Non-profits policy approved

Published 5:56 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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JACKSON – Along with supporting small businesses, the Northampton County Commissioners made moves recently to make it easier for them to support local nonprofits as well. The Board approved a nonprofit funding policy and application at their regular meeting here on Jan. 6.

Back when the current fiscal year budget was passed, the commissioners set aside $20,000 for a nonprofit fund to support organizations which will benefit local citizens. They later added another $20,000 to the fund.

In August of last year, the Board approved appropriating funds to two nonprofits: Taking Time to Care Services, a Gaston-based organization who runs a youth summer camp program, and End Time Empowerment & Delivery Ministry in Jackson which planned to construct a community food pantry among other missionary programs.

Since the fund was something new for the county, the commissioners did not have a policy or application in place for those wishing to request money at first. They discussed the topic at a previous meeting in July, but did not come to a consensus at the time.

At the Jan. 6 meeting, however, County Attorney Scott McKellar presented a potential policy and application to the commissioners who easily approved it by a unanimous vote after a motion and second from Commissioners Geneva Faulkner and Nicole Boone.

McKellar said he worked with the County Manager’s Office and the Economic Development department to develop the information included in the policy and application. They also based it on similar policies in other counties across the state.

According to the proposed policy, the Board will review the request and determine the urgency of the organization’s need and its value to the county. The programs or services provided by the nonprofit must complement or enhance a vital county service at a reduced cost, provide a service that is more cost effective and operationally expedient than what the government can provide, or fill in a critical gap that may exist between government services and community needs.

Additionally, nonprofits must meet eligibility and financial requirements. After receiving funding, the nonprofit must also submit quarterly financial and programmatic reports to detail progress towards the program’s goal.

“We have a policy now we can use,” stated Board Chair Charles Tyner. “Small businesses and nonprofits are the ones who operate and keep the county moving.”