Every November, the state of Minnesota rallies to support its nonprofits and schools through Give To The Max Day. In addition to the millions of dollars that are generously given every year, the GiveMN organization provides additional prize grants that are randomly drawn and could add up to $10,000 to your donation!
Give To The Max Day 2020 is coming up this November 19th, but Early Giving is well underway. Every donation from now until the 19th is eligible for the extra prize grants, and we hope you’ll consider supporting the NDDC with a gift this year.
As you know, our community and the world at large is facing a challenge that nobody could have predicted at this time last year, and at a scale few thought possible. The pandemic has disrupted everyone’s best laid plans and forced us to adapt to unpredictable conditions at a rapid pace. Local nonprofits have seen their revenues decrease alongside a surge in demand for their services, and the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is no different.
The NDDC, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is the only organization focused entirely on the health and vitality of downtown Northfield. We serve to fill an important gap by organizing, advocating, and implementing projects to benefit the downtown beyond what others are able to provide, especially in these trying times.
We understand there are countless pressing community needs, and many worthy destinations for your charitable dollars. But we also know that for the 150+ years it took to build Northfield’s historic downtown into what it is today, much of that progress can be wiped away in the relative blink of an eye if we are not vigilant. Many local businesses are struggling to stay afloat, while sales and lodging tax income is down across the board, threatening the quality of future municipal services.
Will you help us raise $20,000 to commemorate our 20th year, fund our day-to-day work, and help the businesses and places that make downtown Northfield so special? The NDDC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We’ve listed just a few of our recent activities and accomplishments below, and you can rest assured we will continue to do all we can to support the people and places that make downtown Northfield so great!
NDDC 2019-2020 highlights
- Received national accreditation through Main Street America. This means the NDDC is in the top tier of Main Street programs across the country, by demonstrating a commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and a proven track record of successfully applying the four-point (Economic Vitality; Design; Promotion; Organization) Main Street Approach.
- Worked with our friends at Rethos: Places Reimagined (who coordinate the Minnesota Main Street program) to distribute $4,000 to help businesses adapt and improve during Covid-19. The NDDC subsequently raised an additional $3,000, which allowed us to support 14 businesses overall on much-needed projects such as e-commerce, in-store technological upgrades, and updated business models.
- Partnered with UMN Extension and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation to offer a hybrid learning, 10-week transition planning course specifically designed for small businesses in rural Minnesota. Four Northfield businesses completed the course, which was interrupted by the onset of Covid-19.
- Selected the next participants for Artists on Main Street, in this second year and final year of the grant program funded through the Bush Foundation and organized by Rethos and Springboard for the Arts. One project will be a mixed-media sculpture encouraging people to “find the heart of Northfield” by visiting downtown businesses; the other is a series of “musical portraits” that will highlight the most beloved buildings, businesses, and spaces throughout downtown.
- Worked closely with the City of Northfield on collaborative projects, including 1) with the Arts and Culture Commission on the recently installed sculpture (entitled “Threshold”) at the west entrance to the Riverwalk; 2) with the Riverfront Enhancement Advisory Committee as they develop recommendations to improve the outdoor spaces in and around downtown; and 3) assisting with outreach and communication to downtown businesses on various topics, such as sidewalk accessibility/safety policies, and the importance of face masks in reducing the spread of Covid-19.
- Boosted the reach of downtown businesses and organizations to our nearly 5,000 followers on the “Downtown Northfield MN” Facebook page.
Thank you very much for your consideration and support. We are all in this together!
Greg Siems, NDDC Executive Director
Kathleen Holmes, NDDC Board of Directors President
And the entire NDDC team