The Morrison County Board of Commissioners announced a grant program for non-profits in the county. The announcement comes after the county had success with its business assistance grant program.

Both programs were made possible with funding from the CARES Act. The county received $4 million in aid and plans to use at least 5%, or a little over $200,000 for the non-profit grant program.

“We don’t know what the need is out there for the non-profit sector, but know the important role they play in communities,” said County Administrator Deb Gruber.

The county will partner with the non-profit, United Way, to administer applications, complete paperwork and answer questions about the program, Gruber said. After the application period is complete, the Board will review and disperse grant awards.

United way will collect an administration fee of about 10% of the total awarded grants through the program, which is pretty standard, Gruber said. The positive of the fee is that it’s supporting a local non-profit in a different way.

“They are a fantastic resource when it comes to assisting non-profits in the community and a great connection,” Gruber said.

All non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for the grant program. To qualify, the organization must show an impact to their operations due to COVID-19 and include documentation on eligible expenses incurred since March 1. The program cannot replace lost revenue, including from fundraising or gambling.

The “no limit” feature of the application is an adjustment compared to the application for businesses, which capped grant requests at $5,000.

Non-profits can ask for any amount they have proof of needing, as the county did not set a limit on requested funding. However, the County Board will make those decisions and applicants may not receive all that they asked for. Gruber said the Board may give priority to those asking for funding related “to providing for the health, safety and welfare of the community.”

“There are some nonprofits that we’ve talked to that likely have more expenses, but there are a lot of them that probably won’t qualify,” Gruber said.

If an organization doesn’t employ staff or have regular expenses, they may not qualify for the program.

The application period for the Morrison County Non-profit Assistance program will be Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Friday, Oct. 9.

Any questions can be answered by calling Meghann Boser at United Way, at: (320) 632-5102. There is no in-person access to United Way, so Boser asks that anyone calling leave a message and she will return calls as soon as possible.

The application will be available on the Morrison County website or can be picked up and dropped off in person at the administration desk in the basement level of the Government Center. Completed applications can also be mailed to United Way at 116 Eighth Avenue Southeast, Suite 158, Little Falls, MN 56345 or sent via email to mcuw68@gmail.com.

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