Brittney Burns – Staff Writer
Both Macon County and the town of Franklin are dedicated to providing funding grants for local nonprofits who provide crucial services to residents. From medical treatment to art programs, nonprofits in Macon County work to bridge the gaps in services in the area and provide opportunities for all residents.
Year after year, the Macon County Board of Commissioners and the Franklin Town Council set aside funds for nonprofits and that application process has officially opened.
In 2015, the Macon County Board of Commissioners increased the money available in its Community Funding Pool for the first time since the fund was set up. The board increased the fund from $50,000 to $75,000. The increase allowed more nonprofits to submit grant applications and receive funding.
“Our local nonprofit organizations cannot be thanked enough,” said Macon County Manager Derek Roland. “They, like Macon County government, are staffed with individuals who place the highest merit on giving back to the community. These are truly special people and Macon County would not be the place it is today in their absence.”
With $75,000 to allocate to the community each year, Macon County appoints a special board to accept and review all grant applications. The Community Funding Pool board reviews each application and also advises applicants through the process to assist in any way they can. Once the application period ends on July 30, the board reviews each application and then makes recommendations to the board of commissioners regarding how to allocate the funding.
“The community funding pool is crucial to Macon County as it serves as a funding source to local nonprofit organizations,” said Roland. “Government exists for one reason and one reason only which is to provide common goods, or those services such as emergency services that the private sector cannot provide to our citizens. The primary reason these services cannot be provided by the private sector is because they are not profitable. At the third lowest tax rate in the state, Macon County provides these ‘common goods’ to our citizens as efficiently as anyone. Unfortunately however, Macon County cannot meet every specialized need that arises in a community. Nonprofits by design assist the government in meeting these specialized needs. Macon County can leverage the $75,000 in the community funding pool by distributing it to various nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in our community specializing in everything from early childhood development and literacy to natural resource preservation. In receiving these individual grants from the community funding pool, local non-profits can better carry out their individual missions. This leads to a better community, and also reduces the burden on the taxpayers because the NPOs continue meeting needs that would otherwise go unfulfilled or have to be picked up by the local government.”
In 2016, 22 different organizations applied for a piece of the county’s $75,000 pie, and after reviewing all applications, 12 organizations were recommended for partial funding, two organizations were recommended for full funding, and eight were not funded at all.
The Town of Franklin sets aside $40,000 each year for nonprofits who work to serve the residents of Franklin. The town’s nonprofit funding pool is currently open and applications will be received until Monday, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m.
The Franklin Town Council will review all submitted applications during its September board meeting, at which time each nonprofit will be afforded the opportunity to pitch their grant requests specifically to the board. The council then listens to the requests from each organization and awards funding.
While $40,000 was allocated in the 2016 budget for local charities, the town received funding requests totaling about $58,000, which was down from the $66,000 in requests the town received in 2015. The Franklin Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to fully fund requests from six of the 14 who applied for grants last year. The remaining seven grant requests were each reduced by 57.8 percent, which allowed the total funds granted to reach the $40,000 limit set by the town.
The Macon County Community Foundation is also currently accepting grant applications from local nonprofits. The Macon County Community Foundation was founded by a group of committed citizens to serve as a local resource to meet community needs through permanent endowments that fuel grantmaking. In addition to Board President Regina Lupoli, board members include: Sean Gibson, Kathy Greenwood, Lisa Leatherman, Kim Lloyd, Tina Rogers, Nicole Sloop and Karen Stiwinter. The Macon County Community Foundation is accepting grant applications for projects funded from its community grantmaking fund, according to Lupoli. Funds are available for nonprofit organizations that serve general charitable needs in Macon County. Online applications are now being taken with the deadline for submitting applications at noon Aug. 8. Visit
nccommunityfoundation.org for information about applying.
A state organization, The North Carolina Community Foundation, is also currently accepting grant applications for projects funded from the Women’s Fund of North Carolina, according to Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, NCCF president and CEO. Grant funds are available for nonprofit organizations that sponsor programming that supports women and/or families. Programs must serve areas within the NCCF service area. Grant amounts typically range from $1,000 to $3,000. Applications are available beginning July 7. The deadline for submitting applications is noon Aug. 8. Visit nccommunityfoundation.org for information about applying.