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ARC State Program Manager Comments

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Total Qualifying Score: 9
County (ARC Region): Yes
State (ARC Region): Yes
Q3. IRS Status: Nonprofit – 2
Q4. Parent Entity: No – 1
Q5. 2 or More Full-Time Employees : Yes (as of 12/31/2019)
Q7. Budget Level: $250,001 to $1.5 million – 5 (Last Fiscal Year Actual Income)
Q8. Restricted Reserves: No – 1
Q9. CARES Act Funding: Yes – 0
Q13. Participation by Executive: Yes


Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina 28801

County (ARC Region) Buncombe
State (ARC Region) North Carolina


Q1. Mission:

RiverLink promotes the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed.

Q2. How organization aligns with ARC’s Plan & Goals:

RiverLink strengthens our community by promoting the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed.  We believe that clean water, thriving natural habitats, healthy open spaces, and a culture that values healthy streams and rivers are vital for a healthy community. We increase the education, knowledge, and skills of over 1000 volunteers as well as 3300 students annually with hands on river experiences. River revitalization is one of our core goals as it connects people to the river, the water, and the lives the river and its water supports.

Q3. IRS Filing Status: 501(c)(3)   

Q4. Unit or Chapter of Larger Organization: No

Q5. Employees:

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 6/1 (as of 9/1/2020)

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 7/0 (as of 12/31/2019)

Current Year Income/Expenses: $1,112,887/$1,148,655

Q6. Fiscal Year: Calendar

Q7. Budget Level

Last Fiscal Year Income/Expenses (Actual): $943,910 / $873,008

Current Year Income/Expenses (Projected): $1,112,887 / $1,148,655

Balance Sheet

Q8. Restricted Reserves (Amount): No ($)

Q9. CARES Act Funding (Amount): Yes ($67,400)
Received From: PPL Loan   Date Received: 5/8/2020
For What Purpose(s): payroll costs

Q10. Negative Impacts from COVID-19:

COVID-19 has affected RiverLink in a variety of ways. We canceled all volunteering for several months and had to rely on staff to complete projects that we normally utilize volunteers for. We have not been able to conduct in person education lessons and are having to think creatively on how best to connect with students and support teachers in teaching the river science curriculum. We also had to cancel our largest annual event- RiverFest- and went virtual for our typical Anything that Floats Parade. This impacted sponsorships and in turn our annual fund as well as removing our largest outreach event for the community. Fundraising has been heavily affected as we have not felt comfortable soliciting as we would have in the past and have not been able to have our annual donor appreciation event. Staff morale is also an issue as staff learns to navigate their roles and their personal lives in this pandemic. Budgeting has also been very difficult in the pandemic as we are unsure how to plan for 2021.

Q11. Top Three Concerns:
Fundraising- how will end of year fundraising perform?
Budgeting- how do we plan for 2021?
Staff- how do we keep all of our staff and not make cuts? Are their roles evolving? How is their mental health?

How Participation in Program Will Address Concerns:

We think this will be some real world training where we can learn from professionals in topics from fundraising to budgeting. It has been very frustrating to participate in a variety of trainings and webinars throughout the pandemic that paints a very rosy picture and doesn’t seem to be realistic. While we appreciate optimism that everything will be alright for nonprofits like us, optimism only takes you so far. We need real world help with steps we can take to ensure the health of RiverLink and our positive impact on the community.


Q12. Applying as a Proposed Cohort? No

Q13. Executive Director or CEO Will Participate in the Program? Yes

Q14. Top Two Choices for Cohort Instruction:

Course #1 Choice: 1-Long-term Financial Management

Course #2 Choice: 2-Fundraising

Q15. Desired Course Schedule for Cohort Instruction:

#1 Desired Course Schedule: 1-Fall 2020: 6-Week Course (Nov. 9, 2020 – Dec. 18, 2020)

#2 Desired Course Schedule: 2-Winter 2021 A: 5-Week Course (Jan. 25, 2021 – Feb. 28, 2021)


Name: Laila Johnston, Development Manager

Application Approved by Organization Director or CEO? Yes, Approved by Executive Director/CEO

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