Subcommittee aims to be objective in funding nonprofits

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Madison County Commission is looking to be more objective in the way they give nonprofits money.

“Should the county commission be supporting nonprofits?” Frank McMeen, president of the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation, said.

That’s one of the questions the new nonprofits subcommittee asked Friday morning.

The members are people who work for and support nonprofits in the area.

“I think it’s good that the county commission asked us to be here and to look at that, so that the county can be better stewards of tax dollars,” McMeen said. “That’s what it gets down to. Are we being good stewards?”

Their goal is to help decide how to allocate about $160,000 to nonprofits in Madison County.

“What is that process? And if there is a process, that is just not a political giveaway to nonprofits that were favorites to county commissioners,” McMeen said.

“That was really all they had to do, was do that. Come in front of the county commission. There was no accountability,” Aspell Recovery Center executive director Richard Barber said. “No one knew who was going to get funding or how much.”

While the $9,000 Aspell Recovery Center received last year was a small dent in their budget, many nonprofits depend on these funds.

“We work with most of the nonprofits in Jackson. They’re great nonprofits that provide an excellent service to the community, and so if we can be helpful to them, we want to do that,” Barber said.

Now they’re working to categorize nonprofits, look at what the community needs from them, and seek a return on their investment.

The committee is going to be looking at all of that information and then make a recommendation back to the county commission.

Commissioner Joey Hale wants to get the new applications out to local nonprofits in March, but he said that date may change.

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