EDP surpasses $30K fundraising goal

Published 8:31 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership has added 11 new corporate members to its “Chairman’s Circle” and surpassed its goal of $30,000 in additional funding for the current fiscal year.

“We’re very happy where we are,” said Hal Goode, chief operating officer for the EDP, who said the new corporate donors have pledged to contribute a total of $37,500. “… Probably with about three or four more meetings, I think we’ll exceed $40,000.”

Chairman’s Circle donors are broken into tiers — platinum, gold, silver and bronze, according to news archives.

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The new donors all fall into the silver and bronze tiers, which represent respective donation levels of $5,000 and $2,500.

New silver-tier donors are Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, Denham/Blythe Construction, AT&T and Long Construction. New bronze-tier donors are Danville Office Equipment, Branscum Construction, Community Trust Bank, Stuart Powell Ford-Lincoln-Mazda, Caldwell Stone Company, Central Seal Company and Prodigy Construction.

The EDP’s existing private donors are Inter-County Energy and Central Kentucky Federal Savings Bank at the silver level; and Farmers National Bank, Centre College and Ephraim McDowell Health at the platinum ($25,000) level. There are currently no gold-level ($15,000) donors.

Platinum-level sponsors get a voice in appointing three voting members to the EDP’s board. Lower levels of contributions give donors access to email briefings on EDP activity and special “EDP Access” events.

Goode, who was hired last year as the EDP’s first COO, was given the job of increasing fundraising levels for the economic development agency. He worked with former EDP treasurer Tom Poland on contacting businesses and meeting with them to discuss what the EDP wants to do and ask for their support.

Goode told members of the EDP board the process of seeking additional funding led to conversations with local businesses that were as important as the new funds raised.

There are many businesses that weren’t ready to donate yet, but now there’s a connection and they understand what the EDP does a little better, Goode said.

Goode said after the meeting he thinks the fundraising effort has helped seed the EDP’s relationships with local and regional businesses, including construction companies that are doing or have done work on major projects in Boyle County.

“Most of the ones (who donated) are kind of putting their toe in the water — and that’s great,” Goode said.

The EDP was happy to find donors who aren’t based in Boyle County, but do have regional interests in the area, Goode told EDP board members. The regionality of the EDP’s work will be on display at the first event for Chairman’s Circle donors, an “Access EDP” event called “Economic Development Day” at the Danville Country Club on March 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The EDP is arranging to have “as many people from the Cabinet for Economic Development as possible” at the event and already has several confirmations, Goode said.

In October, EDP President Jody Lassiter said Access EDP events would be “closed-door meeting(s) with the representatives of our private investors to talk about specific initiatives, project activity.” But Wednesday, Goode said The Advocate-Messenger is invited to the March 28 event.

Denise Terry, a Danville city commissioner who sits on the EDP board of directors, said she has “had an epiphany” over the past six months as she learns about the importance of regional economic development work.

“We cannot sit here and only think about Boyle County. Even though that’s our priority, we are thinking regionally,” Terry said. “And we also need to maintain that mindset because our workforce is a regional workforce coming into our county.”

EDP Chair Ben Nelson said the EDP needs to “make sure our community in Boyle County understands what we’re doing and gets behind us.”

“That translates to: We need to settle down some of the tension that’s been in this county over economic development,” Nelson said. “Once we’ve accomplished that, we believe this is a regional effort. We believe what we’re doing and with the talent we’ve got, we can serve a bigger geographic footprint and make a difference for this community that way. 

“But right now, we’re still needing to do the marketing outreach, the education, the alignment of our immediate constituency, because they have, quite frankly, gotten confused with all the mixed messages that have been sent to them about economic development.”