We want your opinions

June 03, 2007

ISSUE:

After his $3.17 million in cuts to nonprofit agencies brought a backlash, Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold announced last week a partnership with the state to train the charities, arts organizations and community groups on how to get private funding.

Responding to a request from Anne Arundel County leaders, Gov. Martin O'Malley's grants office has agreed to offer classes and invite nonprofits to a statewide conference in September on how to target private and foundation funding sources and how to manage the money.

Leopold, who cut grant funding to 49 nonprofits in his fiscal 2008 budget from $5 million to $1.7 million, has said they should prepare for less government assistance, given an uncertain budget outlook.

After his cuts were met with outrage from the nonprofits' supporters, Leopold and the County Council agreed to restore $815,000, and the council approved the $1.44 billion budget on Thursday.

YOUR VIEW:

Should nonprofits learn to become more self-sufficient and pursue private funding, or is it incumbent upon the local government to support the efforts of these charitable organizations?

Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be printed next Sunday.

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