Knox County kicks in for nonprofits

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

You may recall the recent history of community grants. In olden times, individual county commissioners would champion various nonprofits, coming with budget amendments followed by debates over worthiness. Worst were the multiple calls from board members to commissioners, time-consuming for both sides. And then on budget day, board members would flood the main assembly room, wearing colorful badges or T-shirts to lobby their cause.

It made for a very long day.

When Tim Burchett came in as county mayor, he called a halt. Money to nonprofits should not be grants but instead should be defined services contracts, he said. Many times a nonprofit can leverage volunteers and fund-raising to perform needed services less expensively than can government.

And now the nonprofits are obligated to one county mayor rather than 11 commissioners. Here are the grants approved for the fiscal year 2023 budget that kicked in July 1, 2022. At the end is a link to the contracts themselves.

Interesting reading for the bored and lonely:

  • Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville ($425,000),
  • Asian Culture Center ($35,000),
  • Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Inc. ($75,000),
  • Big Brothers & Big Sisters of East Tennessee ($9,500),
  • Blount Partnership ($30,000),
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley ($15,000),
  • Childhelp Tennessee ($45,000),
  • Community Mediation Center ($22,250),
  • Disabled American Veterans ($10,000),
  • East Tennessee Community Design Center ($15,000),
  • East Tennessee Economic Development Agency ($100,000),
  • Emerald Youth Foundation ($15,000),
  • Epilepsy Foundation of East TN ($10,000),
  • Friends of Literacy ($20,000),
  • Interfaith Health Clinic ($56,000),
  • Keep Knoxville Beautiful ($15,000),
  • Knoxville Chamber ($1,270,500),
  • Knoxville Leadership Foundation ($15,000),
  • Legacy Parks Foundation ($125,000),
  • McNabb Center ($100,000),
  • Mental Health Association of East Tennessee ($30,000),
  • Muse Knoxville ($15,000),
  • Raising a Voice ($10,000),
  • Farragut West Knox Chamber ($50,000), and
  • Zoo Knoxville ($475,000).

Click here to find the actual contracts.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.


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