Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) was awarded $45,700 in 2019 Innovation Funding from Sourcewell for R5DC’s Regional Yellow Ribbon Program. This comprehensive program creates awareness for the purpose of connecting service members, veterans and their families with community. It is designed to create efficiencies within the region by synchronizing community, county and company resources between and within the five-county region.
At the monthly Regional Yellow Ribbon meeting held in January, the City of Menahga was presented with a check for $10,000 to use towards the veteran’s section addition of Menahga City Cemetery.
Sourcewell Manager of Community Solutions Anna Gruber said the Innovation Funding program was created in 2014 to help public agencies in Region 5 fund initiatives aimed at producing collaboration and improving the region. The annual program promotes outside-the-box teamwork on projects that might not otherwise come to fruition.
“Through the Innovation Funding process, Sourcewell is able to give back to our communities in ways beyond our imagination,” Gruber said. “We’ve seen projects like a regional food cooperative, WIFI on public transportation, and a region-wide mental health initiative come to life. It’s a wonderful way to collaborate with organizations throughout our region to do great things.”
Since 2014-15, local government, schools, and nonprofits across the Sourcewell region have used more than $10 million through the Innovation Funding program to boost student and community success.
The 2020 Innovation Funding application process for local governments and nonprofits is open now through May 6, 2020. This year will mark the sixth-consecutive year that city and county entities within Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties (Region 5) have the opportunity to partner with Sourcewell and make special projects and initiatives come to life.
This unique funding opportunity includes an Innovation Funding Review Day when representatives from Region 5 entities attend a day-long, priority setting and application review to rank and select awarded projects. Gruber emphasized that Sourcewell does not select projects. Voting is done by Region 5 cities, counties, and other government associations in attendance. Review Day for 2020 will take place on June 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sourcewell's campus in Staples.
About Region Five Development Commission
Enhancing the vitality and quality of life in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties is the mission of Region Five Development Commission. Resiliency, inclusion and collaboration are guiding concepts in achieving mutually shared goals that continue to evolve with local municipalities, state, federal agencies, philanthropic, non-profit and social advocacy agencies. Visit www.regionfive.org to learn more.
Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota’s nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with more than 400 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.