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Building Resilience via Connected Funders

For your convenience, you can download the webinar slides here.

How can proactively connecting with other funders in your community today help you successfully navigate an unexpected crisis tomorrow?

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF) set up the multi-funder Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund to rapidly deploy funds to the most marginalized populations. What they didn’t foresee was how the establishment of this fund would later enable them to create the Pinellas CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund, a public/private partnership utilizing funding from the CARES Act. This pre-built resilience directly impacted the support they were able to offer their community during this uncharted crisis.

In this on-demand webinar, you'll hear three PCF representatives share how they transitioned their multi-funder Resiliency Fund to support an $18 million CARES Act Fund. This connected group of funders quickly distributed funds to nonprofits and community members with the greatest needs. The impact delivered by this connected group of funders far surpassed the sum of their individual inputs.

David Bender, Director of Grants and Operations, Brittany Baldwin, Foundation Associate, and Cheri Wright-Jones, former Senior Program Officer, talk about how PCF:

  • Partnered with funders to create the Tampa Bay Resiliency Fund to address community issues related to race equity.
  • Used this existing structure to support a unique public/private opportunity using funds from the CARES Act.
  • Continues to lean on these established funder connections to improve access and build resilience in their community.


David Bender | Director of Grants and Operations, Pinellas Community Foundation
David Bender brings several years of database management and nonprofit experience to Pinellas Community Foundation. With a strong interest in community building and organizing, he interned with two major Chicago-based nonprofits where he used data to shape organizing strategies. He also provided database management services for a large Chicago hospital and pharmacy group.

David is bilingual in Spanish and English and spent three years teaching English in Madrid, Spain.

He oversees all of PCF’s grantmaking processes, as well as internal operations and executive projects. He holds a bachelor’s from Beloit College in political science and Spanish.

Brittany Baldwin | Foundation Office Associate, Pinellas Community Foundation
Dr. Brittany Baldwin brings a decade of case management experience and technical support assistance to Pinellas Community Foundation.

Prior to joining Pinellas Community Foundation, she was a full-time academic advisor and professor at Georgia State University, Valdosta State University, and St. Petersburg College. She is best known now as a local singer/songwriter in the Tampa Bay Area.

Brittany is passionate about supporting her community and enjoys using her creativity and education to give back to the community in every way she can.

She holds a doctorate in educational leadership, a master’s in higher education administration, and a Bachelor of Arts from Valdosta State University.

Cheri Wright-Jones | Director of Strategic Partnerships, The Health Initiative
Cheri Wright-Jones recently served at Pinellas Community Foundation as Senior Program Officer for the CARES Nonprofit Partnership Fund for which she facilitated the distribution and usage of $30M CARES Act Federal Funding for Pinellas County. She began working in philanthropy as Regional Vice President-Tampa Bay with the Alleghany Foundation where she managed funding initiatives that support nonprofits, emphasizing collaboration and mission-related investing focused on the social influencers of health to support healthy people and communities.

Cheri has since transitioned to a new role as Director of Strategic Partnerships at The Health Initiative, a campaign catalyzing a nationwide effort to spur a new conversation about—and increased investments in—health. In this role, she engages government, corporate leaders, funders, and community-based organizations to increase investment in non-clinical drivers of health, such as food, housing, and livable wages, that improve health and ultimately reduce long-term healthcare costs for the most vulnerable Americans.

She holds a Master of Science degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and psychology from the University of South Florida

About the Author

I'm Kellie, the Client Marketing Manager at Foundant Technologies. I've worked in marketing for many years with extensive experience in airline loyalty programs. What I have learned and believe is that taking care of your customers must be a priority for an organization to build sustainable long-term growth. We marketers call these organizations customer-centric and being part of the Foundant team where we measure our success by our clients' success makes my job very fulfilling. When I'm not thinking about how to build strong relationships with our clients, I enjoy hiking or skiing in the beautiful Montana mountains with my family and Labrador, Kenzo.

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