Photo: Venice MainStreet participates in TPF's Advancing Mission Thrivability

Advancing Mission Thrivability Initiative Helps Venice MainStreet Push Their Limits

Posted on October 12, 2021 by Kara Morgan, Chief Executive Officer, Venice MainStreet

Editor's Note: Through Advancing Mission Thrivability, The Patterson Foundation aspires to help nonprofits learn mission-centric, economically informed approaches to decision-making. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER for LABINAR #1 on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20th from 10:00 - 11:00am EST.


Venice MainStreet took a deep dive into two programs that had the potential to improve after using Advancing Mission Thrivability’s “Mission + Economic Return” decision-making matrix.

During five short weeks of consulting, we evaluated our partner program and identified a pricing structure that would offer value-added benefits for our partners and increase income for Venice MainStreet. We came to the realization we were undervaluing our services and needed to increase our prices. By the end of the fifth week, we had already updated our website and membership forms with the new pricing structure and collected higher payments by the following month.

Our AMT consultant helped us identify approximately $25,000 worth of sponsorship opportunities for our events and other programs and services. By simply adding a sponsor business logo to the marketing of the event or program, we can cover its expenses as well as generate a bit of extra income. We realized that businesses are looking for the opportunity to associate their brand with a nonprofit organization that is highly visible and respected in the community.

According to Venice MainStreet board member and AMT participant Rod Nafziger, “The AMT initiative shared a process that helped us develop a storyboard and business planning approach to identify a worthwhile project. We chose our ‘Venice MainStreet Marketplace’ idea, an e-commerce solution for our downtown shopping district.” We fine-tuned our Marketplace concept during the five weeks of consulting to answer who, what, where, when, why, and how in a concise, one-page summary.

Thinking about and articulating the answers to these questions helped us streamline the project in an early phase. “We hope to bring the future to the present and have the Venice MainStreet Marketplace serve as a digital vehicle to keep the connection our visitors have with Venice and share Venice with the world,” says Nafziger. Our goal is to help our downtown businesses expand beyond the limitations of a brick-and-mortar shop to be more resilient and survive economic challenges.

Beyond these two projects, our AMT consultant, Michael Oxman, recommended looking into digital information kiosks. This was something we had dreamed of in the past but never considered a possibility for our organization due to the expense. By looking at the project as a moneymaker, we were able to identify income possibilities through sponsored advertising. Michael helped us realize if we have a good idea that fulfills our mission, then take it a step further to see how we can generate revenue, it’s a win-win situation for our organization and those we serve.

If your organization is considering participating in the program, you can do it! The Patterson Foundation’s AMT initiative worked wonders for us! It pushed us beyond our limits and beyond our real and perceived barriers to reach our goals!

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