How MALT Increases the Impact of Your Gifts by Leveraging Public Funding

Peter Fugazzotto - MALT

By Peter Fugazzotto, Director, Communications

January 22, 2020

MALT is built on the vision of people from different backgrounds working together to protect Marin’s farmland for farming forever. Our founders, a rancher and a botanist, collaborated to seed the idea of MALT as a nonprofit organization. At MALT, ranchers work side-by-side with scientists to improve soil health. And charitable donations from people like you are amplified with funding from public agencies.

While we share regularly about how important gifts from individuals are in our work, grants and awards of public money also play a critical role in protecting Marin’s farms and ranches.

Currently, private contributions from caring individuals like you comprise 70% of MALT’s budget. What you may not realize is that the other 30% of MALT’s revenue comes from public funding from county, state and federal sources. Public funding contributes to the acquisition of agricultural conservation easements that protect farmland forever.

Today we want to explain a bit more about how public funding works, how you can participate in the process and how we’re leveraging your tax dollars to provide local and regional benefits.

Public Funding to Protect Marin’s Farmland

Public funds are your tax dollars at work. For example, in Marin County, Measure A is a quarter-cent sales tax, approved by voters in 2012, dedicated to protecting parks, open space and farmland in Marin County. Measure A funding has been transformative in increasing MALT’s ability to protect local farmland forever.

Since implemented in 2014, Marin County has awarded $14.02 million in Measure A-funded grants for farmland preservation. With the support of the county’s Farmland Preservation Program, MALT has protected an additional 12 farms and ranches totaling 7,018 acres, providing habitat for common as well as threatened and endangered native plants and animals.

MALT staff continually keeps up on new and existing public funding grant programs, evaluates whether our work aligns with a program’s funding goals, and applies to secure such funding through competitive and open grant processes. MALT also works with partners to advocate for new sources of agricultural conservation funding.

The grant programs for which MALT regularly applies include:

It’s Your Tax Dollars

All of these funding sources are public; they’re your tax dollars at work! We wholeheartedly encourage everyone to participate in the public process around the allocation of these funds.

To that end, we want to share with you how you might participate in open meetings and public processes discussing MALT’s eligibility for numerous public grants.

The meetings and agendas for the grant programs for which MALT regularly applies can be found in the following locations:

Staying Transparent About Our Public Funding

MALT’s work is possible because of the tremendous support of our community. Public funding also plays a critical role. As a non-profit we pride ourselves on sharing regularly, frequently and transparently about our work to protect farmland so that all of our supporters can see the impact of their contributions.

On our website you will find a map sharing the story of each and every ranch we’ve protected. Also on our website are our audited financials, recent 990s and annual reports.

Coupling private donations with public funding is proving a winning combination to protect Marin’s farmland forever. We encourage you to be involved in the public processes through which your tax dollars are used to support farmland conservation!

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