Athens Land Trust, a locally trusted 501(c) 3 non-profit with professional staff, will help Boulevard Neighborhood Association administer fundraising for the Boulevard Woods project.
The agreement, officially called a memorandum of understanding, between the two organizations has been signed and is ready to go into effect.
BNA, which is spearheading the Boulevard Woods effort, sought the agreement with ALT because BNA does not have official non-profit status and wanted to be able to offer potential donors to the project the ability to claim tax deductibility for contributions.
The agreement means that we could–if we wanted to–start fundraising for the project right now.
But we've decided to start the fundraising drive only after we've gotten the official green light from the Mayor and Commission to create Boulevard Woods.
We're hoping the Mayor and Commission will give us permission to create Boulevard Woods as long as we raise a certain amount of funds and donated materials by certain date. Doing it this way reduces the risk for Athens-Clarke County and for us.
For ACC, making the permission contingent on sufficient fundraising, protects them from us starting the project but failing to raise enough to complete it. And, for our part, we won't have to be raising money for a project that may or may not be approved in the end: if we reach our goals, then we'll be able to build Boulevard Woods. This will give our fundraising campaign a sense of urgency, and our donors more confidence.
When will the Mayor and Commission give us a thumbs up or down? We don't know exactly yet, but should have a solid timeline later this month. Stay tuned.
Thanks to Nancy Stangle, Matt Bowers and Heather Denham and everyone at Athens Land Trust for their willingness to help us!