WHDA launches its new fundraising campaign

Published 5:24 am Sunday, November 14, 2010

Contributing Editor

The Washington Harbor District Alliance explained its new fundraising campaign to the Washington City Council on Monday.
The campaign, Friends of the Alliance, seeks contributions from individuals, families, merchants, businesses and industries.
“As the council has suggested in the past, we have instituted a new fundraising program. Starting this month, we are launching a new Friends of the Alliance campaign,” WHDA Director Beth Byrd told the council.
“The purpose of this program is to not only collect funds for the WHDA budget but to give the WHDA supporters a sense of community amongst one another,” she said.
Byrd said membership in Friends of the Alliance will have its perks.
“We will be offering special discounts, social events, twice-yearly newsletters, contests for free tickets to Pickin’ on the Pamlico and a window decal so that Friends (of the Alliance) can recognize one another.”
Byrd told the council the public may not realize that funds raised for WHDA events such as Music in the Streets and Movies in the Park through sponsorships are entirely dedicated to that one event or series of events. Byrd said WHDA “has worked diligently in the past two years to support the harbor district not only by producing events but by facilitating a strong team of individuals who are working toward a stronger economy in downtown.”
The Friends of the Alliance campaign brochure’s cover contains this wording: “Be a part of the forward movement to improve downtown.”
“We hope the mayor, council and public will help WHDA meet our goal to maintain an ongoing, financially stable organization that enables a dynamic waterfront, increased economic activity, increased population, new jobs and investment and an expanded downtown tax base,” Byrd said.
The Washington Harbor District Alliance is the product of the merging of Downtown Washington on the Waterfront, Historic Downtown Washington Merchants Association and Citizens for Revitalization.
The WHDA mission is to “serve as a facilitator and catalyst to renew, restore, rebuild and revitalize the downtown business district, while improving economic conditions, encouraging tourism and preserving historical buildings and their significance,” reads a document presented to city officials and the media at the meeting. That was DWOW’s mission.
In 2007, DWOW began a direct-mail fundraising campaign to help it become self-supporting.
The City of Washington and Beaufort County supplied Downtown Washington on the Waterfront with “seed” money to get the nonprofit organization charged with restructuring downtown Washington’s economy and leading redevelopment efforts in the central business district on its feet.
When DWOW was formed in 2004, the city agreed to provide $55,000 to DWOW a year for three years. Later, the city provided other funds to help sustain DWOW.
In 2007, the council indicated it wanted DWOW to wean itself from such a heavy reliance on public money, if not do without public money altogether.
For more information about Friends of the Alliance or to obtain a Friends of the Alliance contribution form, contact Beth Byrd at 252-946-3969.