July 2014

Clarksville, TN: Aspire V campaign nears $4 million

In 1996, NCDS helped create and fund the Aspire Clarksville program.  Since its inception as a $1.6 million marketing fund, this program, thanks to focus and direction from its private sector leaders, has evolved into a comprehensive approach to economic development and has delivered notable wins and progress to Montgomery County.  NCDS' Russ Leach recently concluded his assignment on the Aspire V campaign with a victory celebration announcing almost $4 million raised to date - all from private sources and $200,000 over the goal set last October.  We salute the business leaders in Clarksville who have remained steadfast in their support  of the Aspire program for almost twenty years.  We also welcome new Executive Director Cal Wray to town and wish him well in his leadership of this unique and successful partnership. Learn more about the Aspire Program HERE, and read about the campaign victory celebration HERE.

Light up the Lyric: 100 year old downtown Birmingham theater gets $7 million, new life

The ongoing revitalization of downtown Birmingham, AL will get a major boost when the historic Lyric Theatre reopens its doors and resumes its status as a vital cultural and economic asset. NCDS' Tom Cosby, a longtime civic booster and former Birmingham Chamber staffer, led a remarkable effort to rally corporate and philanthropic support to save and restore this truly unique and "irreplaceable" gem that had been idle and neglected for decades.  For Cosby, it was a "labor of love" that produced a level of fundraising success that exceeded everyone's expectations.  This is a REALLY cool project and we encourage you to learn more about its artistic and historic heritage, and to see what local leaders are saying about its impact on economic development and downtown revitalization.

South Bend, IN: Chamber's economic development program producing results

Even though we have raised over $1.7 billion for community and economic development programs, we know that our client communities' success is about more than just money.  While no fundraising campaign alone can be the sole stimulus for economic growth, it CAN create a mindset, a heightened sense of direction, focus, and responsibility - especially among private sector stakeholders.  A recent article about the St. Joseph County, IN economy illustrates this point. The Chamber's Grow SJC campaign, completed last year, certainly can't claim full credit for the "economic hot streak" described in the article, but it has been a key contributor to the momentum and attitude driving proactive economic development strategies.  In a region hit hard by the recession, and in a community that had never really had an intentional or strategic approach to economic development, the Chamber's designation as the lead economic development organization and the  Grow SJC program created a shared vision and sense of urgency among community leaders.  As this article shows, their efforts to develop the program, and their commitment to funding it are beginning to pay dividends.

To learn more about these programs or any other best practice initiatives of NCDS clients, please contact us.  And if you've got a big idea for your community, but need resources to make it happen, we can help!  Call or click today.

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We'll be in Cincinnati for ACCE's Annual Convention, celebrating their centennial year.  Come see us in the exhibit hall or contact us in advance to set up a meeting.