St. Petersburg Shared Services Organization (SSO)

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Pinellas Community Foundation, in collaboration with the City of St. Petersburg, is launching an initiative to support the infrastructure of nonprofits through the establishment of a Shared Services Organization (SSO).

This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP2658 awarded to the City of St. Petersburg by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This effort utilizes funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Grant Portal

No application is currently active.


View documents related to selection of Lead Nonprofit and SSO.


View updates on community progress.

Guiding Principles

PCF will exhibit transparency with all transactions from this fund while providing an opportunity for the community to observe and participate in our collective efforts.

PCF will share accountability with our grantees for the outcomes of this project and provide an opportunity to learn from both success and failure.

PCF will act with urgency to ensure funds are deployed to organizations in a responsible yet rapid fashion to meet critical needs without unnecessary delay.

PCF will ensure accessibility to nonprofits of a variety of sizes and abilities to ensure funds reach deeply into the community to provide the necessary support.

PCF will apply a lens of equity to deliberations and decisions to ensure the needs of our most vulnerable community members are addressed.

This process is different from other programs that PCF operates. It is a vendor procurement process rather than a grantmaking program. PCF encourages you to thoroughly read through this webpage to determine if your organization is a good fit for this opportunity.


Who: Pinellas Community Foundation, in collaboration with the City of St. Petersburg, is launching an initiative to support residents of St. Petersburg and local nonprofits’ ability to serve them. This project is being supported by federal funding under ARPA SLFRF awarded to the City of St. Petersburg as a direct recipient with application ID SLT-2055, by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

What: This initiative has two parts: 1) Community Support Hubs (“Hubs”) to address the need for mental healthcare and other services in St. Pete neighborhood(s), and 2) a Nonprofit Incubator, which will support small nonprofits with administrative and other needs.

  1. One organization (“the Lead Nonprofit”) will be chosen to operate the Hubs. The Hubs will have three main functions: licensed care from therapists, neighborhood outreach, and resource navigation/case management. Hubs will have access to emergency funds to quickly alleviate crisis situations in order to stabilize the individual or family. PCF has selected The Well to be the Lead Nonprofit.
  2. A second organization will be chosen to operate the Nonprofit Incubator, which will provide administrative support, evaluation and research services, and other assistance as needed to help build the capacity of the Lead Nonprofit and the local nonprofit community.

Why: COVID-19 increased financial and social stress on our community and has led to an increased need for mental health support. Neighborhood-based social services provided in a comfortable, trusted environment will help address these concerns in the St. Petersburg community. In addition, the local nonprofit community has repeatedly expressed the need to increase their administrative capacity in order to better deliver their services.

Where: This initiative will take place within the City of St. Petersburg.

When: This initiative will begin in early 2023 and last through the end of 2026. For specific dates, please see the process timeline.

Selection Process

Two agencies will be selected to collaborate closely for the success of this initiative.

Lead Nonprofit Selection

PCF ran a procurement process in Spring 2023 and selected The Well to lead the implementation of the Community Support Hubs. The Well’s application is available for review.

Shared Services Organization (SSO/Nonprofit Incubator) Selection

The City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas Community Foundation are collaborating to select a Shared Services Organization, or Nonprofit Incubator, to support nonprofits serving the residents of St. Petersburg.

The goal of the SSO is to provide direct services to help nonprofits strengthen their infrastructure, so that they are better equipped to offer sustainable programming to the St. Petersburg community.

These services may include, and are not limited to:

  • Program design, planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation
  • Financial management including accounting and payroll
  • Grant writing
  • Communications and marketing
  • Technology, including general IT and database creation
  • Legal and other operational and administrative support
  • Leadership training for staff and board, including professional development.

The SSO will be also expected to support the Lead Agency of the Community Support HUBs, another ARPA-funded project. This support will take the form of direct services as well as program evaluation meant to understand the community impact of the HUBs.


The strongest applicants will demonstrate their team’s expertise providing support to nonprofits. They will also have a clear, detailed proposal for the structure of the SSO as well as for its sustainability beyond the ARPA funding. Entities in the Tampa Bay area will be prioritized.

To be eligible to apply and potentially be selected as the Nonprofit Incubator Provider, an organization must:

  • Be able to apply under its own EIN
  • Have a history of providing effective support to nonprofits in St. Petersburg, and/or have team members with a history of providing effective support to nonprofits in St. Petersburg
  • Demonstrate a readiness to implement the Nonprofit Incubator concept, meaning a detailed plan to roll out services and considerations around sustainability
  • Have experience providing support to nonprofits that serve a variety of demographics reflective of St. Petersburg’s population, including Black and Hispanic residents
  • Be working independently from the Community Support Hubs (meaning you are not under contract or influencing decision making at the HUBs)
  • Have team members with experience evaluating a range of nonprofits, including those that receive state and federal grant money
  • Have team members (or proposed team members) with experience successfully writing and administering state, federal, and foundation grants
  • Have team members (or proposed team members) with experience consulting with nonprofits in areas of finances and management
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to allocating resources according to need


Selection Criteria and Process

Organizations interested in serving as the SSO must complete a detailed application. Applications will be reviewed by an external committee, which will then make a recommendation to PCF.

The scoring rubric is available under Sample Documents. If PCF receives fewer than three total applications, all will proceed to the committee meeting. If PCF receives more than three, only the three top-scoring applications will be considered at the committee meeting.

Applicants will be asked to provide a detailed proposal of how they believe a successful SSO would operate. This includes services that should be offered to nonprofits, the method of offering those services, ideas for marketing the SSO to small or lower-capacity nonprofits, operational budget, etc.

In addition, organizations should be able to demonstrate an excellent understanding of nonprofit needs in St. Petersburg. Experience providing consulting to nonprofits is strongly preferred. Organizations will be asked to show evidence of positive outcomes in their past work with nonprofits, and should also demonstrate their experience working with federal funding and/or an understanding of federal Uniform Guidance.

There is a total of $2,500,000 available for the SSO to be used throughout the entire funding period. The SSO will be expected to create a sustainability plan for operations beyond 2026. There is no guarantee of a continuation of funding at the end of the ARPA spending period in 2026.

SSO Selection Timeline

As stated above, if PCF receives fewer than three total applications, all will proceed to the committee meeting. Should PCF receive more than three, only the three top-scoring applications will be considered at the committee meeting.

Please note if you are invited to move forward in the process, attendance is required for both the in-person and virtual committee meeting. As the review period approaches, additional meeting details will be forthcoming. PCF asks that all interested organizations hold these dates and times in advance.

SSO Application Period9/5/23 to 10/13/23
SSO Webinar (Register Here)9/12/23
Technical Assistance Session 19/26/23
Technical Assistance Session 210/3/23
PCF Due Diligence on Submissions10/16/23 to 10/20/23
SSO Application Review10/20/23 to 11/13/23
SSO Committee Questions Sent to Applicants11/14/23
SSO Committee Review Meeting, Session 1 (In-Person)11/16/23, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
SSO Committee Review Meeting, Session 2 (Virtual)11/17/23, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
SSO Selection Announcement11/20/23 to 11/21/23

Funding Requirements

The Lead Nonprofit and Nonprofit Incubator will be considered subrecipients of federal funding, and as such will be bound by Uniform Guidance for Federal Awards. Since the awards will exceed the $750,000 threshold of federal funding, both the Lead Nonprofit and Nonprofit Incubator will be subject to Federal Single Audits. The cost of these audits may be billed to this grant, and should be included as part of your application’s budget.

PCF will provide technical assistance to help ensure the Lead Nonprofit and Nonprofit Incubator comply with Uniform Guidance, but the responsibility of compliance is ultimately the responsibility of each entity. Both entities will also be subject to intermittent subrecipient monitoring by PCF to ensure that funds are being used appropriately, as well as to ensure there are sufficient internal controls in managing funds. This subrecipient monitoring will include site visits and fiscal training.

The Lead Nonprofit, Nonprofit Incubator, City of St. Petersburg, and PCF will collaborate on an annual report to keep the public informed as to the progress of this initiative. This report will be disseminated on the PCF website as well as to City of St. Petersburg officials.


Technical Assistance

If you need help developing your application, you can request such assistance below.

This form should not be used for bugs or issues using the grant portal. Those questions can be directly emailed to Jocelyn Howard, ARPA Senior Program Officer.

By entering data into this form, you are NOT subscribing to any mailing lists. Any information submitted that is not related to technical assistance for the application will not receive a response. Furthermore, any information submitted through this form may be subject to public record.


What is a Shared Services Organization?

A Shared Services Organization, or SSO, provides services directly to nonprofit organizations. Essentially, the nonprofits that benefit from the SSO are “sharing” a pool of direct services and organizational infrastructure. These services might include policy development, marketing materials, or financial management, to name a few.

What is the SSO’s relationship with the Community Support HUBs?

The SSO will provide direct services to The Well, which is the Lead Nonprofit of the Community Support HUBs. In addition, the SSO will be responsible for program and impact evaluation of the HUBs’ work in St. Petersburg. The work with The Well is in addition to the other nonprofits that the SSO will serve.

Do I have to provide all of the services described in the RFP?

The list of services in the RFP is not exhaustive. It’s meant to demonstrate the scope of possible services that an SSO may provide to our nonprofit community. Your application should demonstrate that you have capacity to provide a range of high-quality services, based on your knowledge and expertise around the needs of local nonprofit organizations.

Can I upload any additional documentation to my applicati, such as extra testimonials?n

Yes, you can use the “Additional Documentation” field on the application to upload any documentation that you feel strengthens your proposal. This additional documentation will not be scored, and you are not required to upload additional documentation. The additional documentation should be uploaded as a PDF and capped at 10 pages.

Is there a cap on indirect costs?

Yes. ARPA guidelines state that there is a 10% cap on indirect costs.

Can my organization include staff or experts from out of state?

This process prioritizes organizations that have direct experience working with nonprofits that serve St. Petersburg residents. There is no prohibition on having team members based elsewhere.


Who selects the SSO provider?

A committee composed of qualified community members will review and score all proposals according to the rubric.

Where can I go for support and technical assistance?

We are holding virtual technical assistance sessions to provide clear feedback on written application content and/or specific questions related to your proposal or organization. In addition, you can submit a support request or contact ARPA team members directly. 

How will these funds be managed by PCF?

Pinellas Community Foundation has over 50 years of experience managing assets provided in trust by the community. The Funds will be held in trust and checking accounts for the sole purpose of distribution under the guidelines which established the fund. When organizations are contracted to provide services, funds will be provided after the organization signs a grant agreement certifying their compliance with various requirements. The funds will be transferred to the Lead Nonprofit and Nonprofit Incubator via check.

How do individuals get help?

Pinellas Community Foundation is not providing social support directly. If you are in current need of financial assistance, please call 2-1-1 from your phone or visit

We Can Help

Jocelyn Howard

Jocelyn Howard

Senior Program Officer, ARPA

Rose Cervantes

Rose Cervantes

Program Director, ARPA

Rebecca Hughes

Rebecca Hughes

Grants Manager, ARPA

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Kids paint as part of the 2022 MLK Day activities in St. Petersburg.
MLK Family Fun Festival” by City of St Petersburg is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 / Cropped from original and used as feature image with overlaid gradient and text.