonprofits are also still encouraged to submit applications for the competitive grants cycle, which opens Oct. 13. It will award approximately $1 million in competitive grants to local nonprofits this year.






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