MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Murfreesboro Committee on Contributions of the Murfreesboro Community Investment Trust invites eligible charitable applicants to submit requests for charitable grants in FY24-25.
Beginning October 1 through Oct. 31, 2023, application requests for grant-funding can be made by utilizing the grant-making application process, available at https://www.murfreesborotn.gov/CommunityGrantApplication
Activities requesting funding from this application must take place between July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025. Requests for funding should not exceed $65,000. Average amounts awarded are anticipated to be between $10,000 to $25,000.
Deadline for submittal is 4:30 p.m., Oct. 31, 2023. Applications will be reviewed and scored by the Committee on Contributions, made of members with experience in charitable and civic activities. Recommendations for funding will be provided to the Community Investment Trust (CIT) Board of Trustees by February 15 for review and distribution. Final approval rests with the Murfreesboro City Council, at which time final award notices will be made to approved organizations. Application Guidelines, including eligibility, use of funds and ineligible expenses, are also available at https://www.murfreesborotn.gov/CommunityGrantApplication
There will be an online training held on Friday, September 29 at 9:00 a.m. to review the application process. Please email CITgrants@murfreesborotn.gov to receive the Zoom link if you are interested in attending the training. This meeting will be recorded and posted to the CIT website following the training. Any questions related to the grant application process can be sent to CITgrants@murfreesborotn.gov.
Each fiscal year, an Annual Distribution of five (5) percent of the value of the Trust, less fees and expenses, is to be distributed by the Board of Trustees. The Board is authorized to distribute fifteen (15) percent of the Annual Distribution as Charitable Contributions to Qualified Beneficiaries. In FY24-25, the Trust’s assets for charitable distributions are anticipated to be approximately $250,000 to $300,000.
The Charitable Contributions to Qualified Beneficiaries Award Announcement will be made online at www.murfreesborotn.gov by March 31, 2024.
Charitable Contributions will be allocated such that a Qualified Beneficiary receives not more than 25 percent of the total distribution of Charitable Contributions and the following charitable causes receive not more than the following percent of the total distribution for Charitable Contributions:
- Education and Youth Services 20%
- Community Safety and Victim Services 15%
- Health-related Services 10%
Applications will be screened and evaluated by the Committee on Contributions for eligibility, completeness, merit, and organizational capacity.
The Committee on Contributions will forward grant recommendations to the Board of Trustees by February 15 for approval before being submitted to City Council for final approval at a March 2024 Council meeting.
The Murfreesboro Community Investment Trust was established in 2021 from the proceeds of the sale of the City-owned utility, Murfreesboro Electric Department, to Middle Tennessee Electric Cooperative.
The purposes of the Trust are set forth in the Trust Agreement as follows:
- To support projects and programs of the City or other nonprofit institutions that benefit the City’s inhabitants and improve or enhance the quality of life of the City’s inhabitants or aid civic or other public improvements;
- To promote and advance the social welfare of the inhabitants of the City;
- To promote and support educational and recreational programs, facilities, and opportunities within the City;
- To fund public works within or benefiting the City; and
- To advance the general welfare of the City and its residents
Members of the Committee on Contributions are as follows: Carl D. Montgomery, chair, John A. Hinkle, Jr., Lynn Lien, Lyle Lynch, Wade Hays, Ronnie Martin, Collier Andress Smith.
History: The City Council, under the authority of an amended City Charter, created the Committee on Contributions approving Ordinance 23-O-06 on Feb. 2, 2023, within the Community Investment Trust structure. The Board of Trustees has authority under the City Charter for managing the proceeds received from the sale of the City’s electric distribution system in the “best long-term interests of citizens.” Expenditure of the funds remain a City Council decision.
Under the provisions of the Trust, the Committee on Contributions was established as the decision-making body for reviewing and recommending grant awards. The proceeds from the sale of the City’s electric utility have been used to establish the fund in which annual awards will be made to support eligible charitable activities that benefit Murfreesboro residents and the community.
The City sold its electric distribution system operations and assets to Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (MTEMC) for $245 million with $43 million paid at closing and annual installments of $17,290,134 paid over a 15-year period with interest, totaling nearly $302.4 million.
City Council determined a portion of the initial $43 million payment, and the incremental payments will be retained by the City through 2029 to be allocated to the City’s general fund to critical roadway and parks projects.
City Council decided that proceeds from the sale of the Electric Department should provide long-term benefits to the City’s citizens through prudent investments over time. To create a Trust Agreement to manage non-tax revenue, the City requested the Tennessee General Assembly amend its private act charter to allow the City to create the Murfreesboro Community Investment Trust and Board of Trustees—seven individuals with appropriate financial investment experience to manage the proceeds in the “best long-term interests of citizens.”
The Community Investment Trust Board of Trustees conducted its initial meeting, Jan. 24, 2023, and continues to meet monthly. The Trust Agreement and City Council also created a separate Committee on Contributions. The City Council, under the authority of an amended City Charter, created the Committee on Contributions approving Ordinance 23-O-06 on Feb. 2, 2023, within the Community Investment Trust structure.
The Committee on Contributions of the Murfreesboro Community Investment Trust met for the first time on February 28, 2023, to begin the process of making recommendations on the Trust’s annual Charitable Contributions for charitable organizations to the Board of Trustees.
The City has traditionally funded charitable organizations through the general fund, but Council voted to give that role to the Board of Trustees based on recommendations from the Committee on Contributions. FY23-24 marked the final fiscal year that charitable organizations are funded through the General Fund Schedule. In FY24-25, funding requests from nonprofit organizations will be directed to the new online application process through the Community Investment Trust based on recommendations from the Committee on Contributions. Charitable organizations have historically included funding for agencies that provide services for economic development, tourism, health, education, welfare, safety, arts and culture, and enhanced public services.
The seven Members of the Committee on Contributions, appointed by the mayor and approved by Council, have previous participation with charitable and civic activities within the City. Throughout 2023, the Committee on Contributions has adopted Bylaws, elected a Chair (Carl D. Montgomery) and Secretary (Finance Director Jennifer Brown), adopted Board Policies, and discussed the grant application process for funding charitable organizations. The application process begins Fall 2023.