I am a member of Howard County REACT, just outside of Baltimore. Our team has been trying to get a repeater on the air for a couple years now with no success. The issues isn't so much funds or equipment, but more so finding a site owner that is willing to donate or give a reduced rate for a site. Not to mention, just trying to make contact with other site owners. There are several repeaters widely spread around us, but they don't reach into the county very well, hence the need for one in our county.
I have run into a lot of people that have said they would like to see a repeater put up in our area, but it just seems we can't make the right connections to make it work. We've even approached the county considering the nature of what our REACT does and they were not interested (I'm paraphrasing here, but they said "they already have a ARES/RACES team, we don't need anther radio group" despite my best attempt to explain that the nature of GMRS is entirely different).
Is there any advice you guys could give or if you perhaps even know some site owners in the area, could you send them my way? And yes, our REACT team is a 501 c-3 charitable organization. This matters as it would allow for a tax write off.