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Ground rules laid for non-profits accessing city support

Local non-profits will now have a specific method to apply for support from the city. City council has voted to implement a non-profit operating grant policy in order to set ground rules for how local non-profits can receive support from the city.

The policy lays out ground rules for supporting applicants such as how much money can be accessed, what the funds can be used or not used for, and who is eligible for grant funding. It also sets guidelines for granting funds based on how it will benefit the community. Councillor Aaron Buckingham believes the new policy is a good improvement to a process that wasn’t very clear before.

“I think it was a little too wide-open in the past,” says Coun. Buckingham. “This now gives everybody who wants to apply for that funding a defined set of rules, regulations and policies that they can answer too. I think that’s the biggest thing for us; it’s just cleaning up and making sure it’s as fair and transparent as humanly possible, both on the application side and the post-reporting side.”

According to the city’s administration, several requests for grants and support are received from non-profits each year. The policy is set to allow for a transparent process to help ensure accountability when it comes to doling out tax dollars. Counc. Buckingham thinks the new policy will ensure that the funds granted to non-profits will be directed to where it’s needed in the community.

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“When these third-party requests come forward, this is taxpayer money that is being requested by these organizations. It’s our job to be good stewards of that money. This closes all the loopholes, in my opinion, on those things.”

The policy’s annual grant period runs from January 1 until December 31.

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