This column was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, December 14, 2017
By Robin Fitzpatrick
Last year (2016), Americans gave more than $390 billion—yes “billion”—dollars through charitable giving, a figure that was up 4.2 percent from 2015. Who made up the largest segment of givers? Individuals were responsible for 72 percent of those gifts! Corporate giving stood at $18.55 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent over the previous year.*
Tis the season for giving! Many of us, whether individuals or businesses, are compelled to give monetary gifts during the holiday season to support the causes that mean the most to us. Quite often, when you’re donating to national charities with local chapters, you hear the phrase, “Your donations stay local and support your local chapter.” For many of us, it’s important that our dollars make an impact locally on our own community.
Here at Adams Economic Alliance (AEA), we too are in the midst of our giving season, but with several distinctions: Instead of calling it “giving,” we approach financial contributions as “investing.” Gifts from both individuals and businesses are investments in the financial vitality of Adams County—investments that benefit all. Our members are truly “investors” and all dollars certainly do “stay local” to benefit Adams County.
Our latest benchmarks show that since 1996, AEA has generated:
- $29.7 million+ in public investment via low-interest loans and grants from DCED
- $80 million+ in private investment via local commercial financing
“Having conversations with different business members or investors of the AEA, what came out was that people were members because they supported economic development. They weren’t members because of a benefit to themselves; they were doing it to help the community. Giving to the AEA is different than other groups where there may be a benefit or reward to you personally,” says Marty Qually, AEA Membership Chair.
“This is a shift in thinking,” Qually continues. “The AEA’s partnerships are increasing. Holding meetings, presentations, and roundtables for the good of the county, are not without expense. Any individuals or businesses that can afford even $100 up through $5,000 are welcome to invest in AEA for the future of Adams County.”
Two businesses have already come forward to invest at AEA’s highest level of given, a category called Advantage Adams, at the $5,000 level. We are honored to salute Adams Electric and GMS Funding Solutions.
“Adams Electric supports business and economic development in all the communities it serves and we have done so for many years. The AEA and partner organizations are advocating for a strategic plan that identifies the strengths of this area and outlines ways that will increase economic opportunities for all ages and skill sets. That is why we support the AEA and is the main reason we upped our support this year,” says Duane Kanagy, Adams Electric.
“Adams Economic Alliance is a valuable partner to GMS. AEA consistently supports our clients and their various economic development endeavors through exceptional advocacy, outreach and professional guidance. AEA is extremely in-tuned to the communities it serves. It nurtures lasting relationships with municipalities, business owners and key communities members, working collectively toward the greater good of Adams County’s economic health,” says Amy Kaufman Kronenberg, Executive Vice President and Director of Economic Deveopment for GMS Funding Solutions.
To learn more about investing in AEA for 2018, call Robin Fitzpatrick at 717-334-0042, Marty Qually at 717-339-6514, or see adamsalliance.org and click on “Become an Investor.”
Many, many thanks to all individuals, municipalities, nonprofits and businesses who have already committed to being 2018 Investors. We appreciate your support of Adams County’s economic development, supporting current and future businesses of all sizes, their recruitment, relocation, expansion and ongoing support services.
Also: Save the date, Thursday, February 1, 2018 for AEA’s Annual Membership Meeting. Detail in next month’s column!
*All figures provided by the National Philanthropic Trust.
Robin Fitzpatrick, President of Adams Economic Alliance, can be reached at 717-334-0042. For additional information, see adamsalliance.org, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for the latest Adams County business news.