Santa Supes Hand Out Grant Gifts

Written by Estero Bay News

September 7, 2023

Christmas has come in August for a handful of non-profits in San Luis Obispo County, as County Supervisors handed out over $100,000 in tax monies for community assistance grants.

Olena Nagorna of the County Administrative Office, said in a report that the “Contributions to Other Agencies for Other Agency Requests Grants” totaled over $102,600 for the current fiscal year. 

The awards are approved as part of the County’s regular fiscal year budgeting, but the amounts available each year vary somewhat, with less money available in tough economic times and more when the County’s wallet is fat.

This year, Supervisors thought they had $134,000 to give away and approved that amount in the budget. But Nagorna said they had to reduce that by some $5,100 with “required budget reductions.” 

“To be considered for this grant opportunity,” Nagorna said, “organizations were required to have non-profit status and apply for programs/projects that are not health and human services related. This grant allocates funds to non-profit agencies in financial support of ongoing projects and services.”

Naturally, there were more requests than money and Nagorna said they received requests totaling over $152,600 from eight agencies, requiring a staff committee to whittle them down. Some agencies got zero, others less than what they asked for and some got their full requests filled.

The criteria they used was:

• Identified funding sources showing the ability to leverage the other funds;

• Organizational ability to leverage the grant funds (if applicable);

• Requirement to obtain a funding public match (if applicable);

• Projected program/project goals, results, and outputs/outcomes;

• Projected program results, outputs/outcomes from prior year’s grant (if applicable);

• Program cost compared with number of people served;

• Geographic distribution of services;

• Percentage of requested funding being used for direct services;

• Program/project sustainability with funds granted; and,

• Collaboration with other community-based agencies and County departments (if applicable).

The final $102,000 recommended by the staff committee for awards was split six ways. 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast was awarded $20,000 for “evidence-based programing focusing on homework help and STEAM programming,” according to the report.

The Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District got $30,000 for “multiple conservation programs allows CSLRCD to continue promoting and implementing activities that protect water resources, enhance soil resources, restore natural habitats, and maintain healthy ecosystems.”

The SLO Children’s Museum got $4,700 to help pay for increasing the number of CalFresh/SNAP recipient families with young children who can visit the museum.

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County got $5,000 to help pay for a webpage that “centralizes data reports and community needs assessment by linking local, regional, and statewide reports from nonprofit, private, and public sectors. Funding is requested to support maintenance, outreach, and marketing so that the community is aware of the resource.”

The Upper Salinas Las-Tablas RCD was given $35,000 for working “with a diverse array of community members to address critical natural resource issues through education, planning, and on-the-ground project implementation.”

And Greenspace was given $7,850 for the second phase of the “10,000 Trees Project” that will be “using seeds collected from disease resistant Monterey pine trees within our local forests, distribute the seeds for propagation, and plant the seedlings on public and privately owned lands.”

A couple of agencies that requested funding got stiffed. The Council on Adolescent Mental Health, Inc., asked for $30,000 and was effectively denied funding.

And the County apparently doesn’t much value community journalism, as SLO Review had requested $20,000 to “expand capacity and local coverage by offering stipends to the professional writers and editors,” according to the County report. Supervisors allocated zero, zilch, nada for that effort.

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