$19 million fund opens for Pinellas nonprofits’ capital needs

Grants, available through Pinellas Community Foundation, empower local nonprofits to expand services and upgrade facilities, enabling them to uplift the community further. Grant funding will be distributed in multiple rounds, and organizations can apply in the first round through Sept. 8. Pictured Charlie Justice, chairman of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners


ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF), in collaboration with Pinellas County Government, has opened grant applications for the capital needs of nonprofits recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pinellas County has invested $19 million in this program from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to empower nonprofits to expand services and upgrade facilities. Grant funding will be distributed in multiple rounds, and organizations can apply in the first round through Sept. 8.

Grants from the fund will go towards small and large-scale capital needs, with funding decisions made through a competitive grant process. Interested nonprofits may apply for grants online through the Pinellas Community Foundation website at pinellascf.org/arpa/.

The first round of applications is expected for approval by mid-November, with funding by December.

“COVID held our community back for two years,” said Duggan Cooley, CEO of PCF. “This program will push us forward five years,” he said, noting that, within five years, this effort “will propel our nonprofits to the next level of resiliency and widen the safety net for our residents while providing for our community’s future needs.”

Charlie Justice, chairman of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, underscored the importance of nonprofits in the county’s recovery from COVID-19.

“Now is the time to invest in their capital needs, so they can further strengthen our community, especially our most vulnerable residents,” said Justice.

Pinellas County and PCF have a history of collaborating on grant programs. In 2020, the county partnered with PCF to establish the Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund using funds from the federal CARES Act. As the county’s partner, PCF administered CARES Act funds, distributing more than $17 million to nonprofit agencies that supply food services and programs in behavioral health and legal aid for housing.

Cooley is excited to continue supporting Pinellas County’s efforts to uplift local nonprofits through the new ARPA Nonprofit Capital Project Fund. The funds will help put local nonprofits back in motion, said Cooley.

“From small capital purchases to large capital projects, the funds will go towards assets that will serve the community five years and beyond.”

To identify areas of need, Pinellas County conducted a needs assessment survey in January with local nonprofits. The survey revealed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Pinellas County’s nonprofits. Feeding organizations serving residents countywide said their services more than doubled since the pandemic, with one-third forced to cut services.

Among the 124 survey responses, the majority reported needing new facilities or facility upgrades, vehicles, and information technology services and equipment, especially to support continuums of care.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) is an emergency legislative package designed to facilitate nationwide recovery from the devastating economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The bill allocated $350 billion to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments. Pinellas County government received approximately $189 million, of which $19 million is earmarked to aid nonprofits with capital projects and purchases. For information on other projects funded by Pinellas County’s ARPA program, visit covid19.pinellascounty.org/arpa

Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF), created in 1969, holds millions of dollars in assets invested for the community’s benefit. PCF funds effective solutions for our most challenging social, environmental, and educational issues while supporting the advancement of arts and culture. More than 400 charitable organizations have received $95 million in donor-funded grants to support their community programs. The purpose and mission of PCF are made possible through the generosity of thousands of donors giving at all levels. For information, call 727-531-0058.

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