As the county’s human services nonprofits have gotten better at writing applications for the county’s annual grant program, supervisors are looking to tighten up the requirements to win funding.
Last year, supervisors decided that to be considered for funding, nonprofits would have to score 70% or better on their application through a process that sees them rated by the county staff and an advisory committee. Nonprofit grant writers, who have benefitted both from experience and in many cases from the training the county now offers, passed that test with flying colors—more nonprofits cleared that bar than there was money to fund. In April, supervisors approved $1.1 million in grants, but of the 33 nonprofits that met the minimum requirements to win funding, only 20 were funded. The lowest-ranked applicant to be funded was scored at 83.6%.
Members of the board’s finance committee have directed the county budget staff to prepare the next budget with an eye toward funding nonprofits that score a 75 or better, but Supervisor Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian) said the bar should be kept where it is.
“I would actually go for the 70% line now that we’re coming up into this depression and recession, and I think the people are going to need a lot more help, and really for county like ours it’s just a drop in the bucket,” Briskman said.
Loudoun human services nonprofit leaders have said they’ve seen an unprecedented surge in the demand on their services since the COVID-19 pandemic began.