PEDA - Pennsylvania Economic Development Association

Fundraising for Economic Development

  • 09/20/2016
  • 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Webinar



Fundraising for Economic Development

Click here to download the registration brochure.

Economic development organizations (EDOs) are funded through a variety of avenues ranging from public support to private sector dollars and everything in between. The amount of funding derived from each of these sources can vary widely between organizations. This web seminar will focus on the pursuit of private sector funding and its impact on organizations’ competitiveness in the economic development marketplace.

The limiting factor in how much an economic development organization can accomplish is almost always money. Few have all the dollars they need, which means they cannot hire enough staff, do enough marketing, or help enough businesses. By helping these front-line economic developers increase their budgets, they can do what’s necessary to retain and grow their existing businesses, while also attracting new jobs and capital investment to town. It’s a win-win.

Somewhat unexpectedly, many EDOs do not systematically approach local businesses in their communities for financial support, despite the fact these organizations are the only ones in town that can demonstrate the direct correlation that exists between their efforts and local businesses’ bottom lines. That gives them “asking rights” and they can use those rights to involve private investors, increasing their annual budgets – sometimes significantly – and positive economic impact. This web seminar, led by a professional nonprofit fundraiser and leaders from within the Pennsylvania economic development community, will introduce participants to best practices in conducting economic development fundraising and share lessons learned. 

Among the topics to be covered during this ninety minute presentation are the following.

  • Overview of fundraising in the current economy
  • Brief history of economic development fundraising
  •  Economic development ROI (return on investment)
  •  Economic development fundraising trends and best practices
  • Industry sectors that usually invest in economic development
  •  How to raise money for economic development


Rick Kiernan, IOM, is a Principal with Convergent Nonprofit Solutions, a firm which provides a variety of services to the nonprofit industry, from fundraising to sustainability planning to organizational audits and more.  Since joining the fundraising industry in 1996, Rick has provided fundraising counsel in dozens of communities throughout the nation. His expertise has resulted in raising more than $100 million for nonprofits including chambers of commerce, affordable housing organizations, economic development councils, community development organizations, a YMCA, entrepreneurial support organizations, and the Boy Scouts of America. This diverse assortment of fundraising experience provides Rick with a rare, well-rounded understanding of all aspects of community fundraising – both economic and community development.

Rick previously served as the founder and President of Integrity Fundraising, a boutique firm that worked with just a few clients every year. His intimate and extensive involvement in every project led to a long list of happy clients and references, and he brings this focus on quality to Convergent.

Michael Grigalonis serves as the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Chief Operating Officer.  Since 2004 when Michael first assumed this role, the CCEDC has grown significantly adding 15 staff members and increasing the operating budget by 50%.  New initiatives were launched including the Economic Development Partners Initiative (municipal services and community development), HireOne (a job matching effort for dislocated professionals), and the Ideas x Innovation Network (formerly Keystone Innovation Zone).  Michael’s day to day responsibilities include managing the staff, the budgets, and interacting with the board and its numerous sub-committees.

Michael originally joined the CCEDC in 1999 as a Program Manager.  During his time as Program Manager, Michael initiated and grew several successful programs to assist Chester County’s business community.  These programs still exist today and include: The Information Technology Action Group (ITAG) to address labor issues facing the IT industry; the Chester County International Business Council to assist companies with their export strategies; The Banking Workforce Consortium to train incumbent bank employees and recruit new commercial lenders; and the Workforce Partners to facilitate communication among the County’s key workforce development service providers.

Prior to joining the Development Council, Michael was employed in the Medical Affairs Department of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Radnor, PA.

Michael earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from Ithaca College in 1995 and an MBA from Villanova University in 1998.

MaryFrances McGarrity is the Director of Business Development for the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC).  In her current role, MaryFrances’ efforts are focused on programs and initiatives that attract, retain and grow businesses in Chester County.  At the Council, MaryFrances works with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as the representative of the Council directly interfacing with the Governor’s Action Team (GAT) and other state agencies as needed.  She regularly meets with local corporate decision makers identifying capital, facilitating financing, addressing workforce issues, and assisting with site selection needs.

MaryFrances brings 10 years of sales and marketing experience in commercial real estate while working for Jackson Cross Partners.  She sits on the Board of Directors for the Chester County Industrial and Investment Council and West Chester Lightning.  She holds a Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph’s University in Management & Marketing from St. Joseph’s University, and a Bachelor of Science from Immaculate University in Elementary Education.  She is a member of PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc.) – Brandywine Chapter as a girl’s high school basketball official.  She and her family are twenty-five year residents of West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Additional Information

Attention Certified Providers: This course is approved to provide 1.5 organizational PDUs (Organizational Management) as explained in the Guidelines for Certification of Economic Development Organizations issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and in the Institute’s Policies and Procedures.

*Note: We reserve the right to reschedule or cancel this offering.  In the event of a cancellation, a refund will be provided to registrants.

This webinar is priced for participation by one individual.  Additional interested parties should register separately.

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