Critical Needs Request Form

While nonprofits provide services to those most in need within our community, many are often under resourced. A single, unexpected event can dramatically impact their ability to provide crucial services. To address these unexpected needs, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay has created the Critical Needs List for nonprofits to share those critical needs with community philanthropists.

 A critical need is defined as unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive, and one that significantly interferes with a nonprofit’s ability to provide crucial services or presents an imminent threat to the organization’s continued operations.

To support local disaster recovery efforts, Community Foundation Tampa Bay has expanded the criteria for critical needs through the month of November to include requests related to Hurricane Idalia.

Through the Critical Needs List, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay strives to help nonprofits manage an unbudgeted, unplanned, and untimely emergency.


This is not a competitive grant process. It is an innovative way to share specific needs with us, our fundholders (who granted over $72 million to nonprofits last fiscal year) as well as other philanthropists in the Tampa Bay community.

After completing the simplified Critical Needs Request Form, your needs for up to $250,000 will be included within a database of other nonprofit requests from our community. If your nonprofit’s request is matched with a donation, we will notify you and transmit funds to address the request as quickly as possible.


To be eligible for funding, a nonprofit must:

  • Be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Be based in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, or Citrus counties
  • Exhibit strong management and sound leadership.
  • Must not have received a Critical Needs List grant within the current fiscal year (July 1 to June 30).

The nonprofit must demonstrate that their need is unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive, and significantly interferes with their ability to provide critical services or presents an imminent threat to the organization’s continued operations.

Examples of requests for need might include:

  • Emergency repairs of building structure or mechanical systems (heating/cooling, water service, etc.) where a sudden and unexpected failure interferes with the provision of services.
  • Replacement of essential equipment and technology where a sudden and unexpected failure interferes with the provision of services.
  • Addressing circumstances external to the organization that interfere with the provision of mission-critical services. Examples may include:
      • The increase in gas costs for transportation-centric programming (i.e. – mobile services, client transportation, etc.)
      • Updated security measures for organizations, such as churches or synagogues, that are experiencing increased safety concerns due to current events
      • The local community is receiving an influx of refugees as a result of international conflict and your organization needs to purchase bedding to shelter families

*Organizations must provide justification for the request including: 1) how is the request mission-critical to the programming offered?; and 2) the amount of funding the organization budgeted in the previous fiscal year for this expense vs. anticipated amount needed in the current fiscal year and the current gap in needed funding. 

Generally, the Critical Needs List process is not designed to fund:

  • Annual appeals, endowment funds, fundraising events, membership contributions, and capital campaigns
  • Budget deficits or shortfalls
  • Deficit funding or debt retirement
  • General operating expenses, ongoing program costs, or payroll expenses
  • Medical or scientific research
  • Political campaigns or direct lobbying efforts
  • Religious or sectarian purposes
  • Scholarships or funding for individuals
  • Support for travel, field trip, competition, or award ceremony expenses for schools or organizations
  • Support to increase services provided or new programming
  • Support to increase efficiency of services provided, i.e. equipment, software, personnel, etc.
  • Technology upgrades


  1. Log in to the online grant portal.
    • If you have not applied for a Community Foundation Tampa Bay grant before, you will need to create an account.
    • If your organization already has an account in our portal and you would like to be added as a contact, please contact Jessica Scites, Coordinator, Grants Management and Reporting at

      2. Complete the simplified Critical Needs Request Form online.


  1. You will be notified by email if you have been selected to receive funding from one of our fundholders or another philanthropist or foundation.
  2. If you receive funding, your grant check will be mailed as quickly as possible after notification.
  3. A follow-up report will be due online three months after you receive funding.
  4. If your request is not selected for funding after 30 days, your request will be removed from the list and you will be notified via email.


Is this a Competitive Grants process?

No. Our intention is to catalog and share critical needs of nonprofits. We will work to connect your need with donations from our own resources, including our Family Foundations and Donor Advised Fundholders, and other community philanthropists.

How soon will I know if I have been selected to receive funding?

We plan to notify you within three business days if we match your need with a donation. Grant checks will then be mailed as soon as possible following notification.

Am I eligible to submit more than one form?

No, we only permit one Critical Need Request per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Please make sure that your form identifies a single need.

Is there a geographic area of focus for funding?

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay serves a five-county region, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Though our fundholders may recommend grants to nonprofits anywhere in the country, we will concentrate on addressing critical needs within our five-county region.

What is the maximum amount that I can request for my critical need?

Requests may be submitted for an amount up to $250,000. 

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