Deadline nears for local nonprofits

Mar. 03, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Local nonprofits soliciting funds from the county have less than three weeks remaining to finish their applications and make their case to the Lee County Board of Commissioners.

The commissioners donate to a handful of nonprofits — staples each year include Temple Theatre, Boys and Girls Club of Lee County and Lee County Industries, among others — and the application deadline for fiscal year 2013-2014 is 5 p.m. March 22, at the county finance office, located at 106 Hillcrest Drive.

Nonprofits interested in receiving county funding must show how they are generating their own funds and serve the community, said Commission Chairman Charile Parks.

“We will take a look at it to see if there is duplication of efforts and whether it is something we are already doing,” Parks said. “If it’s something they can do better, we try and help them with funding.”

Lee County Manager John Crumpton, who is charged with creating and presenting the budget to the commissioners, said the county is not actively seeking new nonprofit organizations to fund. Funding to nonprofits were slashed in half in 2008 with the downturn in the economy, he said.

“We are trying to take care of the departments we are responsible for,” Crumpton said. “It would be difficult for the board right now, with the way they are look at next year’s budget, to bring someone else on. With trying to reduce the tax burden, it would be difficult.”

The Republican majority of the board of commissioners has been very vocal concerning its desire to lower the property tax rate in the upcoming fiscal year.

Crumpton urged the nonprofits that are interested in applying for funding to turn in the applications as early as possible. There is a budget workshop for the commissioners on March 15, he said, and it would be beneficial to have a majority of the applications turned in by that time.

“The first thing they will take a look at is whether it is providing a service that the county wasn’t providing and whether the county would provide that type of service,” Crumpton said. “It is consistent with the county.”

To be considered for funding from the county, the organization must meet the following criteria:

* Must submit IRS tax-exempt letter stating 501c3 nonprofit status

* Must complete and submit county application by deadline

* Must state community need for service

* Must state achievable, outcome-based goals and plan to meet goals

* Must not duplicate services already funded by Lee County

* Must demonstrate diversity of funding sources

* Must demonstrate financial stability

Applications are available at the Lee County Government Center, located at 106 HIllcrest Drive, and online at www.leecountync.gov.