Minnesota Economic Development Foundation (MNEDF)
The Minnesota Economic Development Foundation (formerly the EDAM Foundation) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation formed for the purpose of working closely with EDAM and its members to build stronger Minnesota communities through economic development outreach, education, and training and research initiatives.
Since its formation in 2003 by EDAM Past Presidents with seed money from EDAM, the Foundation has been committed to cultivating “next generation” economic and community development leaders as a means of building capacity within Minnesota communities who share the goal of sustaining local economic growth and vitality. Matching driven professionals with communities and organizations with a commitment to economic development action is producing measurable outcomes for the individuals and communities that the Foundation supports.
During 2013, the Minnesota Economic Development Foundation (MNEDF) continued its focus on providing grants and scholarships in support of student scholarships, community & regional internships, advanced education and training and funding for community outreach to EDAM members. The Foundation has now surpassed $250,000 in total grants to more than 250 individuals or organizations who are engaged in the field of economic development. The opportunities supported by these grant awards continue to generate tremendous “win-win” outcomes for employers, students and professionals alike, who gain tremendously from the skills and resources developed, which are then deployed throughout the state of Minnesota by professionals in the field.
The Foundation’s internship and scholarship programs continue to thrive. The community-based internship program has attracted new member involvement and is seeing greater geographic diversity. The Foundation’s Partnership Program with St. Cloud State University is producing results in educating “next-generation” state, regional and local community economic developers, and engaging communities in economic development through offering foundation-sponsored intern grant support, including the annual DEED internship program.
Professional advancement for economic development practitioners is also a cornerstone of the Foundation’s mission, represented by its support for the IEDC accredited Upper Midwest Basic Economic Development course at the University of Minnesota – Duluth (UMD), National Development Council (NDC) certification courses, and International Economic Development Council (IEDC) certification courses.
The Foundation was excited to have partner with Greater MSP in 2013 to bring the core IEDC Economic Development Credit Analysis course to Minnesota and provided full and partial tuition scholarships to EDAM members. IEDC will be bringing the Managing Economic Development Organizations course to Minnesota on May 29-30, 2014 prior to the EDAM/ IEDC Spring Conference. MNEDF will once again be providing scholarship opportunities for this IEDC course.
The Foundation has also partnered with the EDAM and the EDAM–YP Committees on several projects including the First Time Attendee Scholarship for both the EDAM Summer and Winter Conference. The goal of this program is to encourage more young professionals attend and participate in the conferences to see firsthand the real value of EDAM’s conferences and educational programs.
This year, professionals from throughout Minnesota have pursued advanced training and certification through each program, which will continue to be central to the Foundation’s mission of advanced professional education in years ahead. In fact, the Foundation’s support has proven to be especially beneficial to smaller cities in greater Minnesota that otherwise would not be able to participate without our educational scholarship programs.
Another major initiative of the Foundation is its Legacy Gift Program. As a 501(c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization, the Foundation can receive tax-deductible donations and gifts from individuals and organizations in support of its mission. Gifts and direct funding support for the Foundation can also be arranged through personal wills, estates and other planned giving arrangements. To date we have received more than $60,000 in personal pledges from MNEDF Board Members and EDAM Past Presidents. Our Legacy Gift campaign is a long-term initiative with the overarching goal of reaching $1,000,000 in planned gifts and major Foundation support to sustain the Foundation for generations to come.
The MNEDF Board of Directors has also elected the following volunteer officers for 2014: Patrick Connoy – Chair, Michael Mulrooney – Vice Chair, Jana King CEcD – Treasurer, John Campobasso CEcD– Secretary, and Tim Clawson CEcD – Past Chair.
The Foundation continues to be very fortunate to have outstanding support from its many funding partners and its dedicated volunteer board of directors. These organizations and individuals continue to give graciously of their time and resources to build and support current and future economic development leadership in Minnesota. We extend a very resounding thank you to all who contributed financially to the Foundation in 2013. Without your continued support, the opportunities, experiences and outcomes of the Foundation could not have been realized. We look forward to 2014 with a sense of optimism for this mission, and invite all EDAM members to partner with the Minnesota Economic Development Foundation in Building a Stronger Minnesota.
Tim Clawson CEcD
2013 Foundation Chair