Only One Application So Far For $30K In Berlin Grants

BERLIN – Town officials continue to seek grant applications from local nonprofits.

Under the town’s new nonprofit grant policy, organizations have until Aug. 1 to submit funding requests. Town Administrator Laura Allen told the council this week she’d received just one grant request so far.

“The deadline is fast approaching,” she said.

In February, the Berlin Town Council approved a new nonprofit grant policy. The idea, Allen said, was to establish procedures to ensure that the town’s grants to charitable groups were awarded in a fair and efficient manner. Under the new policy, nonprofits interested in any of the $30,000 the town has allocated for grants are required to apply for funding between July 1 and Aug. 1.

In the past, the town has provided grants to various community nonprofits, including Diakonia, the Worcester County Developmental Center, the Cricket Center and the Worcester County Senior Center. Though the town also provides funding to Atlantic General Hospital, the Berlin Fire Company and Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, those grants are not regulated by the new policy.

To make sure nonprofits were aware of the town’s new procedure this year, Allen held an informational meeting in June. A handful of organizations attended the session, where Allen reviewed the new six-page policy. The document includes criteria for grants, funding categories, grant limitations and eligibility determinations.

“I went through the new policy and explained how it would work,” she said.

She said that she’d also reached out to nonprofits the town had funded in the past to advise them of the new policy. Several of those in attendance at the informational meeting, however, she said, were groups that hadn’t previously applied for funding.

“I think you’ve got a wide net that’s been cast out there,” Allen told the council. “We’ll see what happens.”

Though she’s received just one application so far, Allen is hopeful more will come in prior to the town’s Aug. 1 deadline. She assured the council the town had made efforts to make everyone aware of the grant deadline.

“I don’t want anybody to feel like they got shortchanged,” she said.

Allen said staff would review the applications and then present recommendations to the council in the fall.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.