Thrive by Five Pinellas has a new home at Community Foundation Tampa Bay

The move builds on the Community Foundation Tampa Bay’s focus on collective impact and early childhood education, health and success

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2021) – Community Foundation Tampa Bay has become the new backbone organization for Thrive by Five Pinellas, a nonprofit focused on supporting families with young children. Through this new partnership, Thrive by Five Pinellas will build on its past successes and explore new opportunities through its collective impact model.

Thrive by Five Pinellas focuses on creating, connecting and supporting community resources for healthy development and kindergarten readiness for children under age 5. These resources include physical health and well-being; social competency; emotional maturity; language and cognitive development; and communication and general knowledge.

“Healthy childhood development can contribute to positive progress in our community’s vibrancy, economic mobility and mental well-being,” said Marlene Spalten, president and CEO of the Community Foundation Tampa Bay. “We’re pleased to build on the work of Thrive By Five Pinellas and lend our expertise in collective impact to enhance and elevate the network.”

It’s common for Community Foundation Tampa Bay to serve as the backbone organization for collective impact networks, meaning it plays a key role in mobilizing, coordinating and facilitating the process of collective impact. Over the past five years, Community Foundation Tampa Bay has started collective impact networks like LEAP Tampa Bay College Access Network, which is focused on increasing college access and attainment, and Wimauma Community Education Partnership, focused on bringing opportunities to prosper to Wimauma residents. In addition, it has played a key role in increasing the number of people certified in Mental Health First Aid in the Tampa Bay region.

“It was a natural transition in Thrive By Five Pinellas’ growth to become a fund of Community Foundation Tampa Bay,” said Lindsay Carson, CEO of Pinellas Early Learning Coalition. “We’ve already made significant progress, and we look forward to being a part of the network’s next phases.”

Thrive by Five Pinellas director Dr. Bilan Joseph, Ed.D. will become a staff member of the Community Foundation Tampa Bay. She will continue to lead the collective impact network, and seek new ways to support the network and further early childhood development in Pinellas County.

The Thrive by Five Steering Committee of 14 organizations – focused on an equitable, accessible, responsive, and accountable early childhood development system – remains in place. Community Foundation’s Senior Director of Community Impact Chuck Tiernan, CFRE has served on the Thrive by Five Steering Committee over the past four years.

Additionally, existing community partners remain committed to Thrive by Five Pinellas, including: Community Foundation Tampa Bay, COQEBS, Directions for Living, Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas, Early Steps at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Florida Department of Health Pinellas, Ford Christian Academy, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Juvenile Welfare Board, Liberty Church St. Pete, Pinellas County Schools, The Well for Life and USF Family Study Center. Individual supporters include: Alyssa Bedard, MPH, educator Catina Bell, Eric Caplan, Eliseo Santana, MBA, and Paul Wirtz, Ph.D.

Founded in 2017, Thrive by Five Pinellas was started by the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas, the original backbone organization, with financial support from the Foundation for a Health St. Petersburg. Both organizations remain engaged partners in this collective impact work.

For more information about Thrive By Five, visit

Thrive By Five Pinellas

Thrive by Five Pinellas is a collective impact approach to ensure an equitable, accessible, responsive and accountable early childhood system that will increase the percentage of children in our community “ready” for kindergarten. Thrive by Five Pinellas works with diverse partners throughout the community to achieve a multi-faceted common vision, ensuring that children, families, schools, and the community are aligned in supporting the development of young children.

Community Foundation Tampa Bay

Founded in 1990, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay connects donors, nonprofits, community and business leaders, professional advisors, volunteers and residents to make the maximum positive impact in the Tampa Bay region. For more than 30 years, the Community Foundation Tampa Bay has been dedicated to making giving easy and meaningful for donors as a way to strengthen nonprofit organizations and build a better, more vibrant community. Since its inception, its donors have enabled the Community Foundation Tampa Bay to award more than $280 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the country.


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