Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nonprofits to Voluntarily Give to City

For the first time in two years a cohort of nonprofits will contribute to Pittsburgh's budget. Organizations that are members of the public service fund, run by the Pittsburgh Foundation, will give $2.6 million each year for 2010 and 2011. City Finance Director Scott Kunka says the five year plan also includes the $2.6 million going forward and that amount could increase in the future. But a few council members were irritated that while the agreement would disclose which nonprofits were contributing to the city, it won't reveal how much each organization is giving. But Kunka says the city doesn't have a choice. "We don't really have a whole lot of leverage in this matter. This is not a number we negotiated with them. This is a number that they came to us and said 'this is what we have, do you want it or not?'" But councilwoman Theresa Smith said she was disgusted by the small amount offered up by the nonprofit community, saying the bad economy wasn't an excuse. "I actually think that this is insulting, this amount of money. To hear that they're struggling, well what about our residents? They're struggling." Kunka noted that the mayor and council both want the city's larger nonprofits to contribute more, but says Pittsburgh needs every dollar it can get and they'd be walking away from more than $10 million over five years. Council approved the measure.

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