ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The mayor’s “One Albuquerque” brand has evolved from a slogan to a non-profit fund where some community members now hope they can raise financial donations to spend on city initiatives faster than the government can.
The city announced the new non-profit “One Albuquerque Foundation” Thursday, saying the tax-exempt organization will raise “funds in support of and to supplement city priorities.”
“This is all about the community,” said Charles Ashley III, the board president of the newly formed One Albuquerque Foundation.
A 509(a)(3) non-profit, the new foundation is like a booster organization that’ll take raise its own private donations. The city says the foundation will face regular audits, must follow the state’s Inspection of Public Records and Open Meetings acts, and must follow IRS law, including filing annual 990 reports. Those public reports should contain information on contributions to the fund, grants and expenditures.
However, the foundation believes its structure as a “support organization” makes it nimbler than city government.
“We continuously sometimes come across red tape when it comes to government, or if you want a project that has to go and get approved through certain councils or whatnot,” said Ashley.
The foundation already has its eyes on supporting several city initiatives, including supporting permanent homeless housing; offering more youth program scholarships and classes; more workforce development opportunities like mentoring grant.
One of the biggest areas that they’re also aiming to support is the realm of police officer recruitment and retention. The foundation is aiming to help pay to recruit police from out of state by offering housing loans, signing bonuses, daycare and moving assistance.
“We all get upset and angry with spending taxpayer funds, right?” said Ashley. “We’re always saying, we’re spending more money and we’re not seeing results, well this is not taxpayer money, to do the things that are going to solve, some of the issues that we have in the city.”
The foundation is already up and running, but was unable to give KRQE News 13 an update Thursday about how much money they’ve raised so far.