Area nonprofits get $1M boost from county
by Jon Gillooly
April 10, 2013 01:02 AM | 3095 views | 2 2 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cobb County’s local government has added Habitat for Humanity and The Cobb Community Foundation to the list of nonprofits it helps to fund at a cost of about $1 million.

Habitat was given $58,420, while the Community Foundation received $38,453, by a 4-0 vote of the Cobb Board of Commissioners, with Bob Ott absent.

County Chairman Tim Lee said every year the county sets aside about $1 million to give to nonprofits that provide needed community services. Lee said the county has been engaged in this practice since Bill Byrne was chairman in the 1990s.

“The nonprofits provide a service that (is) important to the well being of the community, and they do it at such a higher service level and are able to make so much more out of the (money the county gives them) than we would be able to do as a government,” Lee said. “They’re able to take their grants and multiply them by matching other grants and providing services that we couldn’t that addresses other things like homelessness and housing issues and healthcare issues.”

The county asks a nonprofit called the Cobb Community Collaborative chaired by First Landmark Bank president Terrence DeWitt – which also receives county money – to handle the applications from the various nonprofits and determine who gets what. DeWitt’s group then recommends what each nonprofit should get in a two-year cycle.

For example, the collaborative recommended that the Center for Pan Asian Community Services receive $20,446 for 2013 and the same amount for 2014. The county approved that amount last September as part of its annual budget, and will vote to approve it this September as well.

As for why Habitat for Humanity and the Cobb Community Foundation were left off the list when it was approved in September and were just given funding on Tuesday, Lee said it was, “More technical reasons having to do with their grant applications more so than their purpose and their ability to meet the intent. We felt those are two big agencies that do a lot of important work and it was important to at least help them bridge over until the next time.”

Lee said each two-year cycle has a theme so that the county is able to target different needs of the county’s nonprofit community. This cycle’s theme is “homeless, housing and victim advocacy,” Lee said.

The following groups received a total of $963,695 dollars from the county for fiscal 2013 and are being recommended to receive the same amount when the board votes on its fiscal 2014 budget in September:

21st Century Leaders: $11,375

Atlanta Legal Aid Society: $61,612

Big Brothers Big Sisters: $35,300

C.A.M.P.: $13,800

Camp Kudzu: $7,200

Celebrate Life International: $12,000

Center of Children and Young Adults: $115,000

Center for Family Resources: $197,294

Center for Pan Asian Community Services: $20,446

Cobb Community Collaborative: $38,066

Cobb Public Schools Educational Foundation: $60,600

Communities in Schools Marietta/Cobb: $22,750

Credibility: $14,120

EDGE Connection: $13,650

Families First: $27,600

Fountain Gate Life and Wellness: $17,943

Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta: $15,100

Jewish Family and Career Services: $18,200

Marietta Mentoring for Leadership: $10,252

MUST Ministries: $30,520

Marietta YELLS: $44,748

Right in the Community: $18,200

Safepath Children’s Advocacy Center: $80,000

The Extension: $7,690

Tommy Nobis Center: $15,229

Traveler’s Aid of Metro Atlanta, Inc.: $23,000

YWCA of Northwest Georgia: $32,000
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Pat H
April 11, 2013
As private citizens, we can and do make charitable contributions to the charities of our choice. We can deduct these contributions from our income tax.

We are taxed by the county and the state and the federal government, and when our tax money is given to charities we are essentially giving money to charities of the governments choosing and we cannot deduct these sums.

Cobb EMC essentially does the same thing, and usually to charities that I would not choose, nor or they researched to make sure the money is not wasted on large salaries (i.e., MUST Ministry has Mrs. Lee in an executive position).
Cobb Taxpayer
April 10, 2013
While theses are fine organizations and all do good and important work, I do not think that helping to fund these organizations is part of the role of government.
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