Sioux Falls Does it Again

When the Forward Sioux Falls 2021 campaign launched late last year, NCDS  had previously raised over $37 million for six successive multi-year strategic initiatives since 1987.  This joint venture of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has been an unquestioned success, creating jobs and economic growth, and elevating Sioux Falls to consistently high rankings on "best places" lists.  Rather than allow their success (and an unemployment rate of almost zero) to breed complacency, local leaders once again challenged Forward Sioux Falls to develop a plan to ensure sustainable growth and prosperity.  The result was a re-conceived economic and community development strategy, with heavy emphasis on talent attraction and workforce development; investment in a new industrial park (South Dakota's first mega site); and increased attention to entrepreneurship and innovation.  Given the plan's 25% budget increase over the previous five-year initiative, and an ROI that would only be fully realized over the long term, NCDS and Forward Sioux Falls leaders knew the fundraising campaign would face a number of challenges.  By June of this year, those same leaders held a victory celebration, announcing that more than 450 investors had committed over 100% of the $15.5 million campaign goal. NCDS applauds the vision and leadership of the Forward Sioux Falls volunteers and staff, especially our good friend Evan Nolte, who helped launch the concept in 1987 and will be retiring from the Chamber later this year.  Click here for news coverage of the campaign's achievement, and
Best Practice: STEM EAST

Over the past decade, we've seen STEM education gain prominence as an economic development strategy, with many communities establishing STEM initiatives as part of their workforce development efforts. An announcement last week of a $30,000 grant to the NCEAST Alliance's STEMEAST program validates this program as one of the most effective and impactful STEM efforts we've seen. This coalition of superintendents and major employers represents more than 120,000 students and over 50,000 jobs in eastern North Carolina.  Particularity impressive is the level of engagement and commitment by top executives and companies in key clusters such as aerospace, value-added agriculture, and biotechnology.  The program's continuing expansion and increasing student participation is expected to assist and enhance the region's economic development efforts and help retain and attract higher paying jobs in STEM-centric industries and occupations.  Click these links to learn more about STEMEAST and the
Economic Strategy Center Documents Return on Investment for NCDS Clients

Over 20 years ago, NCDS pioneered the use of economic impact analyses in fundraising campaigns to convey the ROI of our clients' programs, based on projected outcomes of new jobs, capital investment, industry sector growth, and other client goals.  Since then, our Economic Strategy Center has worked with clients to improve data collection of their project wins and other successes to more accurately document their actual impact on their communities and supporters.  We have also strengthened our partnership with IMPLAN to ensure access to the latest and most accurate city / county / MSA data and their powerful economic modeling tools.  The result is a scorecard tool that can be used to show investors their specific return on their investment in a five-year campaign, including during each year of the program's implementation.  We've also developed a macro-level info graphic that clients can use in their annual reports and other publications.   Click the following links to see some examples of how a few organizations are proving their ROI to their investors.  

Clarksville, TN:  Aspire Program generated $250 million in new annual personal income

Martin County, FL: Hospital expansion project to create 2,500 total new jobs

Mobile, AL: Chamber's Partners for Growth program produced a ROI of $15.36 for every $1 of private sector investment.

Raleigh / Wake County, NC: Edge 5 program enabled $3.4 billion in new local business output

Contact us to learn more about our cost effective economic impact analyses and how they can help you show your true value to your supporters.

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