Compliance & Legal

Eligible Agencies

Sourcewell membership is available at no-cost, no obligation, and no liability to public agencies, school districts, state colleges and universities, and local governments. Tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and other similar entities may also join.

Membership provides timely access to competitively awarded nationally leveraged cooperative purchasing contracts through Joint Powers Agreements.


Common Questions

Yes! Sourcewell is a service cooperative created by the Minnesota legislature as a local unit of government. Minn. Const. art. XII, sec. 3. As a public corporation and agency, Sourcewell is governed by local elected municipal officials and school board members. Minn. Stat. § 123A.21 Subd. 4 (2017).

Under its enabling statute, Sourcewell is explicitly authorized to provide cooperative purchasing services to eligible members. Id. at Subd. 7(23). Sourcewell follows the competitive contracting law process to solicit, evaluate, and award cooperative purchasing contracts for goods and services. Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contracts are made available through the joint exercise of powers law to member agencies. Minn. Stat. § 471.59 (2017).

Membership in Sourcewell is available for all eligible state and local governments, education, higher education, and nonprofit entities across North America. § 123A.21 at Subd. 3.

We streamline the procurement process for members by developing RFPs and submitting them for competitive solicitations. For details on our rigorous process, please visit our page on how cooperative purchasing works.

Sourcewell members’ ability to use cooperative purchasing contracts depends upon joint powers, intergovernmental cooperation, or cooperative purchasing laws in their respective jurisdiction.

Members have the ability to propose new or additional terms and conditions which do not interfere with the general purpose or intent established in the current contract. By reviewing your procurement documentation and local requirements, you may find there are specific requirements by your agency that are not included in the Sourcewell terms and conditions.

Vendors realize substantial efficiencies through their ability to respond to a single Sourcewell solicitation and Request for Proposal (RFP) that will potentially earn thousands of sales opportunities that might otherwise require unique proposal responses. From these efficiencies, vendors pay a small administrative fee to Sourcewell calculated as a percentage of sales processed through the competitively solicited procurement contracts awarded and held by the vendor.

Administrative fees are not an additional cost to Sourcewell members.
This administrative fee covers the costs of contract marketing and facilitation, and it offsets operating expenses incurred by Sourcewell. Funds collected from these fees may also be used for other purposes as allowed by Minnesota statute.

Sourcewell does not receive state or federal aid and does not collect membership fees. With respect to cooperative contract purchasing, Sourcewell is a self-funded governmental unit. The organization also shares these fees with certain members, partner cooperatives, or associations as they demonstrate the desire and ability to help facilitate and market Sourcewell awarded contracts.