GOLDSBORO — More than a dozen Wayne County nonprofits have not been funded by the city of Goldsboro more than a month after the city budget was approved in June.
As of late July, nonprofit directors who have applied for funding as part of the city budget were still waiting to find out if they will receive any aid from the city.
The council started discussing the nonprofit funding in April and hashed out differences on how the money should be distributed during several meetings.
By the time the city budget was adopted in June, none of the nonprofits were approved for city funding. The city of Goldsboro allocates thousands of dollars each year to nonprofit agencies serving Wayne County residents, as part of its annual budget.
During its meeting on May 16, Councilman Charles Gaylor IV made a motion to provide $10,000 to each of the nonprofit agencies that have previously received funding from the city and $5,000 to new agencies at a cap of $150,000 to be spent among the nonprofits.
The motion failed 5-2, with Gaylor and Councilwoman Hiawatha Jones voting in favor of the funding. Councilman Bill Broadaway, Councilman Taj Polack, Mayor David Ham, Councilwoman Brandi Matthews and former Councilman Gene Aycock voting in opposition.
Ham moved to defer discussion on nonprofit funding to a future date. Council voted unanimously in favor of the motion but no future date was discussed.
The May 16 discussion was similar to council’s May 2 meeting on nonprofit funding, which lasted 53 minutes. During the meeting, Matthews made a motion to fund all of the nonprofits at the same level, at a maximum of $160,000 to be spent among the agencies.
Ham never asked council for votes against the motion, leaving Broadaway’s lack of vote to be counted as a “yes” vote.
“I thought he raised his hand,” Ham said at the meeting. “That would have made the vote unanimous. That’s why I didn’t call for a ‘no’ vote.”
Selena Bennett, Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County executive director, said the agency, one of 18 nonprofits applying for city funding, received $15,500 in funding from the city in fiscal year 2021-22.
Not receiving the city funding would have a negative impact on the nonprofit's ability to serve area residents.
“I realize the city council has a huge responsibility in making its decision on the nonprofit funding,” Bennett said. “They are trying to be a good steward of that money and I appreciate that. For an agency like Communities Supporting Schools, not having that money will severely impact the opportunity for us to provide the programming that we have in the past.
“The city may choose to not fund all of the nonprofits who applied this year, and if we do not receive that funding, we will have to make cutbacks and look elsewhere for funding sources. We would have to cut back on field trips, literacy programs and other things if we do not receive that money. So, we are watching everything that happens with this matter very closely.”
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne County also received $15,500 from the city in the previous fiscal year and requested $15,000 this year.
Karen Sullivan, Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne County executive director, said agency staff are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
“It is a large concern, whether we receive that funding,” Sullivan said. “It is not an emergency though, because we have to budget for that possibility. Not having that funding would definitely affect our ability to do or buy certain things, so we are grateful for any monies we might receive.
“If you don’t get that money, you just have to tighten your belt a little bit and make up other ways to get it. We have already started looking at other grant opportunities just in case the money does not come through.”
The council first started discussing nonprofit funding as part of its budget deliberations on April 4.
The council debated whether an outside agency should determine which nonprofits to fund. The council was divided and decided to keep the decision with the council.
Eighteen nonprofit agencies and Goldsboro Wayne Transportation Authority applied for funding this year, with the total requested funds listed in documentation at $771,779.
GWTA requested the largest amount of funding for fiscal year 2022-23, at $303,129. The organization was allocated the same amount in fiscal year 2021-22.
Other agencies, such as the Arts Council of Wayne County, Waynesborough Model Railroad Club and Wayne Pregnancy Center/Cry Freedom Missions applied for funding this year.
One of the new nonprofits requesting money is The Vision of David, which works with the N.C. Department of Public Safety to reduce recidivism rates by providing services, such as counseling for families that are separated by incarceration. The agency is asking for $71,000 in city funding.
Council approved the current fiscal year budget, which balances the city’s revenues and expenses at $77.5 million, during its June 20 meeting in a 4-2 vote.
Matthews and Jones voted against the budget while Broadaway, Polack, Gaylor and Ham voted in favor of the budget.