April 24, 2017; Bethesda
When community-based nonprofits organize their stakeholders and clients, they can put pressure on government policymakers and protect their public funding. That’s what happened in a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Bethesda Magazine reports that over a hundred employees and supporters of local nonprofits descended upon the Rockville council office building in Montgomery County, Maryland to oppose a proposed $600,000 budget cut in health-related grants to nonprofits offering after-school programs to at-risk kids, community meals for the hungry, and workforce training—a cut of one percent of the grant program’s annual budget.
“So many people were trying to enter [the building] for a Monday morning rally that it was difficult to get through the main entrance,” the article lead says. Many of the rally participants were clients of the nonprofits facing cuts, all with compelling stories to tell.
The county executive had proposed the cuts in his fiscal 2018 budget, but council members told the rally participants that they planned to reject the cuts and even slightly increase the program’s funding. Seven of the nine council members promised to restore the funding.
It’s not quite what the nonprofits’ supporters were asking for—a three percent increase in total grant funding. But two council members told Bethesda Magazine that they were looking for ways to keep the funding at a consistent level in future budget years, as well.—Larry Kaplan
Correction: This article has been changed from its initial form. Rockville, Maryland, is in Montgomery County, not Rockville County. This was an editorial goof, and NPQ regrets the error.