In May 2013, Convergent began a feasibility study to determine the scope and focus of a Capital Campaign. Beyond arriving at the $1.7 million figure over five years, the feasibility study determined several things.
While the regional business community appreciated the Grant County EDC, the majority did not fully understand the organization’s role and impact in improving the region’s economic conditions. As a relatively remote area, attracting retail business to the region would be key to ensuring sustained growth. The region’s business community was extremely pro-growth and would support such an expanded economic development effort, but it must be communicated and positioned properly.
Farnborough Air Show
Grant County has an aerospace history dating back to the late 1930’s early 1940’s and boasts two large airfields that enjoy over 340 days of visual flight rules weather. Thanks to funding secured during their capital campaign, the GCEDC staff is now able to focus more time and attention on developing economic initiatives supporting and expanding local aerospace industry.
The theme of the Capital Campaign, which launched publicly in January 2014, is “Building Prosperity,” signaling the need to truly show the business community the potential return on their investment in this campaign. This, according to Grant County EDC Executive Director Jonathan Smith, was the most notable takeaway for him.
“Many of our investors participated in our golf tournament and gala for years, investing the same amount each year,” said Jonathan. “However, after Convergent launched the campaign and explained the overall vision and the expected ROI to these businesses and individuals, many increased their investment significantly, in some cases doubling or tripling the previous amounts. It is clear to me that properly communicating our vision has been the key to our early success.”