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Columbus non-profits to get emergency funding from the city

The United Way of Central Ohio building.

Some emergency funding is expected to be approved at Monday's Columbus City Council meeting, and non-profit heads say it is needed like never before.

The United Way, like many non-profits in Central Ohio, depends on fundraising for survival. When the pandemic hit, many of the in-person events they held to raise money were canceled leaving a major gap in their budget. Lisa Courtice, President and CEO of the United Way of Central Ohio said as much as a million dollars was lost from their budget as a result of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“Funding is essential because the needs are still great. They were great before the pandemic, and the needs related to the pandemic are great. And we don't know what the long-term impacts of the pandemic will be. So we're going to see some surprises along the way,” said Courtice, who has more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector.

She said that although they did get some funding from the federal government, those monies were just a one-time event. She is concerned that many of the organizations that serve people who are struggling may not always be there to help.

“Funding is always a really competitive landscape. The toll that the pandemic has taken on our non-profit sector has been like no other. We are a community that is driven by in-person events for fundraising. We had to do a 180, so in many cases, raised less. And you don't know if donors will come back, “ she said.

Courtice said they did receive some federal funding from the CARES Act, but it was not enough. The non-profit Dress for Success is also scheduled to get $80,000 in emergency funding from the city.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.