Saturday, May 12, 2007

ED Leader Newsletter #11

Dear ED Leader Subscriber:

Here is your latest weekly newsletter. I hope you will find the articles in it to be of interest.

I heard from 15 readers about my article, Economic Development: What Do We Spend and Is It Worth It?, and here is what you said.

First of all, many people commented that it would be beneficial to have better demographic data on the economic development industry. A couple suggested that this was something that IEDC, our national professional association, should do.

Several people said economic development is definitely worth the investment, and we are under-investing in economic development, even though we have not perfected a way to speak to the return on investment issue.

A few people commented that the role of leadership in fundraising was one to be handled carefully. Two people said that their board must lead the charge in the fundraising effort, and one person said that the board should be involved only indirectly in the fundraising process. In other words, board members should not be used to ask for money.

Several people said that nobody knows how much to spend to get certain economic development outcomes or results. A few from this group cautioned against the misuse of economic impact analysis, since the results you get depends upon the assumptions you make.

Several people said economic development should attempt to learn from other fields about how to handle the return on investment (ROI) issue.

Finally, a couple people said that fundraising consultants should be used carefully by economic development organizations, especially if a clear strategic plan was not in place to guide fundraising efforts. One person said that the same consultant should not be used to develop the strategic plan and undertake the fundraising campaign.

I found your reactions to the article to be very interesting and I thank you for them.

Hope you enjoy the articles in this issue.

Finally, looking for a speaker on leadership issues in economic development? I would be delighted to come and speak to your group. You can contact me by email ( or phone at: 440.449.0753.

Best wishes,

Don Iannone

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