Great Downtowns Don’t Just Happen

It was recently pointed out to us by a friend and advisor, also known as a committee member, that we’ve been so busy letting folks know “What’s Happening” downtown each weekend, supporting preparation efforts for the rising river, and leading the charge to Save Our Post Office, that we forgot to mention that we recently kicked off our annual Partnership Campaign.  Sound the trumpets!

If you’ve followed the news over the past few months, you know that that the NDDC has had a contract for services with the Economic Development Authority (EDA) for the past six years.  These services have included business retention visits, coordination of marketing and promotion initiatives, a variety of collaborations with the colleges, work with the City on design and planning matters, and a number issues that are raised by building and business owners.  The payment for these services is about one-third of our annual income.

If you’ve come downtown in early summer during the past five years, you’re probably aware that the NDDC conducts the annual Taste of Northfield.  This relatively new event has quickly grown into one of Northfield’s favorite events, drawing over 5,000 people of all ages for the food and entertainment.  Hey, the Taste is a lot of fun.  It’s also a lot of work too; over 150 people volunteer over several months to make it happen.  But we also generate a little money from it, about one-third of our annual income.

Finally, since 2004 the NDDC has conducted an annual fundraising effort called The Partnership Campaign. Our message is “Please contribute your dollars to our Partnership Campaign because great downtowns don’t just happen”.  Great downtowns require significant care and nurturing. The money goes for our staff costs, some professional services, lots of advertising, marketing, and promotional activities, and some office supplies.  The Partnership Campaign provides, you guessed it, about one-third our annual income.

The goal for the 2011 Partnership Campaign is $20,000. As of this writing, we’re well over halfway there. A donation in any amount would be welcome as we work to raise the remaining funds.

The NDDC is a non-profit organization, a 501(c)3 to be precise.  As business management Peter Drucker noted back in the late 1940s, non-profits were created to fill the gaps between the public and private sectors.  However, for you, it means that donations to the Partnership Campaign are tax-deductible.

You can send us a check at “NDDC, P. O. Box 55, Northfield, MN, 55057” (yeah, it’s in the historic post office building) or you can go to and use PayPal.  It’s your choice, either one works for us.

Thanks for considering giving your support to the NDDC, because (did I mention this before?) “Great downtowns don’t just happen”.

Photo courtesy of Griff Wigley.