Community Fundraising and Creative Partnerships

Community fundraising and creative partnerships are plentiful. A common approach is to find creative ways to break a large project into small pieces that can be "purchased" by the public. Some examples:

  • In Ashtabula, Ohio the local trail organization raised one-third of the money they needed to buy the land for the trail, by forming a "300 Club." Three hundred acres were needed for the trail and they set a goal of finding 300 folks who would finance one acre each. The land price was $400 an acre, and they found just over 100 people to buy an honorary acre, raising over $40,000.
  • In Jackson County, Oregon they had a "Yard Sale." The Bear Creek Greenway Foundation sold symbolic "yards" of the trail and placed donor's names on permanent markers that are located at each trailhead. At $40 a yard, they raised enough in private cash donations to help match their $690,000 Transportation Enhancements program award for the 18-mile Bear Creek trail linking Medford, Talent, Phoenix and Ashland.
  • Selling bricks for local sidewalk projects, especially those in historic areas or on downtown Main Streets, is increasingly common. Donor names are engraved in each brick, and a tremendous amount of publicity and community support is purchased along with basic construction materials. Portland, Oregon's downtown Pioneer Square is a good example of such a project.
  • In Colorado Springs, the Rock Island Rail-Trail is being partly funded by the Rustic Hills Improvement Association, a group of local home-owners living adjacent to the trail. Also, ten miles of the trail was cleared of railroad ties by a local boy scout troop.
  • A pivotal 40-acre section of the Ice Age Trail between the cities of Madison and Verona, Wisconsin, was acquired with the help of the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association. The soccer association agreed to a fifty year lease of 30 acres of the parcel for a soccer complex, providing a substantial part of the $600,000 acquisition price.