HIGH POINT — The City Council has resumed its practice of awarding annual grants to outside nonprofit agencies, as officials consider more accountability measures for the public funds.
The council on Monday approved a total of $332,000 for 14 organizations, based on the recommendations of its Finance Committee.
No grants were awarded during the coronavirus pandemic last year because of a projected city budget shortfall.
The city’s nonprofit agency funding policy doesn’t restrict how recipients can use the money. It’s up to the council to attach terms and conditions to any grants, or to impose accounting and financial reporting standards beyond what’s required by law.
Councilman and committee Chairman Britt Moore said he thinks that while all of the applicants do important work for the community, the funding policy needs fine-tuning.
One issue that needs to be sorted out, he said, is whether the grants can be used to pay salaries and other operating expenses of the agencies, or if they should be restricted to capital costs or start-up projects.
“Theoretically speaking, (this type of restriction) would be the best way, in my opinion, because it would show that the agency, after being able to have some seed money, could better stand on their own,” Moore said.
However, he said he’s not sure this would address the current needs of the agencies.
“It just seems like the majority of the money ends up going into operation functions to distribute the service to the community that they’re trying to get out there,” he said. “So maybe that’s just the reality of it, and we need to incorporate it into what we’re thinking going forward.”
One change under consideration is requiring grant recipients to enter into contracts with the city that would formalize the terms of the awards.
The contracts could also include a mechanism for the city to get the money back if it’s not spent or committed by the end of the budget year.
The agencies awarded grants for the fiscal year that began July 1 are:
• Caring Services, $10,000
• D-Up Basketball Fundamentals, $10,000
• Greater High Point Food Alliance, $15,000
• Helping Hands High Point, $15,000
• High Point Arts Council, $90,000
• High Point Discovered, $15,000
• High Point LEAP, $15,000
• Macedonia Family Resource Center, $21,000
• Open Door Ministries, $20,000
• Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, $15,000
• Theatre Art Galleries, $31,000
• Food Pantry of the Triad, $20,000
• West End Ministries, $30,000
• YWCA of High Point, $25,000