New Critical Needs List aims to quickly connect local nonprofits with donors

When a nonprofit needs a hero right now, there’s a new targeted way for them to reach philanthropists who can step in and save the proverbial day. 

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay recently launched a Critical Needs List to connect potential donors and long-time philanthropists with urgent nonprofit needs. 

“It’s our hope that the Critical Needs List will enable nonprofits (and the funders who want to help) avoid an emergency that threatens to disrupt a vital service to our community,” says Community Foundation of Tampa Bay President and CEO Marlene Spalten.

Requests run the gamut from funds to purchase catalytic converters to replace those stolen from buses that service the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay to new washers and dryers for single mothers living at Shephard’s Village in Largo to roof repairs to Girls Incorporated of Pinellas in Pinellas Park.

Challenges such as the above can severely impact a nonprofit’s ability to help the populations they serve. Before the list’s existence, it could be difficult to spread the news of a compelling need to the widespread population. Now, anyone can visit the Foundation’s web page on a regular basis and gauge where their help can make the most immediate difference.

Donors can also triple the impact of their gifts through the Community Foundation’s Fundholder Match Program that provides a 1-to-3 match to grants made from a Community Foundation donor advised fund or Family Foundation to directly address a need submitted on the Critical Needs List.

“It’s a resource that anyone can use to find a legitimate cause that has a direct, positive impact on our community,” Spalten says. 

This hero tool represents a different way of connecting those who wish to give with those in need. Time sensitive and immediately gratifying, the requests take nonprofit gift-giving from a general concept to a specific, measurable outcome. Donors can choose to contribute to a nonprofit’s general mission if they so choose, but this tool makes donations personal.

“It can help a nonprofit quickly resume the services that they provide in the community or overcome an unexpected challenge that would keep them from operation,” Spalten says.

Basically, a match made in nonprofit hero heaven.

View the Critical Needs List here.
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Read more articles by Amy Hammond.

Amy Hammond is a freelance writer and author of children’s books that encourage the next generation to attend college. When not indoctrinating youth about the necessity of higher education, she enjoys exploring the paradise that is her St. Petersburg home. She holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and a Masters in Secondary English Education from the University of South Florida. Her work has appeared in such venues as the Tampa Bay Times. Children’s Book Titles by Amy Hammond include: When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a ‘Nole; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Bull; When I Grow Up, I’m Bama Bound; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Tiger.