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Main Street March Mondays: Organization

The ‘Organization’ pillar focuses on a strong foundation for the revitalization program in a community. This pillar includes creating a shared vision of what the community wants to achieve and defines the program’s role within the town’s ecosystem to achieve it. A Main Street Organization creates a mission statement and translates it into specific community goals. The board and staff then take steps in an action plan to meet those goals. An Organization Committee can do this in four key areas: strategic planning, diversifying revenue streams, recruiting volunteers, and board development.

 



Partnerships

Creating broad partnerships within the community allows us all to work toward a shared vision. Partnerships with property owners, local agencies, elected officials, churches, schools, other nonprofits, and many other groups and individuals are critical for all the above key areas the Organization Committee addresses.

Some examples include meeting with property owners of vacant buildings to discuss what new businesses would be beneficial in our commercial district, collaborating with our museums for events or tourism marketing, or recruiting a business team of celebrity bartenders to volunteer at the Oktoberfest beer tent.

 

Fundraising

Multiple diverse funding sources are required for the progression and management of the shared vision. Organization is responsible for securing Program Funding and Project Funding. Program Funding is needed for operational costs such as administrative expenses and utilities. Project Funding covers expenses such as community improvement designs, tourism marketing, and event needs. Main Street Programs can raise money through grants, sponsorships, and special events. It’s important to note that very frequently grants are specified for a certain project and those funds can only be used for the project outlined in the application. Some sponsorships work in the same way – if a stakeholder is sponsoring Chillin’ on Main, the funds cover only expenses of that event. Corporate donations, town funding, and general donations are other sources of income.


Examples of funding secured by BaBB for Boyertown include the Façade Grant offered by DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development) for downtown building improvements that preserve and highlight Boyertown’s historic architecture. This gives a financial boost to property owners to get much needed painting, masonry or signage projects completed. Other examples are the flower planters along Philadelphia & Reading Avenues, funded by a private donor, and the trees lining the streets and in the community park, funded by the Bare Root Tree Grant and planted by generous volunteers. Our Partnership Program (formerly Membership) is another source of funding that assists the work we do. This is how individual community members and business owners can invest in reaching our shared vision.



Volunteers

Another facet of Organization is volunteer recruitment and development. “It takes a village” is more than an understatement when it comes to the efforts required to meet our goals. While paid staff exists in Main Street Organizations, the Board of Directors, committee members, and the many hands of event and project volunteers are the backbone of the organization. (If this series sparks an interest in volunteering, please reach out! We’d love to hear from you!)

 





‘Organization’ is an on-going maintenance process that grows and changes as a program and the community it serves grows and changes. ‘Organization’ works best in tandem with the other 3 points in the Main Street Approach – Economic Vitality, Design, and Promotions – to achieve our vision.



Come back next week to learn more about Economic Vitality!

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