Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
For the first time in the history of the Macon County Community Funding Pool, the county did not receive more applications than funds available. With money remaining in the funding pool budget, commissioners decided to open a second round of applications to allow addition organizations to apply.
Macon County Board of Commissioners (BOC) allocate $75,000 a year for the community funding pool, which provides grants to local nonprofits. While the town of Franklin voted to eliminate their grants for nonprofits, county commissioners voted a few years ago to increase the budget to address a growing need in the community.
In past years, the community funding pool received on average 15 applications from area nonprofits, however this year, only nine organizations applied. While opening the grant application process to allow time for more organizations to apply, the Community Funding Task Force, which is comprised of 10 community members, submitted nominations to commissioners to approve.
Both KIDS Place and REACH of Macon County applied for $10,000, the maximum amount allowed, and were granted such. The Community Care Clinic of Highlands/Cashiers requested $10,000, however, the task force recommended that the organization be awarded $7,416, which commissioners approved.
Hospice House Foundation was awarded a grant for $4,486; Read2Me received $4,263; the Arts Council of Macon County received $3,722; the Literacy Council of Highlands received $3,461; and the Bascom Corporation received a grant for $366.
The grants awarded amounted to $43,714 leaving just over $30,000 to be awarded during the next phase of applications. Applicants for the second phase of funding will be considered for approval by the commissioners during their March meeting.
Application forms and instructions are available on the Macon County website, www.maconnc.org. Hard copies may be made obtained at Macon County Public Library on Siler Farm Road in Franklin, the Hudson Library on Main Street in Highlands, and the Nantahala Public Library on Nantahala School Road. Call ahead to make sure a copy will be ready for pickup.
Organizations applying for community funding pool funds must provide financial statements such as budgets and federal tax-exempt reports, organization goals and objectives, and program/service descriptions. First-time applicants must contact Karen Wallace, (828)524-3600, or Bobbie Contino, (828)342-7872, to discuss their proposal.
Groups not incorporated as nonprofits may enlist an established nonprofit to serve as their fiscal agent. Collaborative agency proposals are encouraged to leverage limited funding and to share resources.
The Community Funding Pool was established to help the Macon County Board of Commissioners allocate tax-generated funds to local nonprofits in a fair and efficient way. The CFP Task Force is comprised of citizens chosen by the commissioners to consider applications and make recommendations to the board, who make final funding decisions. The Community Funding Pool is a separate entity from the Macon County Community Foundation. For information contact Community Funding Pool secretary Bobbie Contino at (828) 524-2787.