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Thread: Pro bono work

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State

    Pro bono work

    For the last few years I have been doing pro bono work for needy communities. I usually help one or two places each year with projects that are not overly-large. For example:

    - a strategic development plan for a small rural downtown
    - an organizational assessment and recommendations for an urban economic development group
    - an arts-based market assessment for a tourist downtown
    - a market analysis and retail recruitment plan for a struggling county seat

    I'll usually make a single visit, then return to the office to write up a project report. These are often used to support requests for grant funding.

    In the past I have been led to these communities by some of the organizations I am in, but so far nothing has turned up this year. Besides, the folks here at Cyburbia are probably more aware of opportunities anyway. So share your thoughts with me.

    Here are a few preferences:

    - I tend to prefer small communities, or projects targeting a neighborhood in a larger community.
    - Project outcomes should be well-defined with a narrow scope.
    - The community should have a financial need. Maybe it experienced a disaster (Katrina was the impetus for my doing this) or it lacks resources to get professional help elsewhere.
    - Location is possibly an issue. If the community can cover travel costs it would be appreciated. Otherwise, a location between Wisconsin and Colorado may work, since I often travel between them.
    - My expertise lies in the area of economic development (market analysis, targeting studies, economic development planning, downtown revitalization, redevelopment, tourism, etc.).

    Any thoughts on who/where/why would be welcome.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    I would suggest a modest fee, if just expenses. "You get what you pay for" is heard way too often. Want to come to Greensburg pro bono? I really need help ... with code enforcement.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Apr 2006
    Promoting synergies...
    Take a look at Marshall Michigan. Small town on the I-94 corridor with a great downtown and a small industrial park. They have been ravaged by layoffs from State Farm, Eaton, Collins and Aikman and now Bostik. I can think of two projects:

    Downtown revitalization assistance: The town bought a building in downtown with CDBG dollars but was unable to lease it. They got an extension but it will be difficult to meet the job creation requirement and could have to give back the money.

    Industrial Park assessment: Four years ago they expanded the industrial park with the initial plan of creating an industrial park that was green and had housing nearby so people could walk to work and a lot of green space. The plan was gutted and it is in need of a redo.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

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