The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

August 28, 2013

Funding its future

CLINTON — Time and money are running out for the Gateway ImpACT Coalition and the questions now are whether the community wants to continue the coalition and at what cost.

Members of the coalition met Tuesday to discuss sustainability options for the non-profit organization and how the group plans to move forward with that process.

Sgt. Christopher Cole with the Iowa Counter Drug Force of the Iowa National Guard has been working with ImpACT for the past couple of weeks to brainstorm ideas for funding.

“I help provide training and coaching to coalitions to help them better implement their strategic framework,” Cole said.

His meeting with the ImpACT coalition on Tuesday included discussion about what programs the group could cut from funding, what avenues to pursue for funding and whether the coalition wanted to keep paid staff positions or remove those from the budget.

Cole laid out three separate scenarios, each with its own funding goal, for the coalition to consider.

The first goal required $11,650 in funding to sustain the coalition’s current activities and programs without a paid staff position. The second goal allowed one part-time staff position, with the activities and programs, for $45,650 in funding.

The third goal would allow the coalition to continue working the way it has with two part-time employees, but would require $65,650 in annual funding.

“Goal three is the ultimate goal but goal two is more likely obtainable with budget line items,” Coal said.

Cole’s pressure to consider budget line items is to steer the coalition away from depending on grant funding. He advises against seeking grant money because it can be inconsistent and has certain stipulations the coalition must follow.

Instead, Cole suggested the group start thinking like a business so it can learn to sustain its own budget.

“If you raise your own money, you can do with it whatever you please,” Cole said. “Plus it is guaranteed. Grants are not guaranteed.”

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