Tampa Bay, Florida November 2020 - While it is registered as a 501(c)(3) organization, the Outback Bowl is not a charity. The designation comes in a part because of its contributions to universities from participating conferences. The other part is the donations the organization makes to local Tampa Bay charities annually.
Currently, it contributes about $6.5 million a year to universities, totaling to date $155 million since inception in 1995 (it has origins back to 1985 as the original Hall of Fame Bowl).
It also donates at least $500,000 each year to charities that are either based in or have a large presence in the Tampa Bay market. Even during 2020, when much of the organization’s revenue dried up, it kept that $500,000 goal. It also committed to continue this giving each year going forward for a total of at least another $2.5 million over the next five years.
Donations are primarily directed by its board members to spread to dozens of organizations which are working to improve the lives of Tampa Bay residents. Since 2016, the bowl has already donated over $2 million to more than 125 nonprofits. That is in addition to the more than $6 million each year contributed to universities from the Big Ten and Southeastern Conferences.