Cumberland County is taking a new step in providing COVID relief to its nonprofits. The county is giving away up to $50,000 to nonprofits that have struggled during the pandemic. Officials hope the relief will strengthen employment options and boost efforts from women and minority-owned organizations.
Cumberland County's new effort is called the Nonprofit Fiscal Recovery Assistance Program. There will be $3.5 million of the county's funding from the American Rescue Plan going into the effort. The money will pay back organizations for major expenses like wages, payroll taxes, office space and utilities.
"Many times, nonprofits put out more resources than they're really taking in," Tye Vaught, the chief of staff of Cumberland County.
Vaught says officials wanted to give nonprofits COVID relief just like small businesses have received throughout the pandemic.
"Nonprofits took a hit during COVID as well, and you know they may have lost donations, revenue and that type of thing," Vaught said. "This is really an effort from the Board of Commissioners to make sure that we were assisting them in the best way that we could."
The application is on the county website. Organizations classified as 501(C) 3s and 501 (C) 19s can apply, particularly those with a mandate to keep low-to-moderate income people employed. Vaught says those behind the program hope it will protect jobs and leadership roles for people from marginalized backgrounds.
"Many of the nonprofit organizations that suffered or had hardship are minority-owned and women-owned. And so, we really want to reach out to that community," Vaught said. "The policy, and in the framework of the program was really written with those who are truly in need being able to benefit."
County officials say there isn't a deadline for the applications yet, so those interested should head to the county website. Officials aim to begin distributing relief funds in January.