They are generally one hour in length (although this can be adjusted) and are prepared for you — it’s not the same keynote you’ll hear down the road. Each presentation has been designed for your community, because that’s important.
We invited Deb to speak at the first Southwest Iowa Economic and Community Development Forum hosted by TS Bank at East of Omaha in Griswold, Iowa, in February 2020. Our goal for this event was to rally around all of the great towns that make up southwest Iowa, share success stories, and learn from one another about we can improve our communities and southwest Iowa as a whole. Deb was the perfect keynote speaker for this event. She was engaging, entertaining, and full of so many inspiring stories and examples. All throughout her presentation, attendees were busy scribbling down ideas. Her information was relevant, attainable and actionable, which is exactly what we were hoping for! Thank you, Deb, for captivating our audience and kicking off this inaugural event with the wow-factor we were going for!
These are done in groups you design – who do you want at the workshop? What topics do you want to cover? How can Deb be of the most assistance to you and your group(s)? Generally workshops range in length from one hour to half a day. Do you want to do two one hour workshops in one morning with two different groups? That can be arranged.
Deb worked with the Dubuque Community Foundation Leadership group and shared the Idea Friendly Method. Then they worked on creating solutions for challenges in their community. Imagine – a workshop where you learn a new method you can take home and put into action right away. And you go home with the tools to make it happen!
Webinars vary in topics covered, and can be customized to your organization.
Kansas State Research and Extension has had Deb present on Filling Empty Buildings, Marketing in a Small Town, Supporting Farm Entrepreneurs and Grow Your Own Entrepreneurs.
I wanted to thank you so much for your presentation last week. The information was very valuable and was very well received.
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program , ManagerCommunity Futures Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Onsite Action Visit
This is a four day stay in your community, county or region. Deb visits with lots of businesses, nonprofits and people to find out what it is they want. On the last evening there is a public presentation where she shares how to get what you want and examples of other communities already doing it. This presentation can also be given via Zoom one week later.
Limestone Bluffs RC & D
Virtual is a Big Deal
Deb and Becky have been doing virtual for years now at SaveYour.Town! Why not bring Deb to town to do a Virtual ECE? Or a virtual presentation – with live Q and A? Deb’s contact information is just below.
Could this be your town?
Local sponsors and regional partners
The place to start is with local sponsors. As you already know, your banks, utility companies and local development organizations are a good place to start looking for sponsors. They know you and are most likely to say yes to a community-developing request like this.
You might also cooperate with neighboring towns or county-wide groups to share costs. You might do a single event and invite everyone, or we can arrange a bit of a tour stopping at multiple towns.
You can try these resources:
You’ll have to dig to find any local-only sources, like community foundations, local economic development funds, tax set-asides designated for community or economic development or your local utility companies. Electric companies especially may have some economic development funds or know where to find some.
Once or twice a year I take on a community and project at a reduced cost. Are you doing something ridiculously cool and I want to be involved? Small towns are my passion, and I want to help. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you want, and let’s talk! … Deb
- Make sure you get the USDA Rural Development “Innovation Matters” emails. They list dozens of funding opportunities each month.
- Rural LISC’s Rural eNews covers lots of US funding opportunities and publications.
- USDA Rural Development Rural Business Development Grants
- Any community served by NTCA (rural broadband) members: Foundation for Rural Service Community Grants
- Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho: Innovia (formerly Inland Nortwest Partners Foundation)
- Appalachian region (13 states): Appalachian Regional Commission
- Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 Native Nations: Bush Foundation (especially Community Innovation Grants)
- Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming: Black Hills Energy
- Delta region (8 states): Delta Regional Authority (especially SEDAP)
Keywords to use in grants
On your application, you can fit me in using keywords like these:
- community vitality, resilience
- economic, business or community development
- entrepreneurship, small business
- jobs creation
- filling empty buildings