THE INSIDER: Updates, news and happenings

Welcome to another edition of The Insider

This for-donors-only communication brings you quick, easy-to-read highlights of our activity and opportunities for you to join in. Thank you for being an inspired giver at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.


Updates on CFTB donor impact Spells leaves legacy from her heart

All her life, Needa Spells looked past obstacles – poverty, segregation, lack of opportunity – and found ways to make the lives of others better.

After a lifetime of caretaking, saving and working with children, she asked her attorney Suzie Ward how she could be sure her estate would fund educational and financial literacy programs for children in Pinellas County.

Ward introduced her to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, and the Needa Mary Spells From My Heart Endowment was born shortly before Miss Spells died in early 2018 at 95. (From My Heart was a gospel song Miss Spells composed.)

"She was such an impressive woman,’’ Ward said told the Tampa Bay Times. "She had faced adversity her entire life, a lot of segregation, a lot of discrimination, and yet she remained positive and optimistic.

"She really wanted her legacy to be providing for the under-served and the underprivileged youth, and have the most impact for the longest time. The foundation will be able to do that in a way that will honor her wish.’’


Bob Schwerin with youth from the Pinellas Police Athletic League.Give more for less with IRA distribution

Those who are 70 ½ or older must take a minimum distribution from their IRA each year. And it counts as taxable income. There’s good news, however.

The IRS allows you to donate up to $100,000 from an IRA directly to a nonprofit organization or a public charity, such as the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. It’s tax free because it does not count as income.

Many of our donors have used their required distributions to do good things for the community. For example, last year Bob and Jan Schwerin established an endowment that will benefit youth programs in Pinellas County for generations. Bob is pictured above with youth from the Pinellas Police Athletic League.

For details on ways to donate your IRA required minimum distribution, see our website or contact Denyve Boyle at to Tampa Bay Watch funds sea grass restoration

A $10,000 grant helped Tampa Bay Watch enhance coastal wetland habitats by growing and planting wetland plants through the Bay Grasses in Classes program. The program involves students, teachers and community volunteers in planting sea grasses.

The grant, made possible by legacy gifts from Hadley and Helen Bryant Hill and George A. Lutz of Sun City Center, supported two plantings at the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve, one planting at Safety Harbor Waterfront Park, one planting at Bay Vista Recreation Center in St. Petersburg and one planting at Rock Ponds in Ruskin (shown in the picture here).

In total, 20,450 plugs of various wetland grasses were planted at the four sites, restoring a total of 1.47 acres.



Events for CFTB donors and friends

Clearwater Dunedin Community Forum, a conversation with nonprofit CEOs and community leaders about needs and opportuities in Clearwater and Dunedin and strategies for working together to address them, October 18, 8-10 a.m. Belleair Country Club. RSVP

SVP Fast Pitch Competition, October 25, 5:30 p.m., Palladium Theatre, St. Petersburg. Details and registration here. $25-$35.

Fall Professional Advisor Network Lunch: With guest speaker Bryan Clontz on gifts of illiquid assets. November 7, noon-1:15 p.m., SunTrust Bank, 401 E Jackson St., Tampa. RSVP by November 2.

Science Friday Live with Ira Flatow, November 17, 8 p.m., Tampa Theater. Details and tickets here. $25-$50.

Giving opportunities

Requests from nonprofits you may find of interest

Log into your donor account for more information or to make a grant to one of these efforts from your fund. You will find the link to the "Giving Opportunities" section on the upper left of the home page. If you need assistance, please email Jo Bull or call her at 813.609.4865.

  • Studio@620, $5,000: One of Studio@620's primary objectives is to provide income opportunities for local artists. Funds will be utilized for arts fees. Actors, dancers, painters, writers and musicians share their work at Studio@620 -- in many cases for the first time -- and the aim is to provide meaningful income for their efforts.
  • New Tampa Players, $5,500: Money would provide costuming and shoes for 25-50 children with special needs and their peer mentors. Costuming will take into consideration any sensory need or limitation the child has. ($20 per costume and $25 per pair of dance shoes).
  • Pizzo Elementary, Tampa, $1,000: The Art of Upcycling: Turning 'Junk' Into Something Useful. Funds will be used to purchase crafting materials to be used in combination with materials discarded as garbage to create works of art.
  • Tampa Bay Symphony, $4,500: Money would be used for scholarships to winners of the symphony's Young Artist Competition.


Inspired Giving podcast

Listen to the new episode of the Community Foundation's Inspired Giving podcast, produced in partnership with the St. Pete Catalyst. Click on the image below to reach the downloadable podcast and read highlights or the full transcripts.

In the media

Links to recent news reports related to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

4300 W Cypress St, Ste 700, Tampa, FL 33607-4157