MORPC Member Benefits

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is committed to providing a strong array of imperative and innovative benefits for our member governments.

MORPC has designed these resources to best fit our members regardless of their size or type of government. Our member governments receive exclusive access to advisory services, grants, other financial resources, GIS services, a local government summer internship program, and more.

Annual Member Visit

MORPC makes it a priority to meet with every member government to stay abreast of their unique issues. We encourage open dialogue to ensure we are responsive to each community’s challenges, priorities, and opportunities.

Our executive director and membership services officer travel to each member’s community to make it as convenient as possible for the member to participate. While the appointment is set with the active commission member representatives, the members have flexibility to invite additional local staff or elected officials to join in the meeting and share their ideas or concerns.

At the meeting, MORPC staff members are given the opportunity to see the progress taking place in each community and adjust the topics of the agenda accordingly. After the meeting, MORPC prepares a summary of the discussion to share with its leadership and pursues follow-up items.

MORPC finds these meetings to be critical in ensuring that members’ priorities  are incorporated into the services provided. These visits provide a forum to exchange ideas and strengthen relationships.

Regional Collaboration Meetings

Information-sharing among local governments is crucial to the success of any planning or development initiative. In addition to the informal contact made by local planners and developers at meetings and events, there are a number of formally organized groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss issues and developments affecting a particular area.

Among these are the quarterly regional collaboration meetings, where MORPC convenes local governments to work collaboratively on short- and long-range community planning. Members can choose to attend multiple meetings.

Local governments and public service professionals in transportation, infrastructure, land use, economic development, and sustainability gather to provide updates on planning matters. The meetings are typically held at different host sites.

Grants & Financial Resources

GrantFinder Service

MORPC provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for each member government to be able to access a GrantFinder service, which tracks over 10,000 grants. GrantFinder is a real-time, online, searchable database of 60 billion dollars’ worth of sources from federal, state, foundations, and corporate grants available to local governments and their community partners.

The service allows a representative to search the site with filters, dates, and links to application information, as well as a system to receive updates and weekly alerts on specific categories of grants.

 

Grant Forum

MORPC holds an annual grant forum for members to meet with providers and obtain strategies and advice on how to secure grants and loans for their communities. This opportunity takes place in the summer and is designed with our members in mind by allowing each participant to choose from a diverse and inspiring array of options to fit specific needs.

Past topics have included: community development; private funding sources; rural development and broadband; and infrastructure, including water, sewer, bridges, trails and roads.

Council of Development Finance Agencies Membership

MORPC provides each member with a general membership in the Council of Development Finance Agencies. CDFA is a financial service agency that provides expertise in public and private finance options. It was founded to strengthen state and local development finance agencies, and to stimulate job creation and economic growth through the use of tax-exempt and other public-private partnership finance programs.

CDFA provides many different ways to assist the development finance industry including, but not limited to, education, advocacy, research, resources, and networking. Each MORPC member government is able to designate a representative to receive updates and alerts on their programs.

Public Policy Advocacy

MORPC monitors issues and advocates on behalf of its members to the legislative and executive branches of government at both the state and federal levels of government. Members receive regular updates on these advocacy efforts in both written and verbal formats.

MORPC is also a member of associations and coalitions comprised of like-minded organizations. These include the Columbus Region Coalition, the Ohio Association of Regional Councils, and the National Association of Regional Councils, among others.

Our policy positions are guided by the agency’s Regional Policy Roundtable committee. For more information, visit our Government Affairs page.

GIS Services

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) play an important role in the work of local governments. MORPC’s data & mapping staff specializes in the sharing and consumption of spatial data using commercial and open-source GIS.

These services to members include providing data based on demographics of the governing body’s area, zoning maps, and other specific tasks using MORPC’s GIS software.

Our member governments are able to request eight hours worth of data and mapping services by contacting dataandmaps@morpc.org.

Salary & Benefits Survey

MORPC’s annual salary survey consists of data from our member governments on various positions and descriptions. Wage and salary surveys provide a valuable tool for use in determining how organizations’ compensation structure relates to those in a given area.

Current and past surveys are available here.

Local Government Summer Internship Program

MORPC provides its members with the opportunity to secure talented college students for summer internships. Our members gain a fresh perspective from advanced students to complete tasks and projects while simultaneously providing the students with valuable work experience.

MORPC coordinates the recruitment, initial screening, and placement based on the host government’s desired needs. Then, MORPC provides an orientation session for the interns to review the tools and resources at their disposal. In addition, students are provided with a current full-time professional to serve as a mentor throughout the program.

During this program, hosts pay an internship program fee as well as provide an hourly wage to the intern assigned to their government. The host governments are able to determine how many hours a week they would like their intern(s) to work depending on individual needs, ranging from 10 to 40 hours a week.

In 2020, MORPC began working with the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, which provide funds to support two interns that work with the Appalachian region through our program.

Ohio University MPA Program Partnership

MORPC and the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs have partnered to encourage more public-sector professionals to pursue a graduate degree, while also providing students with practical experience in local government.

Through the partnership, MORPC promotes the Ohio University Executive Master of Public Administration (MPA) and online MPA programs to its local government members. Employees who work at MORPC and employees who work for a MORPC-member government are eligible to receive a $1,000 incentive scholarship for their first academic term in either program.

More information on the program is available at onlinemasters.ohio.edu/MORPC.

Rural Service Strategy

As a result of the significant growth in rural communities, MORPC has established a rural services plan to address the unique needs of these members.

MORPC can serve rural communities by encouraging collaborative planning efforts to help develop inclusive, local strategy-building processes to build on community strengths and address challenges. By bringing subject matter experts into discussions and forums, MORPC provides valuable information and resources for rural communities to make informative decisions.

View MORPC’s Rural Service Strategy

Return on Investment

MORPC provides each member with a detailed report on the value of their individual membership on a calendar-year basis. These reports are prepared in the fall and distributed in time for consideration during our members’ budgeting process.

The report highlights the estimated value of the services provide through the calendar year. A return on investment shows the value provided to the member organization for every dollar invested in MORPC.

MORPC is committed to providing on-going value to each member while also maintaining prudent fiduciary responsibilities to keep dues affordable and sustainable.

View our 2020 Accomplishments

For more information on these opportunities, contact Membership Services Officer Eileen Leuby by calling 614.233.4135 or e-mailing eleuby@morpc.org.

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