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Donations and grants are often the lifeblood of many local nonprofits and groups.

And as a way to lend a helping hand, the city of Sedona offers an annual small grant program, which many groups use.


This year 19 organizations requested a total of $210,180 with $161,500 being approved 6-0 on Tuesday, July 11, by the Sedona City Council.

Mayor Sandy Moriarty recused herself since she is president of the Sedona Winefest board.

The grant process began in February and was completed in June by a group of citizens, once again led by Stephanie Giesbrecht. Joining her this year were Bill Cammock, Connie Levinson, Jennifer Perry and Jessica Williamson.

Giesbrecht vetted the grant applications for completeness, reproduced and distributed the applicants to the reviewers, led the evaluation process, scheduled the applicant interviews and summarized committee recommendations for grant awards to staff, a city report states.

The amounts awarded ranged from a high of $24,000 to both the Sedona Arts Center and Sedona International Film Festival to a low of $1,100 to Canned Sedona and $1,020 to Running River School.

Only two of the applicants — Friends of Sedona Police K-9 and Sedona Swim Team — were denied funding. The committee noted its reasons for the two denials:

  • Sedona Swim Team: “This request from the swim team was specifically for funding the heating of the city pool during winter months. It appears there has been leadership change in this organization, which did not have access to this organization’s past requests. The city previously, on more than one occasion, has made the conscious decision not to fund heating of this pool during the winter months. The committee felt obligated to respect this decision.”
  • Friends of Sedona Police K-9: “The reason the recommendation is for no award in this case, is largely based on the fact the city was approached by a group on a similar recognition monument project in the fairly recent past. At that time, the city had volunteered to fund the base and provide ongoing maintenance for the statue. This information was given to the committee during its deliberation by the assistant city manager. Also, during the applicant’s in-person presentation, the group’s representative acknowledged that likely, enough money could be raised by fundraising activities to fund the statue without a city award. The committee would like to see the Friends organization request the city to renew that offer in lieu of receiving small grants monies this year.”
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