Since 1977, the Pinellas County Urban League (PCUL) has been working on issues such as employment, economic development, education, housing, and health. The PCUL is one of 95 local affiliates of the National Urban League, which traces its roots to three organizations founded in the early 20th century to improve working conditions, employment prospects and basic civil rights for Black Americans. Two and a half years ago, PCUL branched out to serve Pasco, Hernando, Sumpter, Lake, Seminole and Marion counties, further broadening its scope and service.
This past year, the PCUL undertook a thorough evaluation of its operations and organizational capacity and identify areas for growth which the Foundation will support with a $450,000 “Transformative Grant.” This grant will help the PCUL to increase effectiveness and strengthen impact in such crucial areas as equitable economic development, employment, and leadership development. This type of unrestricted organizational support is not the norm in the nonprofit sector and is the first grant of its type for the Foundation. However, it speaks to the confidence and trust that PCUL has earned in the community over decades of service.
“Our organization is on a very sound and successful footing currently, but we want to build for the future. That means implementing a strategic plan, strengthening our systems and technology, and–most importantly– building a staff that is ready for leadership well into the 21st century,” said PCUL president, the Reverend Watson L. Haynes II.
“Everywhere you look in Pinellas County, the PCUL is at work providing opportunities and empowering communities,” said Randall H. Russell, president, and CEO of the Foundation. “Equitable economic development is one of the Foundation’s top priorities in the coming years. Through participation in the Grow Smarter Initiative and other regional economic development efforts, the PCUL is an indispensable partner in this work. We believe that a grant to support their organizational capacity and growth is a sound investment.”