If Marathon County Board budget passes, The Women's Community could lose $55,000

MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WSAW) -- The Women’s Community in Wausau is one of 11 non-profit organizations preparing to lose funding should the Marathon County Board's 2020 budget pass Thursday.

Entrance to The Women's Community in Wausau (11/13/19 WSAW Photo)

County officials discovered in 2018 that if they keep funding non-profits, financial resources for other departments and programs would lack funding. The 2020 budget calls for each non-profit organization to lose 25% of their funding for the next four years, with the organizations receiving no financial support from the county by 2024.

The Women’s Community in total would lose $55,000. Executive Director Jane Graham Jennings says it's important to make sure the organization can secure state grants to keep their programs up and running.

“The funds that we get from the county leverage state dollars,” said Jennings. “We use our local funds as match, which are things that our state grants require us to do to show that we have local community support.”

The organization’s total agency budget is around $1.4 million, and while $55,000 doesn’t seem like much, Jennings said the money that would be lost each year is vital to helping keep programs open.

“Thirteen thousand in the first year, that’s a significant amount of money for us,” said Jennings. “Thirteen thousand is what it costs to make sure we have an overnight for our weekend shelter program.”

Jennings said that the funding being taken away would make a big impact.

“It contributes to all of the pieces of the puzzle that we have to put together to ensure that we have seamless, 24-hours, every day, someone available to meet with people who need us.”

Other organizations that would lose funding include the Wisconsin Valley Fair, the Historical Society and the Boys and Girls Club.