When money’s tight and everyone is vying for a piece of the pie, operators have to be proactive in garnering support for improvement projects. Ray Dunham, principal at Raymond K. Dunham & Associates, Simpsonville, S.C., suggests these strategies.
- Show the needs for the improvement visually: Provide photographic evidence of deterioration.
- Encourage your user groups to become your advocacy voice of support for the facility. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and it reinforces the legitimacy, merit and needs of repairs or renovations.
- Seek out other community groups or agencies to partner with on the project or facility.
- Demonstrate how the improvement fit within the capital improvement/master plan of the agency.
- Timing is key. Plan to ask for support and funding when the local politicians are not up for re-election, or time it when they are up for re-election and need support. Someone may be looking to be a champion behind a community benefit/asset.
- Garner business support through economic impact, interest, donations, or the pledging of fund-raising dollars.