The federal government shutdown continues to affect many individuals as well as nonprofit organizations all around the country, and it appears that the shutdown won’t be ending anytime soon. The government relationship with nonprofit organizations is often a vital one when it comes to grant, financial stability. However, national government isn’t the only source of a government-nonprofit relationship.
Local governments are often criticized for lack of communication with nonprofit organizations in their area. In fact, nonprofits are always looking for ways to strengthen their relationship with their local government. Local governments are often looking for ways to increase benefits to both parties. The scene is a little different here in Morgantown. Our local government boasts a great relationship with local nonprofits.
The city of Morgantown focuses on helping nonprofit organizations in the area as part of their daily activities. According to Morgantown Community Development Administrator David Bott, the city of Morgantown provides limited funding to nonprofits in the community through the city’s general fund and the Community Development Block Grant. One of the most successful city-nonprofit relationships is with the homeless service providers in Morgantown.
“The city works closely with many of the nonprofits especially the housing authority and Habitat for Humanity,” explained Bott. “The city coordinated and lead the first few points-in-time counts of the homeless from 2005 – 2007. “I serve as the President of the Board of the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness. We are working to resolve the problem not only in the state, but also in our city.”
In addition to funding, the city of Morgantown also promotes the nonprofit organizations in the community on their webpage. They often feature nonprofit events in their blog as well. Aside from financial help, promotion, education, and awareness is often some of the best help nonprofits can receive. Bott says education and awareness is important, because most Morgantown citizens are unaware of the variety of services available or ways to volunteer.
“The average citizen is unaware of the array of non-profits in the community,” said Bott. “The last count I had Monongalia County had somewhere around 350 non-profits. Most people see the United Way as the face of non-profits in the community.”
There are currently over 400 local nonprofits in the Morgantown area. Local government can play an important part in keeping these nonprofits in service. In addition, so many types of nonprofits exist locally, that a wide variety of volunteers are needed. As a community, we can do our part to help keep these nonprofits serving those in need whether it be through donations, contributions, or volunteering our time and effort.