Pinellas CARES – Nonprofit Partnership Fund Frequently Asked Questions

What is the focus of the Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund program?

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, homelessness, behavioral health, and legal aid for housing.

What is the source of the funding?

The 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.

How can my organization apply?

Eligible nonprofits can apply at

When is the application deadline?

Applications for funding will open at 9 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 additional documentation is required to apply for the CARES Nonprofit Partnership 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). Data will be collected about projected service levels and various certifications within the application.

Which types of nonprofit organizations qualify to apply?

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

Why are only these types of nonprofit organizations receiving assistance?

Food, housing, legal aid and behavioral health 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.

What can my organization use the funds to pay for?

Agencies providing critical services addressed by this funding can apply to cover the cost of program expansion to address community needs for food, housing, legal aid and behavioral health. The expansion of programming must be resulting from COVID-19. Additionally, agencies may apply for reimbursement of funds spent since March 1, 2020, which were not covered by another funding source.

If I’m approved, how quickly will I receive assistance?

Complete applications with all required documentation will generally be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on the number of applicants, it may take a couple of weeks from the date of application submission until eligible nonprofit organizations will receive the approved funding. Pinellas County is committed to helping our nonprofit organizations in need of aid as quickly as possible. Due to the widespread impact of the pandemic to our local community, we anticipate a high volume of requests. To speed aid to the community, Pinellas Community Foundation has review committees meeting on a weekly basis to make funding recommendations.

Will my organization be required to report how I spend funds that are awarded?

Grant recipients will be required to submit regular reports to demonstrate that funds are being used for eligible expenses and in a timely manner, as well as documentation of the number of people who are assisted.

What is the deadline to use the funds?

All awarded funds must be used by December 30, 2020.

Who is managing the grant approval and distribution process?

The Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund (PCNPF) is a partnership between Pinellas County and Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF).

PCF will manage and distribute the funding through grant applications submitted directly to PCF.

PCF is responsible for overseeing the grants application process, including grants review, awards and on-going monitoring of the funds use.

What if I have questions about the application or whether my organization qualifies?

Potential applicants are welcome to contact Pinellas Community Foundation at 727-531-0058 and follow the prompts for this program. Foundation staff is prepared to assist applicants in answering their questions. Additional information can be found on the PCF website at The site is regularly updated with helpful information.

How much assistance is available through this fund?

$29.7 million is available to eligible nonprofit organizations.

What are some examples of potential uses of the funding?

Examples of funding usage by category are:


• 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

Behavioral Health

• Increasing the accessibility of behavioral health services by upgrading technology to expand telehealth capacity

• Providing technology to people who cannot otherwise access telehealth services

• Expansion of virtual support groups for special populations affected by COVID-19, such as first responders

• Expanding access to behavioral health services for front-line workers

• Increasing availability of substance-use treatment services

• Expanding medication-assisted substance-use treatment services, especially for people who cannot continue such treatment due to loss of employment or benefits

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

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 a checking account for the sole purpose of distribution under the contract 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 makes 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.

What expenses are not allowed?

Due to restrictions placed on expenditures of these funds, the following are examples of ineligible expenses: payroll and benefits of employees not substantially dedicated to responding to needs created by COVID-19, severance pay, legal settlements, damages covered by insurance, gift cards, expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal program, reimbursement for donated items or services.

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. For assistance, potential applicants are welcome to contact Pinellas Community Foundation at 727-531-0058 and follow the prompts for this program.