By Gail Peckler-Dziki

Over the years, the town of Salem receives donation requests from various nonprofit agencies that include grade schools, The Sharing Center and most recently the Westosha Senior Center.

By state law, the town cannot give “donations.”

In the last two years at the town’s annual meeting, electors approved an advisory vote to give $10,000 and then $15,000 respectively to The Sharing Center of Trevor.

Board members stated that they back the service The Sharing Center provides to many Salem residents, yet the votes are advisory and the amounts may not match up with the town budget.

To solve the problem, the Salem town board is considering a policy to aid their decision-making.

The policy draft, considered at the March 21 Committee of the Whole meeting, lays out criteria an organization must meet in order to be considered.

The draft defines the criteria as serving the interests of the community. Also important is the number of low-income individuals and families being served and how many of those are Salem residents.

Longevity and stability are important and the organization must have been in operation for one year or more and must be non-profit.

Organizations will not be funded are those that limit service to members of one religious group, require participation in a religious ceremony, prayer, or propagate a religious faith or creed; reside outside of the Town of Salem political boundaries or are individuals; political organizations; sports related events, activities, or sponsorship or another governmental agency.

The policy requires the non-profit to provide certain information, including a summary of the organization’s mission, goals, history, programs, major accomplishments and success stories.

Current and past years budgeted and actual revenues and expenditures and documentation of the amount of percentage of the funding request that will be used to support Salem residents.

The board was undecided about determining the actual amount that would be available for the “purchase” or services.

This item will be on the April 11 regular board meting agenda.


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