Foundation Seeks  Partners to Improve Downtown  Mansfield

By Allie Watson

October 30, 2018

The Richland County Foundation has embarked on a new and exciting path to fund investment in Downtown Mansfield.  It started with an idea to send 15 individuals who live, work, and play in the city to the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin, TX, with the singular focus to bring back ideas to inspire and improve Downtown Mansfield.

Typically, communities hire consultants to develop plans with input from local leaders. This time the Foundation created consultants out of local leaders. We have turned ideas and possibilities into action items. While we put the finishing touches on this plan to present to the RCF Board of Trustees for approval, we have one more step.

We are looking for partners.

We know we can’t do it all on our own. There’s not enough financial or human capacity at the Foundation to take on a project of this scope. That’s why we need partners. We will need nonprofits interested in investing in Downtown Mansfield to receive grants and carry out portions of the plan. We will need investors to identify pieces of the plan that mesh with their passions and interests. We will need leaders to have conversations and build the community around ideas that need more goodwill than dollars. We will need people to volunteer and appreciate the changes that will occur.

Like the planning process, change will not happen quickly. It will take time and energy and work. The first step is to speak up. What are you interested in? What are you passionate about downtown?  Once the plan is approved and made public, I encourage you to discover how you could help. We built the plan to fit our people. There is a place for you in this plan, I promise.

If you are a nonprofit organization which could receive funding for downtown investment projects, please complete this form by November 9 so the Foundation can clearly identify potential partners.  

If you’re an investor who is excited about the continued revitalization of Downtown Mansfield, email me and let’s grab coffee. I won’t make you read all 85 pages of the plan but I will ask you questions about your goals and ideas for Mansfield and how this plan can help you achieve those goals.

If you’re everyone else, hang tight and stay tuned. We will have more information for you in early 2019.

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