Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund

Important Notice

The fund is closed and no longer accepting applications.

Pinellas Community Foundation led the county’s nonprofit granting efforts in support of organizations helping residents most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund addressed the needs of our most vulnerable residents whose health and well-being were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund provided over $18 million to augment nonprofit response efforts providing critical care of community residents.

Read the evaluation report to learn more about the impact of this effort.

Grant Portal

Access the PCF grant portal to complete outstanding reports.


View weekly documents, meetings, applications, and more.


View weekly grantee reports on awarded funds.

Guiding Principles

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

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

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

We 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.

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

Funding Priorities

This fund will focus on organizations that offer direct services provided in the following areas:

  • Providing greater access to food to address the sudden increase in food-insecure households.
  • Addressing the behavioral health needs of the community to promote good mental health, crisis intervention, and resiliency in light of increased isolation and stress.
  • Supporting eviction mitigation through legal aid for residents who require assistance to understand and protect their rights.

Programming must be focused on human services, not animal welfare.

More specific examples of programming that fits within these funding priorities can be found in the FAQs section below.

Population Priorities

  • Communities of color
  • Children and the elderly
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Persons employed in high-risk pandemic response jobs (e.g. front-line workers, nurses, medical housekeeping staff, nonprofit employees, law enforcement, first responders etc.)
  • Residents with language barriers
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Low-income families

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nonprofit organization as defined in IRS Code Section 501(c)(3), having such designation for AT LEAST one year at the time of application
  • Identified needs are Coronavirus/COVID-19-related
  • Demonstrated ability to offer expanded services addressing one of the fund’s priorities
  • Known commitment to addressing the needs of identified priority populations
  • Trusted ability to accomplish organizational mission
  • Proven performance on prior commitments to the community
  • Exhibits a defined plan to safely deliver services (e.g. ensuring social distance)
  • Assurance that funds granted will not supplant existing program funding sources, but will expand capacity or sustain already expanded programming
  • Expected ability to expend funds by December 30, 2020

We Can Help

Desktop computer showing webinar host.

Watch the Webinar

Cheri Wright-Jones

Cheri Wright-Jones

Senior Program Officer, CARES

Dr. Brittany Baldwin

Dr. Brittany Baldwin

Program Associate


More Pinellas County CARES Information


Post-Award Webinars


Survey for Recipients

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund?

The Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund is a Pinellas Community Foundation fund created by a $29.7 million grant from Pinellas County Government meant to help the critical nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to the most vulnerable of our local residents being affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis. This fund supports nonprofit organizations to cover increased demand for supplies and programs resulting from the impacts of COVID-19. The program will focus on nonprofit agencies that provide community services in the areas of food, behavioral health, and legal aid for housing.

These funds come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Congress designated a portion of funds to go to local governments to meet urgent financial needs within communities.

What organizations are able to receive assistance?

Note: As of noon, 11/5/2020, behavioral health proposals are no longer being accepted.

Nonprofit organizations recognized under IRC Section 501(c)3, having such designation for at least one year, and with programming focused on community services in the areas of food, behavioral health, and eviction mitigation through legal aid and that have experienced an increased demand for supplies and programs resulting from the impacts of COVID-19.

Food, behavioral health, and legal aid are critical services to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. These services can help address the personal economic impact of job loss and wage reductions resulting from COVID-19.

How much assistance is available through this fund?

The initial allocation of funding was $29.7 million. This total comes from a grant from Pinellas County Government utilizing funds allocated through the CARES Act.

What are typical funding requests for this grant process?

Typical funding requests will range between $25,000 and $250,000. Please review the entire application and its fiscal requirements before determining the total amount your organization will be requesting. Amounts above and below that are accepted, provided the request can be justified by community need. Requests at the higher end, or above this range must have a significant and sustained impact on the vulnerable community being served. Your organization’s capacity for spending a large amount of federal funds must also be justified.

What documentation is required to apply for this funding?

Applicants will need to provide a full application for funding that answers specific questions about grantee history of service delivery, financial capability, and budgeted expenditures. Application attachments include the most recently filed IRS Form 990, audited financial statements and management letter (if an audit was conducted). There will be collection of data about projected service levels and various certifications within the application.

There are specific budget narrative and budget summary templates to complete for this application. Click the following links to see examples of a complete budget narrative and budget summary. To see an instructional video of how to complete these forms, click here.

Are there specific agencies that the Fund will support?

Funding allocations will be prioritized generally among the following two categories: food and eviction mitigation through legal aid. As of noon, 11/5/2020, behavioral health proposals are no longer being accepted.

When is the application deadline?

Applications for funding will open at 9:00 a.m on Friday, August 7, 2020. Applications will be considered until all funding is exhausted. Applications for funding provided after November 15, 2020 are unlikely to be considered due to expenditure deadlines of December 30, 2020.

What are some examples of uses of the funding?

Examples of funding usage by category are:

  • Food
    • Providing greater access to emergency food by increasing the number of mobile food pantry events in the community
    • Expanding the volume of food provided by local food banks and pantries to people in need
    • Providing home-delivered meals to people who do not have available transportation or who are better served at home for health safety reasons
    • Increasing availability of shelf-stable staples to meet regular family nutrition requirements
    • Legal Aid and Housing
      • Increasing the availability of legal aid services so residents can assess and protect their rights to fair housing
      • Expanding legal aid services to assist tenants in negotiating settlements with landlords to avoid eviction
      • Augmenting availability of mediation programming for appropriate resolution of landlord-tenant disputes
      • Replacement of homeless shelter equipment due to COVID-19 related safety concerns (e.g. mattresses, pillows, etc.)
      • Acquisition of PPE to augment the safety of service providers and residents in programs addressing homelessness

    What are the grant agreements like under this program?

    To see a sample grant agreement for this program, click here. Please note, this is example is not universal and if your organization is awarded a grant, it may have different stipulations and requirements. 

    Is the funding limited to certain cities or counties?

    Funding is limited to programs and services serving residents of Pinellas County.

    How do individuals get help from the Fund?

    The Fund will support existing programs and organizations that provide direct support to individuals. This fund will not provide financial assistance to individuals themselves.

    How will the fund be managed?

    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 funds are awarded to an organization, they will be provided after the organization signs a grant agreement certifying their compliance with various requirements. The funds will be transferred to the organization via check.

    Who is making decisions about grant awards?

    A diverse committee comprised of invested community members and organizations will be reviewing applications and making recommendations for funding to the CEO of Pinellas Community Foundation. Committee recommendations to deny a funding request are final and will not be reconsidered. If an application is denied, an applicant may decide to apply again if deficiencies can be corrected.

    Community volunteers, PCF Board of Governors members, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, as well as members of the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund (Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, and United Way Suncoast) will be involved in the committee decision-making process, ensuring strong community-led decisions and information sharing.

    How will applications be scored?

    Applications will be scored using a standard rubric, which can be viewed by clicking here. Committee member scores will be posted along with the weekly minutes for each committee meeting. These minutes can be found on the Accountability page.

    What information will be available to the public from this grant process?

    All submitted applications will be available for public review. Partially completed applications will be available upon request. Committee meetings will be open to the public to view. Minutes and recordings of the meeting will be published on a weekly basis on our Accountability page.

    My organization would like to apply for funds but has limited experience with grants and reporting, can you help?

    Pinellas Community Foundation has retained the services of a well-qualified program design and evaluation expert to provide technical assistance to organizations to ensure success in accomplishing objectives of this grant funding. Watch the webinar for more information now.