The Highest Rated Charities in Tampa Bay

Catholic_Charities_Chicago,_Photo_1_-_Flickr_-_USDAgovMerriam-Webster describes charity as the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need or an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need. There ways to be charitable and an innumerable amount of charities. Here’s the list of the highest rated charities in Tampa Bay:


National Pediatric Cancer Foundation
Charity Navigator Rating: 100
Revenue: $2,316,991
Program Expenses: 88.1%

Over the past 23 years, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation has donated more than $6 million to researchers. For the first 15 years, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation funded seed grants at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, All Children’s Research Institute in St. Petersburg, the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the University of Miami School of Medicine.”


Step Up for Students
Charity Navigator Rating: 100
Revenue: 4457,846,020
Program Expenses: 98.9%

“Step Up For Students (SUFS) is a state-approved nonprofit % Scholarship Funding Organization that helps administer the Personal Learning Scholarship Account-PLSA (Special Needs Scholarship) and the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (Income-Based Scholarship).”


Big Cat Rescue
Charity Navigator Rating 99.55
Revenue: $3,454,936
Program Expenses: 82.8%

“Big Cat Rescue is one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world dedicated to abused and abandoned big cats. We are home to about 80+ lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts.
What sets Big Cat Rescue apart is that we are working to end the abuse at its root by ending the private possession and trade in exotic cats through legislation and education.”


Alpha House of Tampa
Charity Navigator Rating: 97.9
Revenue: $1,701,802
Program Expenses: 83.4%

Alpha House was recently listed on the Top Ten List of Best Charities in Tampa Bay by Charity Navigator.  Alpha House received a rank of 97.9%.  This placed Alpha House fourth on the list of Top Ten Charities in the area.  Alpha House uses 83.4% of all revenue to fund programs and services, a key factor in the high ranking.  At Alpha House, we strive to be fiscally responsible to our clients and the community.  This ranking shows that all our hard work is paying off in terms of getting needed services to the members of the community we serve.”


Southeastern Guide Dogs
Charity Navigator Rating 97.34
Revenue: $15,808,134
Program Expenses: 81.6%

“Founded in 1982, Southeastern Guide Dogs employs the latest in canine development and behavior research to create and nurture partnerships between visually impaired individuals and extraordinary guide dogs. We serve more than 400 graduates across the U.S. and continue to place more than 100 dogs each year into careers benefitting people with visual impairments, and veterans.


Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Charity Navigator Rating: 97.21
Revenue: $18,295,101
Program Expense: 84.8%

“Clearwater Marine Aquarium believes in preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life, environmental education, research, and conservation.”


Humane Society of Tampa Bay
Charity Navigator Rating:96.46
Revenue: $7,203,399
Program Expenses: 88.2%

For more than 100 years, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay has been dedicated to ending animal homelessness and providing care and comfort for companion animals in need. Named a Four-Star Charity by Charity Navigator since 2008, and accredited by AAHA, the standard in veterinary excellence, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is dedicated to the highest standards in animal sheltering and veterinary care. Our adoption programs, affordable veterinary services, community outreach efforts and volunteer opportunities are essential to the health and well-being of animals across Tampa Bay.”


St. Petersburg Free Clinic
Charity Navigator Rating: 96.46
Revenue: $11,590,365
Program Expense: 92.7%

“St. Petersburg Free Clinic is a multi-service, independent, not-for-profit human services agency providing our community neighbors assistance with food, shelter and health care. We have been caring for the underserved facing temporary emergency needs throughout Pinellas County since 1970.”


Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Charity Navigator Rating: 6.46
Revenue: $14,489,649
Program Expenses: 86.8%

Special Operations Warrior Foundation ensures full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree from an accredited two or four-year college, university, technical or trade school, as well as family and educational counseling, including in-home tutoring, to the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations service members who lose their lives in the line of duty. The foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded and hospitalized special operations service members. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is committed to providing scholarship grants – not loans – to over 1,100 children, who survive over 900 special operations service members who gave their lives in service to our country.


Religious Community Services
Charity Navigator Rating: 96.13
Revenue: $7,346,757
Program Expenses: 87.7%

That focus remains strong today as RCS directs resources to people facing hunger, homelessness, domestic violence and basic needs. RCS has evolved into a cooperative of professional staff members, integral volunteers and partnering faith congregations delivering reliable services to those most vulnerable in Pinellas County. RCS continues to use research, communication and best practices to be a premier community-based agency providing help & hope to people in need.”

Local Nonprofits Collaborate for New East Tampa Housing Development, Beacon Homes

053872_27b48f47Neighborhood Lending Partners (NLP),  and Corporation to Develop Communities (CDC) of Tampa partnered to host an event on April 26, which announced the establishment of a housing fund for the construction of a new community of single-family houses in East Tampa.The development will be the future site of Beacon Homes.

The NLP, a which multi-bank lending institution providing financing to developers of affordable housing and community revitalization, announced the new Florida Minority Impact Housing Fund (FMIHF) at the event. The event, which was attending by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and one hundred others, also served as a groundbreaking for CDC of Tampa, will develop the land. CDC of Tampa is an organization that revitalizes neighborhoods, improves lives, and strengthens communities throughout Pinellas Counties and Hillsborough, granting access to affordable housing, youth programs, and job training and placement. CDC of Tampa bought the land from Tampa Housing Authority, which a development partner for this project.

“We’re thrilled to establish the Florida Minority Impact Housing Fund and know that Beacon Homes will be a wonderful addition to East Tampa and a vital part of the area’s revitalization efforts,” said Neighborhood Lending Partners President and CEO, Debra Reyes. “Quality, affordable housing should be available to all Florida residents and it is our goal to create those opportunities in as many communities as possible.”

The primary supporters of the $3million dollar FMIHF are Wells Fargo and Banks of America, which offers products and loan programs for the development of affordable housing. The FMIHF serves faith-based organizations, community development corporations, non-profit developers, and organizations, positively impacting minorities and other underserved communities throughout the state of Florida. The fund is a tremendous resource for nonprofit housing developers, allowing for more opportunities to further our redevelopment efforts in Hillsborough and East Tampa.