Raising More Resources for McDowell County, NC

McDowell County’s County Manager sought grant writing support when he realized that he had more fundraising opportunities than time or staff to write applications. The county was ranked as ‘Tier 1’ by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, meaning that it was ranked among the most ‘distressed’ counties in the state. But it had compelling plans to address local needs such as dilapidated housing, healthy park and recreation opportunities, veterans requiring medical care, and better internet access.

The county had no shortage of its own needs for Communication Mark to address, but it also had a clever strategy in mind. What if it had Communication Mark also work with nonprofits that the county helped support, since some of those agencies were struggling, and needed more than the county could provide?

That was four years ago. Since then, Communication Mark has helped McDowell County and its nonprofit partners plan approaches to funders, build relationships and write grant applications. These efforts have raised more than $850,000 dollars to date, with an application success rate of more than 80%— a return of more than 1,400% on its investment in grant writing services. That’s the power of communication—identifying a challenge, developing a strategy to address it, seeking a funder’s investment, then implementing a promising project.


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