MEMORANDUM. City Policy Regarding Working with Nonprofit Organizations

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1 MEMORANDUM TO: FROM: SUBJECT: City Council David J. Deutsch City Manager City Policy Regarding Working with Nonprofit Organizations DATE: October 11, 2012 The City works with several nonprofit organizations for the benefit of its residents. These relationships are varied. Examples include providing a place for an organization to conduct its activities or meetings, supporting organizations providing a vital service to the community with specific grants in the annual budget, and actively working with organizations at City events or on City initiatives. Several policies and agreements are already in effect to govern some of these relationships, such as Facility Use Agreements, Rental Agreements and the Special Events Policy for Use of City Parks and Facilities. Earlier this year, Council discussed the need for a policy to further guide the City in working with nonprofits. The attached Nonprofit Policy seeks to supplement existing policies by determining how out of the ordinary requests from nonprofits will be handled. Council s endorsement of the attached policy is requested.

2 Nonprofit Policy --DRAFT SUBJECT This policy is established to guide City of Bowie employees, City Council, nonprofit organizations and the public on how the City will equitably handle special requests from nonprofit organizations, when the requests are not addressed by other City policies. INFORMATION AND BACKGROUND The City of Bowie has certain policies that address the use of City facilities by persons, groups, and organizations not affiliated with City government. These policies include the Special Events Policy for use of City parks and park lands, the Amphitheater Use Policy, the Field and Gym Allocation Process, the Room Reservation Policy for City Hall and the Kenhill Center, and the Historic Properties Rental Agreements. These policies have worked well to manage and allocate the use of City facilities, but are not broad enough to address the increasing number and variety of requests the City receives from nonprofit organizations. This policy seeks to provide guidance regarding requests that involve the use of City roadways and rights-of-way, financial support and fundraising for nonprofit organizations, or a nonprofit organization s desire to partner with the City in some fashion to bring a program or event to the City of Bowie. DEFINITIONS A. A nonprofit organization is an organization or business not conducted or maintained for the purpose of making a profit, and for which the distribution of profits to owners is prohibited. B. A nonprofit corporation is a corporation no part of the income of which is distributable to members, directors, or officers, that is created by filing a certificate of formation with the State, and has been organized to meet specific tax-exempt purposes. C. A 501(c)(3) is a nonprofit corporation that serves broad public purposes and is organized for educational, religious, scientific, literary, poverty relief, and other activities for the public benefit and can receive charitable status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Tax Code. Page 1 of 6

3 POLICY A. Support of Nonprofit Organizations The City of Bowie recognizes the important role that nonprofit organizations play in making Bowie a well rounded community. The City welcomes and encourages the work of these organizations that both serve the interests of Bowie residents and further the City s mission to provide services and facilities that enhance Bowie s quality of life. To that end, the City of Bowie will: 1. Allow nonprofits to use City parks, facilities, and roadways when the usage meets the guidelines and the criteria set forth in this document and in other City usage policies and guidelines; 2. In the event of a conflict for use of a facility or location, give priority to Bowie-based nonprofit organizations in allocating meeting space, sports facilities, and fields; 3. Consider providing grants to certain organizations to support services they provide to the Bowie community. The City may also provide grants to local organizations and in some cases individuals, through specific grant programs, such as the Excellence in Education Grants, Art Grants, and the Community Outreach Grants; 4. Occasionally contract with a nonprofit organization to provide a service to the City government; and 5. Partner with certain nonprofits and other government entities to cosponsor certain events to benefit the Bowie community as a whole. These organizations should be based in Bowie or have a long standing affiliation with the City of Bowie. Details about how the City of Bowie will work with nonprofit organizations are provided below. B. Reduced Fees for Bowie Nonprofits Nonprofit organizations may rent meeting space at City Hall and at the Kenhill Center. The rental fee may be waived for Bowie nonprofits, unless they want to use the space at a time when no City staff will be on site and then a fee, reduced for resident groups, will be charged. The City also allocates gym space and athletic fields in Bowie. Bowie nonprofit sports organizations pay reduced ball field permit fees and Page 2 of 6

4 reduced gym fees based on the adopted facility and field usage fee schedules published in the City budget. C. Use of City Streets, Rights-of-way, or other City Properties The following information should be submitted by nonprofit organizations when requesting use of City streets, rights-of-ways, and other City properties, not covered by the Special Events Policy for Parks or other policies listed in the Information and Background section of this policy. The request must be made in writing and should include details of the event, including, but not limited to: 1. Name and mailing address of organization making request 2. City facility, property, or street requested for use 3. Proof of nonprofit status 4. Description and purpose of event 5. Time of event and time access to the site is needed 6. Proposed route (if applicable) 7. Concession information, including whether food or drink will be sold 8. List of equipment that will be brought in for the event 9. List of event sponsors and their role if any 10. Proof that the organization is based in Bowie or a description of the group s long-standing connection with the Bowie community 11. A description of the benefits the nonprofit will receive and the benefits the City or its residents will receive from the event. 12. Detailed description of any support needed from City staff, including police, rangers, or other park personnel. (NOTE: These costs will be the responsibility of the event organizers.) The City Manager will make a decision to approve or deny a request after making a determination as to the availability of the venue or street, the potential for detrimental traffic and noise impacts of the event on nearby residents and businesses, other events scheduled, and other demands on City staff. The City Manager also may waive having the nonprofit pay for City-related costs of the event or program. Page 3 of 6

5 Users will be required to indemnify the City from and against any and all injuries and claims for damages incurred as a result of their use of the City facility. D. Working with a Nonprofit to Co-sponsor an Event, Program, or Initiative In general, the City of Bowie supports nonprofits by providing meeting space and access to facilities at a reduced rate when the organization meets the City s criteria. Co-sponsorship indicates a higher level of City support and close connection between the City s goals and a nonprofit s mission. Co-sponsorship may include any of the following: 1. Use of a facility without charge or at a very reduced cost; 2. Staff involvement in planning or presentation of a program or event; 3. Promotion and publicity by the City. Co-sponsored programs and events must: 1. Be evaluated on the following criteria: a. They should be consistent with the City s economic, social, or recreational goals. b. They should be free and open to the public, unless otherwise authorized by the City Manager. c. They should demonstrate community pride and involvement d. They should not have a religious or political purpose e. The organization wishing to co-sponsor an event or program must be based in Bowie or have a long-standing relationship with the City of Bowie. 2. Adhere to all relevant City policies, including those stated in the Information and Background section of this policy. 3. Be approved in advance by the City Manager. 4. Acknowledge the City as a co-sponsor in all materials and announcements about the event. Page 4 of 6

6 Procedure: 1. A nonprofit organization requesting City of Bowie co-sponsorship of their event or program shall submit a written request to the City Manager not less than 60 days prior to the proposed event or program; 2. The request should include: a. Name of program or event and description thereof which includes the target audience, goals, theme, and purpose of the event or program. b. Proposed date and time c. Name of requesting organization and the names of its officers d. Contact information for applicant e. Description of co-sponsorship support that the City is being asked to provide f. All other information required by the Special Events Policy for City Parks and Facilities or the information required above for use of City property. 3. The City has limited resources to actively co-sponsor events. The City Manager may decide to deny a co-sponsorship request for this reason. 4. A written letter or of approval or denial will be sent to the applicant by the City Manager or his designee. An approval letter will outline the extent of the co-sponsorship and a copy of any policy or policies that apply will be provided. The notification shall also designate a City staff member to work with the organization. E. City Grants The City has long established relationships with certain nonprofit organizations based in this community that work to protect, serve, or improve the community. Financial support of these organizations is accomplished by City of Bowie grants reviewed and approved annually through the City budget review process. The Bowie Volunteer Fire Department, the Bowie Pantry and Emergency Aid Fund, the Bowie Community Media Corporation, and the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts are examples of nonprofits that have benefited from City of Bowie grants. Page 5 of 6

7 The City also awards grants through programs such as the Excellence in Education Grants, the Art Grants, the Community Outreach Grants, and grants awarded to the City to address specific community needs. Each of these programs has well defined eligibility and application criteria. Nothing in this policy is intended to alter the administration of these programs. F. Contracting with nonprofit organizations for services or goods In order to serve the needs of its taxpayers, the City may need to hire a nonprofit organization to provide a service or deliver a program to City employees or to the community at large. In these instances the City will choose the appropriate organization through a competitive process of soliciting bids or quotes. G. Fundraising and Financial Contributions On occasion the City Council or City officials receive requests to raise money for a cause, to sponsor a particular organization, or to help underwrite the cost of a trip by a class, a club, or a sports organization by making a financial contribution to the organization or by purchasing a table for a banquet or tickets to a fundraising event. In general, the City of Bowie government shall not make financial contributions to support organizations or clubs, unless it can be demonstrated that the contribution will benefit the community as a whole or will advance the goals and priorities of the City government. Exceptions to this section may be authorized by the City Council in times of catastrophe or widespread hardship. IMPLEMENTATION: This policy will be published on the City website and will be provided upon request. The City may develop a form or procedures to further define or explain the requirements of this policy. Nonprofit organizations using City facilities, parks, streets, rights-of-way, or other City properties may be required to provide liability insurance coverage naming the City as additionally insured. The City Manager has the discretion to grant exceptions to this policy. Page 6 of 6

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