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O.1.2 Community Support

O.1.2 Community Support

Action

Build community buy-in and consensus on your district’s revitalization.

Why

District stakeholders must be aligned with a unified vision. If different stakeholder groups have different priorities or goals, the district will not progress forward.

How

Engage in consensus building activities so stakeholders are in agreement on the vision and direction of the district. Establish a culture of collaboration and regular communication.

Resources

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O.1.1 Municipal Support

O.1.1 Municipal Support

Action

Build municipal support for and investment in your district’s revitalization.

Why

Municipal support is crucial for a unified vision and support structure.

How

Municipal government should demonstrate an active commitment to the district via dedicated funding and/or dedicated personnel dedicated to the district. Every local context may vary depending on the community’s history and political environment. Building strong municipal support may take some time. Develop a strong case as to why district revitalization is important and the impact it makes. Be ready to share key talking points consistently with municipal leaders as frequently as possible. Keep leaders updated regularly with progress.

Resources

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O.9.3 Volunteer Recognition

O.9.3 Volunteer Recognition

Action

Established or strengthen volunteer recognition program(s).

Why

Volunteers offer their time and talents to an organization for many different reasons.  In most cases it is because they want to give back to their community.  Also, in most cases, they’re not looking for any type of public recognition but rather they derive their satisfaction in knowing that they contributed and made a difference.

In other cases, companies, businesses, and organizations commit volunteer support from their staff and employees as a way of supporting their community. 

In any event, it is important to recognize all volunteers for their efforts.

How

Volunteers should be recognized at least annually.  This can be done in a published annual report or with an annual volunteer recognition event.  In some cases, an annual Board meeting can be the mechanism to also recognize volunteers.  Board members themselves are volunteers as well but should also be aware of others who have made an impact to the organization throughout the year.

Resources

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O.9.2.1 Volunteer Individual Representation

O.9.2.1 Volunteer Individual Representation

Action

Improve the diversity of volunteers.

Why

Efforts to manage and revitalize downtown and main street district are done with a look towards the future and those that would utilize, live, work and enjoy it.  Thus, the volunteers that help the cause should be reflective of the community and would certainly have a desire to see their neighborhood and area of focus improved for future generations to experience.  As ambassadors for the organization, they can help shape the plans and direction.

How

The Board of Directors along with organizational staff should employ a recruiting process that includes inviting volunteers that are reflective of the community at large.

Resources

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O.9.1 Volunteer Structure and Engagement

O.9.1 Volunteer Structure and Engagement

Action

Establish an ongoing volunteer program.

Why

Volunteers are often the life blood of an organization.  Without them, it is very difficult to accomplish strategic goals, carry out work plans and manage successful events. In many cases, volunteers represent the face of the organization.  Therefore, the recruiting and onboarding process is significant and needs to be thoroughly managed.

How

Look to recruit volunteers whose interests and affinity aligns with the organization.  A good volunteer program should clearly outline needed tasks, responsibilities, and action items.  In addition, it is important to have a thorough onboarding process to ensure a checks and balances for volunteer tasks, organizational goals, and chain of command. 

Resources

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O.8.2 Communication Consistency

O.8.2 Communication Consistency

Action

Establish or strengthen the consistency of using communication channels.

Why

Effective messaging and communication requires a consistent approach and is conducive to a successful organization.  Supporters are more inclined to continue with their support when they can rely on consistent reporting of information through viable and accessible sources and media options.

How

Assess all organizational options for disseminating information and look to improve gaps and inconsistencies.

Resources

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O.8.1 Communication Channels

O.8.1 Communication Channels

Action

Establish or increase the types of communication channels used.

Why

People get their news and education from many sources and means.  In order to have an effective communication plan, it is important to utilize every possible means to get the word out.

How

Take an assessment of current messaging mediums and look to add more options to the list.  The must have tools include: websites, social media, newsletters.  Additional options could include blogs, live presentations, webinars, workshops, radio, tv, paid ads and print ads.

Resources

CMSC Professional Affiliates

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O.7.2 Promoting Impact

O.7.2 Promoting Impact

Action

Improve promoting the district’s impact.

Why

Securing support and positioning the organization for future growth requires a consistent and effective messaging program.  Being able to tell a good story on how organizational efforts have positively affected the downtown and main streets should be a standard practice.

How

With compiled statistics, photos and related images, use all methods of media for effective messaging including but not limited to: website(s), social media, newsletters, and presentations.

Resources

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O.6.2 Diversity of Funding Streams

O.6.2 Diversity of Funding Streams

Action

Increase the number of diverse funding streams.

Why

Having a diverse source of funds is key to sustaining the organization and related programs to achieve strategic goals and objectives.  In addition, as a 501©3 not for profit organization, it is necessary to demonstrate fund development from multiple sources than can be used as leverage for grant applications and other donor solicitations.

How

The Board of Directors should form a fund committee to oversee the development of a plan for cultivating funding sources.   

Resources

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O.4.2 Professional Development

O.4.2 Professional Development

Action

Increase participation in Main Street or downtown management professional development activities.

Why

Downtowns and Main Streets are ever changing and evolving as businesses open and close, property transactions occur, infrastructure gets updated, and resident population increases.  Thus, in order to effectively manage the process and keep pace with emerging trends and changes, it is important to continually participate in professional development opportunities.

How

A membership with Connecticut Main Street Center and organizations with related subject matter will present the opportunity to participate in webinars, workshops, summits and other presentations, covering topics directly relevant to the challenges of managing and revitalizing a downtown main street program.

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P.O. Box 270, Hartford, CT 06141 | 860.280.2337