How I Would Assess Takoma Park Grant Funding Requests

The city council is slated to discuss large-grant applications on Monday evening, February 6. Applicants are community organizations, 9 of them, seeking a total of $130,648.50 in public support. The council must assess the applications and decide which to include in the city’s FY2013 budget (for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2012). Here are the criteria I would apply:

  • How is the proposed use of funds aligned with the interests of Takoma Park residents and other stakeholders?
  • How wide is the reach, and how deep is the potential impact, of the proposed use of funds?
  • Does the proposed use serve more needful, underserved segments of community?
  • What’s the “bang for the buck,” the ratio of impact to requested amount?
  • Is the proposed use duplicative of programming or services offered by the city or another organization? If it is, what is the justification for funding despite the duplication?
  • Does the proposed use (by contrast) relieve the city of responsibility for delivery of needed services that the city would otherwise deliver?
  • Does the proposing organization have its own resources that could fund the project?
  • Could the applicant tap non-city funding that would be more appropriate than city funding given project goals, reach, and city impact?

The following is the list of FY2013 large-grant applications. Full applications are available via links on the city Web site. I’ll reserve my evaluation for the February 6 council meeting, but Ward 1 residents, what do you think? Please let me know.

  • Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington – Swimming and Water Safety Lessons; Requesting: $8,060
  • Crossroads Community Food Network, Inc. (formerly Crossroads Farmers Market, Inc.) – Crossroads Healthy Eating Initiative; Requesting: $17,368.50
  • Dance Exchange – HOME at Dance Exchange; Requesting: $20,000
  • Music from Maple View – Classical Chamber Music Festival and Series ; Requesting: $2,500-$10,000
  • Old Takoma Business Association/Main Street Takoma – Main Street Takoma; Requesting: $30,000
  • Takoma Park Folk Festival, Inc. – Festival Support; Requesting: $7,000
  • Takoma Park Independence Day Committee, Inc. – Independence Day Fireworks; Requesting: $13,500
  • Takoma Park Women’s Business Network – Support and Networking for Women Entrepreneurs; Requesting: $20,720
  • Washington Adventist University – Halcyon Hall – Halcyon Hall Courtyard/Raingarden; Requesting: $4,000

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