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EfficientGovNow Round Two Under Way

Fund for Our Economic Future offers $330,000 incentive for collaborative local government projects; Northeast Ohio residents to select recipients 

CLEVELAND--Jan. 5, 2010--The Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropic collaboration of organizations and individuals that uses grantmaking, research and civic engagement to strengthen the 16-county region’s economic competitiveness, today launched the second round of EfficientGovNow. EfficientGovNow is a competitive award and civic engagement program that encourages and accelerates government cooperation and efficiency by providing funds to local government collaboration projects as selected by the residents of Northeast Ohio. In the second round of the program, the Fund will offer as much as $330,000 to be shared among as many as four projects – an increase in both the total dollars offered and number of projects supported by the inaugural round of EfficientGovNow. “Round one of EfficientGovNow told us loud and clear that the opportunity for collaboration and cooperation is everywhere, the payoff is big and the public wants it to happen,” said Brad Whitehead, president, Fund for Our Economic Future. Introduced in 2009, the inaugural EfficientGovNow program attracted proposals on a wide array of collaborative projects from more than 255 local government entities from across the region. Collectively these projects projected one-time savings of nearly $40 million and anticipated annual savings of more than $22 million. After public review of the proposed projects, nearly 13,500 Northeast Ohioans spoke out and voted in support of these ideas. The winning projects of the first round of the EfficientGovNow competition were:

  • Rollin’ on the River: Mahoning River Corridor Redevelopment Project ($57,451)
  • Westshore Regional Fire District Project, covering Cuyahoga and Lorain counties ($100,000)
  • Mahoning-Youngstown Regional Information System ($120,000)

How EfficientGovNow Round Two Works

The second round of EfficientGovNow kicks off with an invitation to all local government officials to apply for an EfficientGovNow award to support the implementation of projects that reduce government expenditures and strengthen Northeast Ohio’s economic competitiveness. To be considered, proposals must involve two or more governmental entities, demonstrate the potential to be replicated and demonstrate how the cost “savings” will be used to strengthen economic competitiveness, among other criteria. One change from the first round of the program is that the Fund will award as many as four grants, rather than three grants. As was the case in the first round, residents will vote for the three best collaborations from a pool of finalists, and grants will be awarded to the top three vote getters. Additionally, the Fund has reserved the option to award a fourth grant to a collaboration involving smaller communities. Project partners have until February 26 to submit a project idea, described in a 250-word abstract, for review. The abstract form, as well all information and materials needed to participate, are available at the program Web site, www.EfficientGovNow.org. Completed proposals must be submitted by April 19 to be considered. Once submitted, the abstracts and full proposals will be posted for public review and comment. After reviewing all qualified proposals, the Fund will announce the round two finalists on April 30 and public voting will take place beginning May 1 through May 31. The Fund will announce the award recipients in early June. Whitehead said the Fund anticipates a strong response to round two of EfficientGovNow. “Every day, we’re seeing more and more local governments propose collaboration projects, and the citizens of Northeast Ohio support their efforts to advance our region’s economic competitiveness. We look for this to translate into great proposals being submitted and tremendous citizen engagement when it’s time to vote in May,” he said. Kent State University, which serves as the fiscal agent for the program, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are partners and sponsors of EfficientGovNow and its related activities. Working with the Fund on EfficientGovNow are representatives from Kent State University’s Center for Public Administration & Public Policy, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University’s Center Maxine Goodman Levine College of Urban Affairs, Lorain County Community College Public Service Institute and Oberlin College. The Fund collaborates with partners in the private and public sector to implement the region’s economic action plan, Advance Northeast Ohio, which has four focus areas:

  • Business attraction and growth
  • Talent development
  • Growth through racial and economic inclusion
  • Government collaboration and efficiency