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Tampa Bay SVP CARES launches as an aggregate nonprofit response to Covid-19

Megan Holmes



City of St. Pete Flickr

Social Venture Partners Tampa Bay has launched a new tool to aggregate data on the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on nonprofits and provide a central place for volunteers and donors to reach nonprofits in need.

“In most disasters – financial or otherwise – volunteers play a core role in response and recovery,” said Irv Cohen, Chair SVP Tampa Bay in a release. “But COVID-19 has been a triple-whammy on the social sector – disrupting event fundraising, hitting mission delivery revenue models and the kicker, it’s not safe for volunteers to engage the way they normally do to help a nonprofit deliver on its mission.”

That triple whammy requires a multi-front response. That’s why the Tampa Bay SVP COVID-19 Assessment and Response Engagement System (or CARES) site gathers stories from impacted local nonprofits and collects data on losses related to pandemic, from lost volunteer hours, lost revenue from social enterprises or slowed donations. The site also allows visitors to see which nonprofits have been most significantly impacted by the pandemic, and donate directly to them from one central platform.

In fact, for 95 percent of organizations, the donation goes straight to their own online fundraising platform with no administrative fee. But for other, smaller organizations without the online infrastructure to collect donations, SVP Cares provides that infrastructure and advances the dollars raised straight to the organization with no fee.

Alongside the response and recovery features of the site, it collects opportunities and features ways that volunteers can engage with local nonprofit efforts during this pandemic, either remotely or following CDC social distancing guidelines.

“Beyond the current crisis, this online tool will build a repository of data for our community, that showcases all of our nonprofits,” Cohen said. “It will continue to be an evergreen source of connection between community members who care and the important work our nonprofits do – in good times and bad.”

SVP Tampa Bay is the local chapter of a global network of community leaders and philanthropists that seeks to increase the impact of nonprofit organizations through investment funding and mentorship. It’s best known for hosting the annual Fast Pitch program, helping nonprofits develop social enterprises, a model that combines the social mission of a nonprofit with the market-driven approach of a business venture.

Through Fast Pitch, and in partnership with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, local nonprofits have the opportunity to raise the profile of their organization in the Tampa Bay community and vie for unrestricted cash prize funding.

With that history, SVP Tampa Bay has been building strong relationships with nonprofits large and small for years. In the face of the devastating pandemic, SVP Tampa Bay is poised to help the region’s social sector respond to increased need and recover quickly.

The project uniquely engages the expertise and financial support of not just the members of Social Venture Partners, but key leaders in Tampa Bay’s nonprofit community. The effort is part of the global SVP community. Cincinnati-based Inspiring Service was the first organization to launch the CARES platform, followed by Tampa Bay, and more cities are expected to join in the coming days and weeks.

Visit the CARES site at The platform is available at no cost to nonprofits and prospective volunteers.


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