Fayetteville approves third option for pandemic relief money to nonprofits

Fayetteville City Hall / Flyer file photo

FAYETTEVILLE — Nonprofit groups now have yet another option for receiving some of the city’s pandemic relief money.

The City Council this week approved agreed to allocate $1 million toward relief for nonprofits that experienced losses during the pandemic, including a new program for smaller groups that need up to $5,000.

Two other programs were already in place for nonprofit groups with larger needs.

Fayetteville was awarded $17.9 million in American Rescue Plan money. Chief Financial Officer Paul Becker said the city received about half the funds and should receive the other half later this year.

Becker said about $2 million has so far been spent on appreciation pay to city employees for working during the pandemic. The city has also appropriated $400,000 of the federal money for a vaccine incentive program that included a media campaign and $100 payments to residents who became fully vaccinated by mid-March.

The new program approved this week allows smaller nonprofit groups to apply for up to $5,000 in relief money. It’s designed to more urgently address economic needs since funds could be dispersed within a few weeks, Becker said. Qualifying costs eligible include payroll, rent or other operating losses.

A similar program that considers nonprofits as beneficiaries exists for groups that lost more than $5,000 during the pandemic. Dispersement could take longer, however, since the City Council must review the applications and vote on their approval. Examples of negative economic impacts on nonprofits can include an increased demand for services provided during the pandemic, changes to operational needs, declines in revenue sources like donations and fees, reduced ability to hold fundraising events, increased costs or challenges covering payroll, rent or other operating costs. The council appropriated $900,000 for the larger program.

Both beneficiary programs can be applied for through the city’s Community Resources Division by calling 479-575-8290. Applications are also available online (up to $5,000 or over $5,000).

Another program includes an online portal for nonprofits to apply for a sub-recipient grant of at least $25,000 to perform projects for Fayetteville residents on a prospective basis. That program requires detailed reporting about how the funds are used, and the city is responsible for tracking the money to ensure federal guidelines are followed. Any improper use of those funds must be paid back to the federal government by the city.

All groups have until April 30 to apply for money.