Essential Tools – $1,500
A top priority goal for the Community Foundation is organizational health, for both ourselves and others. By increasing organizational health and sustainability, we create greater capacity within nonprofits, and in turn, have a larger impact in our community. The Downtown Driggs Association aims to foster a thriving and vibrant downtown community through free cultural arts events that help build and sustain community identity and wellbeing. The Community Foundation of Teton Valley partially funded their grant for Essential Tools to increase efficiencies and communications for their multitude of constituents.
In 2003 a devastating fire burned the infamous Main Street store, Teton Mountaineering Outfitters, and killed its beloved owner, Fred Mugler. The fire left a huge physical, economic, and emotional hole in downtown Driggs. At that time, a group of community-minded residents and business owners formed the Downtown Driggs Community Association to revitalize the now hollowed-core of downtown. Their belief being that a healthy, happy, and inspired community generates a solid sense of place, creating meaningful and lasting connections to our historical and cultural identity. The arts and cultural events and main street projects presented by the DDA are designed to engage, enrich and inspire the public and benefit downtown businesses to ensure a healthy future.
By collaborating closely with the City of Driggs, Teton Regional Economic Coalition, the Geo Tourism Center and the Driggs Urban Renewal Agency, the DDA’s unique programs contribute to a shared mission to make Driggs a healthy community, without overlapping or creating redundancies across these organizations. Annually the DDA offers creative programs that engage over 175 professional and emerging artists, musicians, and actors from our community and over 25 different states, plus Canada. Over the last three years, their arts and cultural events have generated quantifiable increases in audiences from 4,000 to over 8,500. By keeping events free, they remain accessible to everyone – exposing families and children to wonderful art, music, theater, and an enjoyable downtown experience. DDA events are positive economic drivers that build vibrancy to benefit all of Teton County.
Because the DDA has never owned computer equipment, all historic work has been done on personal computers owned by contracted program managers. Executive Director, Alison Brush, has used her own equipment and software to manage day-to-day operations for over 2.5 years. Documents have been archived online and communications have been handled through a patchwork of online tools and websites that are not tied to each other either. With a recent grant from the Teton Springs Foundation, the Downtown Driggs Association was able to purchase customer relations management software to create and manage their constituent database and communications.
With new computer equipment, the DDA will be able to utilize their newly acquired software and more readily meet demands for more cultural events and downtown revitalization projects. New office essentials will allow them to engage more constituents – including more artists, volunteers, community partners, business sponsors, donors, and wider audiences. New office tools will create working efficiencies to save time, money, and resources that will improve program planning capabilities, record keeping, and more effective communications with all constituents. At the Foundation, we know that increasing capacity through streamlined efforts equates to sustainability for an organization and real impact in our community.