By LOIS KINDLE
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay exists to give its donors and benefactors the opportunity to maximize their philanthropic giving over long periods of time. Every October, it encourages 501(c)(3) organizations throughout the Tampa Bay region, regardless of size, to file letters of intent and apply for grants.
Through its recent grant application process, the foundation has made it easier than ever to do so, and this year $1 million is up for grabs
“We have a pretty sophisticated scoring system rated by more than 50 people, including members of the foundation’s South Shore Council, who assess the potential impact of a proposed project, its ability to generate funding going forward and other factors,” said Wilma Norton, CFTB vice president of community engagement. “Preference isn’t given to nonprofits that have received grants in the past. We encourage those who haven’t been awarded a grant before to apply.”
Norton said the foundation likes to fill gaps in funding.
“Often a grassroots nonprofit group can have a significant impact in small community or constituency. If we could, we would fill all of the requests we receive for funding.”
Nevertheless, the foundation’s annual impact is significant.
During its last fiscal year, July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, it awarded $31,478,210 to 1,173 charitable organizations in the following areas: education; health and human services; youth development (public and private school programs, after-school, youth-leadership and non-school athletic programs; community development; arts, culture and humanities; faith-based (churches and organizations like Metropolitan Ministries, Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army); other (housing and shelter; military and veterans; animal welfare, environment); and more.
The competitive grants process is one part of the foundation’s annual giving.
“This process will go beyond the monetary awards we make,” Norton said. “We’re going to provide a list of the top applications we receive to all our fundholders and the community by publishing the details of these proposals on our website in the hope those we can’t fund will find another benefactor.”
The competitive grants process opened Oct. 18. Here’s the schedule of deadlines for those who want to request funding:
• Letters of intent to apply are due no later than Nov. 12;
• Letters of intent notifications inviting those who qualify to fully apply will go out Dec. 10;
• Full applications are due by Jan. 10;
• Grant recipients will be notified April 8.
All details of the competitive grants process can be found at www.cftampabay.org. Questions can be directed to Jessica Scites, director of nonprofit relations, by emailing email@example.com. Links can also be found on Facebook.