Submitted by Howard B. Owens on February 11, 2014 - 1:44am
They call it "The Big Ask."
The Big Ask is the third leg of a fund-raising effort developed by Vibrant Batavia to support it's community improvement efforts and putting together a centennial celebration for the city in 2015.
Fundraising efforts so far involve selling advertising to local businesses for a quarterly magazine and a discount card program to residents, but Vibrant Batavia also needs to raise big money from big donors.
Corporate sponsors are being sought to contribute as much as $5,000 or $10,000 each.
Monday night, members had another kind of Big Ask for City Council members: $45,000 for a second year of funding.
It's part of the plan -- Vibrant Batavia's plan has always included at least $45,000 in funding annually for three years -- but the request needs to be put before the City Council each year.
Council President Brooks Hawley said he's inclined to support the request.
"They've been doing a great job, being put together as many volunteers," Hawley said. "It's been a great effort."
Since the Spring of 2013, Vibrant Batavia has:
Developed a logo and marketing plan;
Entered into an agreement with Rochester-based nonprofit Neighborhood Works and hired a coordinator for Vibrant Batavia through Neighborhood Works;
Conducted neighborhood surveys;
Introduced Coffee Talks, a Fall Frolic, an advertiser-supported quarterly publication and discount program;
Started planning the community's centennial celebration.
The second year of city funding is needed, City Manager Jason Molino said, to help continue and expand Vibrant Batavia's neighborhood organization efforts and planning for the centennial celebration.
"It's an energized group," Molino said after the meeting. "They want to do with good things in the community. I think they want to continue that momentum."
For 2013, Vibrant projected $67,000 in revenue, with $45,000 coming from the city. The actual fundraising effort garnered $60,790.
Expenses were $10,000 lower than projected.
Vibrant Batavia spent $31,000 with Neighborhood Works, $500 on logo design, $7,500 on developing a sponsorship plan with Buffalo Block Club, $10,902 on printing expenses and $7,500 on the centennial celebration.
For 2014, Vibrant Batavia's revenue plan projects another $45,000 from the city and $42,000 in revenue from local businesses, with expenses of $31,500 on Neighborhood Works, $35,500 on programming and $20,000 on centennial planning.
"All of us have come together, community members and volunteers, because we believe in our community," said Vibrant Batavia Board Member Marty McDonald.