Monday, April 11, 2011

Who is In Charge of Distributing Indianapolis Crime Prevention Grants and Why?

Russ McQuaid of Fox 59 reports that the several community organizations stand to lose have their crime prevention grant cut:
Several of Indianapolis' most successful community organizations, many located in the inner city, have been told their requests for city funding have been denied and that they shouldn't even submit applications.
The bad news to the groups was delivered by an e-mail sent after 4 p.m. Friday.

"Thank you for submitting a Letter of Intent for review by the Community Crime Prevention Grant Board," read the message from the Central Indiana Community Foundation. "We received 115 letters of intent requesting more than $12 million in funding which far exceeds the funds available this year. Careful consideration and a thorough review were given to each proposal; however your application was not selected to continue to the full application process."

The Mayor said he became aware of the funding situation Friday night and would try to come up with an explanation and solution by Tuesday.

...
The Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is the agency the City is dependent upon to vet the letters of intent and applications from organizations seeking funding.

CICF also received $302,000 in community crime prevention grants in 2010, putting it in competition for funding with the organizations it has turned down.
To see the rest of the Fox 59 article click here:

I have a healthy suspicion of some of the non-profits which have sprung up supposedly to provide charity to the community.  If you look at some of the non-profit tax returns  it often appears that the chief benefactors are the people who work at the non-profit, not the people they're supposed to be helping.  CICF is no different with several executives making six figure salaries and a President who is making more than $300,000.   It also has hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank.

CICF is apparently acting as the administrator of the crime prevention grant program.  But it also receives crime prevention grant money which would seem to create a conflict of interest.  Also, what happenewd to the plan to have the Indianapolis Parks Foundation be the administrator of the crime grants. From Inside Indiana Business:
At today’s IPL Mayor’s Lunch for Parks, Mayor Greg Ballard announced his support for the Indianapolis Parks Foundation taking the reigns on a $2 million Community Crime Prevention Grant.

The city county council approved a proposal to make the Indianapolis Parks Foundation responsible for disbursing the Community Crime Prevention Grant at its February 28 meeting.

In partnership with the Public Safety Committee, IPF will now be responsible for making grants to community organizations whose programs focus on youth engagement, education, safe neighborhoods, health, and ex-offender reintegration and re-entry.

“I have complete confidence these funds will go to worthy organizations that are making a powerful difference in the fight against crime,” Ballard told the crowd of nearly 500 business and civic leaders assembled for the luncheon benefiting the Indianapolis Parks Foundation.
I don't know why the City would ever delegate the distribution of taxpayer money to a private entity, much less one that is receiving funds from the very grant money it is distributing.  CICF should never have the last say over who gets grant money, i.e. taxpayer funds.  But in this case I have to ask what happened to the role of the Indianapolis Parks Foundation and the Public Safety Committee in distributing these grants?  Did the Parks Foundation and the Public Safety Committee get cut out of its administrative and oversight role?

Note:  The Indianapolis Business Journal also wrote a story on the subject.

6 comments:

Had Enough Indy? said...

CICF shouldn't have any review authority over these grants. That entity was not even mentioned in the Council's ordinances transferring the grants to Indy Parks Foundation and establishing a Board.

Paul K. Ogden said...

HEI,

I didn't get it either. I was going to raise the issue more strongly but I figured I missed something and there was a change of mind over Indy Parks Foundation and the board handling these grants. There has to be more to this story.

Barnard said...

Parks Foundation is a sub organization of CICF.

Barnard said...

The biggest deal in this story is Ballard caught in a lie!!! He said on Friday that he just became aware of this funding issue???? Paul... in your own blog post you quote the IBJ saying that Ballard announced his support of the Parks Foundation administering the crime prevention grants..... That park luncheon was in early March!!!

What a liar!

Barnard said...

Correction. Inside Indiana Business quoted him, not IBJ.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Barnard,

I think he said he just learned of the grant cuts, not who was administering it. I still don't know why you would give final say over who will receive taxpayer money to a private entity, a private entity that is also one of the recepients of the grants.