What’s the difference between a powerful idea that changes peoples’ lives for the better, and one that never gets put into action? All too often the answer is “resources.” Valley Vision has always had a top-notch staff and consultant team with the skills necessary to get things done, but like many nonprofits, it’s been limited for lack of its own investment capital it could access to turn ideas from the community into reality.
That’s where the Innovation Fund comes in. Recognizing this need, the Valley Vision board of directors agreed to create a special set-aside fund within the organization capable of pooling donations and gifts from board members and community investors that could be directed towards high-priority regional needs that don’t otherwise have a ready sponsor.
Set up in 2016, over $100,000 have been committed and spent so far on some of the most urgent regional needs, from working with scores of partners to increase financial investment and job creation in neighborhoods suffering from chronically high unemployment and poor living conditions, to increasing transit service levels and safety for those most in need, to building community and political support for a connected regional trail system that would improve health and wellbeing and expand transportation options.
Innovation Fund dollars were used to underwrite the work of hired consultants and staff to drive results in each of these areas, from engaging affected stakeholders and providing technical assistance to conducting original research and implementing promising practices from other communities. This work continues.
To learn more about the Innovation Fund, or to consider making an investment in the long-term health of the region and its people, contact Bill Mueller at email@example.com.