Forsyth County commissioners agreed three years ago to begin a committee to aid local nonprofits working with the Juvenile Court system.
As the program evolved since 2009, the social services committee has worked toward a legal agreement that will protect the exchange of county funding in return for goods and services that help local youth in need.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard met with the group Friday to present the resolution solidifying the county’s intent and an agreement specifying the county’s relationship with nonprofits that receive funding.
“The prospect now of an agreement between the county and the agencies getting the money is even better because it’s changing this to an agreement for services rendered with accountability and milestones and critical paths and audit requirements,” Jarrard said. “I think it’s a very positive step forward.”
Nicole Morgan, who chairs the committee, said most of the local nonprofits receiving funds from the county have similar reporting requirements for other grants and shouldn’t be hindered by the county’s requests.
The group agreed to review the agreements after the first year and tweak anything that may not follow the intent of the county’s program.
As an example, Commission Chairman Jim Boff said the county could reduce reporting requirements if the cost to agencies to produce those documents was too much.
Jarrard agreed: “I don’t want them to spend our precious dollars to push papers.”
The committee also discussed the dilemma of whether to fund requests for salary matches or supplements and, if so, at what level.
Morgan said few grant programs will fund salaries or operating costs, but that lack of support can put the nonprofits “in danger of going under.”
The committee considered asking the agencies to quantify the benefit of funding salaries or to limit the percentage of pay the county may match.
Since the local nonprofits typically have small staffs, Morgan said the people receiving funding will usually directly impact the county’s youth, which is the top requirement.
The agencies have requested $583,000 in funding for 2013, but the county has budgeted $435,000, the same amount as in 2012.
Jarrard said he will review the requests to first determine what falls under the county’s legal ability to fund.
The committee plans to meet again Nov. 29 to tally the scores of the agencies and recommend how to disperse funding.