From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
New opportunities to engage the community while funding our work
by Rae Gosling | Grayling Main Street Program Director
As you may recall, last week I discussed the importance of community involvement and volunteers for the ongoing success of the Grayling Main Street (GMSt) program. Volunteers are only one piece of the GMSt development puzzle. Another important element of our organization are the financial contributions that keep our program running.
As you may also recall from previous editions of this column, GMSt is partially funded by a generous donation from the City of Grayling. We also draw income from fundraising events, business donors, and private donors. Occasionally, we are able to get specific projects funded, or partially funded, through grants.
As our program matures we are striving to diversify our revenue streams to be better balanced. In approaching the end of our third year as a Select Level community a large focus will be on developing programming that supports that effort. Main Street programs are encouraged to have funding resources that are dispersed among several revenue options. Some opportunities for revenue that exist include: private and business contributions, sponsorship of specific needs, local government contributions, tax captures from property taxes in the district, and fundraising events and programs.
As I have previously discussed, one way we are working to change the revenue balance is by updating our Partnership and Participation options for local businesses, residents, and friends of GMSt. This past year we evaluated the existing donor and sponsorship programming and made some adjustments to better thank and recognize our contributors. We also created an opportunity for businesses to pay a one-time fee for automatic registration into all the Downtown Grayling events hosted by GMSt.
Speaking of events in Downtown Grayling, we are also looking into revising some of our current events, and exploring new opportunities to engage the community while funding our economic development and historic preservation work.
In the coming fiscal year, the GMSt Board is working to incorporate a new Metal Maker Challenge that will contribute not only to the financial stability of our programming, but also the beautification of our community. In this event, creators retrieve predetermined weights of scrap metal and have several weeks to complete and submit their final product. These pieces will then be on display for our community’s enjoyment until they are auctioned off at a later event.
We will also continue to evolve last year’s exciting Paddle Battle Canoe Tug-O-War on a new weekend, and the Funky Fish Races in conjunction with the fall festivities. These two, fun, community centric events help GMSt to not only provide entertainment to our residents and visitors but they also generate funds for the behind the scenes attraction to and promotion of Downtown Grayling.
Do you have a great idea for a fundraiser for GMSt? We want to hear it! Are you interested in more information about becoming a GMSt Partner or Participant? Our Board members and I would love to share all the great things your contribution helps make possible and explore the Partnership and Sponsorship options we have available.
Want to know more about what GMSt has going on? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.