IREA, CoBank team up to double donations to rural nonprofits

The Intermountain Rural Electric Association has again teamed up with CoBank to select, and award $20,000 in donations to, four rural nonprofits in IREA’s service territory.

The I-70 Rural Economic Advancement Partnership (REAP), the I-70 Corridor Chamber of Commerce, the Byers Parks and Recreation District and the “Bennett Stronger Together” program each received a check for $2,500 from IREA and a matching check from CoBank as part of the bank’s Sharing Success program.

Sharing Success was established by CoBank in 2012 to match the charitable contributions of customers like IREA to local nonprofit organizations. This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CoBank increased the match from a maximum of $7,500 to $10,000 per customer.

This marks the eighth year IREA has participated in the Sharing Success program. Each year IREA rotates among its seven director districts which district’s organizations will receive funding from the program. This year, it was IREA District 6 Director Bob Graf’s turn to decide.

“I was delighted when I realized it was my turn to make a positive impact in my district through this program,” said IREA District 6 Board Member Bob Graf. “This is my second time selecting groups to benefit from this program and my focus this year was on supporting local businesses and parks in our communities.”

CoBank recognizes that its customers often know best where funding can benefit their communities most effectively. Since Sharing Success was established in 2012, CoBank and its customers have together contributed more than $44 million to groups such as volunteer fire departments, local schools and hunger relief programs.

“Sharing Success taps into the local knowledge of our customers to identify organizations that are truly making a difference in rural America,” said Seth Hart, vice president, CoBank. “Now more than ever, we are delighted to partner with organizations like IREA to make a difference for communities and people in need.”

Previous IREA Sharing Success-designated nonprofits include the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), Community Cupboard, Help the Needy, the Mountain Resource Center, the Outdoor Lab Foundation and the Parker Task Force, among others.

IREA plans to again participate in the Sharing Success program next year, when local nonprofits from IREA Director District 7 will receive matching donations from IREA and CoBank.