Guilford County is ready to give out a new batch of grant money with the goal of supporting community-based organizations and economic development organizations.
The county has revamped the process this year so any nonprofits seeking taxpayer money should be sure to read the new rules.
This year, the county plans to give out $1.6 million in these types of grants though county officials stress that that number could change. Those who would like some of that money to put to use to benefit the county should visit https://www.guilfordcountync.gov and click the large link to the application site.
In the county’s words, community nonprofits seeking to improve the quality of life for Guilford County residents are “strongly encouraged to review and complete the Community Based Funding application before March 31, 2023.”
In the past, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners has sometimes played fast and loose with the grant deadline, but this year they seem inclined to subject the grants to a more rigorous and less haphazard process.
Every year, Guilford County offers financial support to a host of nonprofits and economic development groups. Guilford County dedicates a portion of the county’s budget for support for 501(c) organizations that do things like benefit youth and community development, improve education, enhance the arts and culture in the area, create jobs and draw new business to Guilford County.
In the past the county has given money to many groups of all different stripes – and, in recent years, have been extremely generous with federal, state and county money.
Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston has committed to significantly reducing homelessness in the county in 2023, and he no doubt is interested in seeing applications from groups that help address that problem directly or indirectly.
In a prepared statement, released with the announcement of the call for requests, Alston said, “Our local nonprofits are not only trusted resources in our community, they are on the ground every day supporting a wide variety of initiatives to improve the overall wellbeing of our communities and are consistent advocates for the residents they serve. Increasingly, our local nonprofits are serving more people and doing more work with fewer resources. These funds will help bolster their capacity to serve our communities in critically important areas.”
A local nonprofit organization intending to use funds primarily for economic development purposes can complete the same application. However, applications primarily focused on economic development activities will be separated from community-based organizations to align with North Carolina General Statutes: Under state law, economic development applicants must follow a separate process that includes a public hearing.
After applications are in, a panel of county department representatives who work in related service areas will review the applications and make recommendations for funding to County Manager Mike Halford, who’ll bring his recommendations to the county commissioners in Halford’s 2023-2024 recommended budget. Halford will present his recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on May 18, 2023. The commissioners will make the ultimate decisions as to which groups get how much money.
The county will notify nonprofits that are awarded funding and begin the contracting process before July 1, 2023.
This year, awards of up to $100,000 will be distributed upfront, and then organizations that get the funds will be required to file quarterly reports documenting how the dollars are spent. Those with awards of more than $100,000 will be eligible to receive $100,000 upfront with the remaining funds distributed quarterly. Awardees of more than $100,000 must submit quarterly reports documenting the funding expenditures and also provide an external audit.