The Downtown Community Partnership’s (DCP) main purpose is to support and advocate for all downtown businesses in Fargo. They want to promote the vibrant culture, art, and commerce that exists in the downtown space.

Almost 50 years ago the DCP was created by businesses and community members who believed downtown Fargo could be a dynamic source of energy, positivity, and creativity in the area, and they wanted it to grow. As a nonprofit, the DCP serves to build strong relationships with and between businesses to help drive traffic and sales, in turn creating a more vibrant downtown.

The DCP supports downtown businesses by attending their events and encouraging them to participate in other community events. Supporting nonprofits is also important to the DCP.  It’s their way of giving back to the community that supports downtown businesses. Last year they supported FirstLink’s Giving Tree of Hope, an event which provided toys for kids during the holiday season.

Engaging businesses to support the community

Giving Hearts Day 2018 was the first time the DCP paired with Giving Hearts Day. They knew the partnership would be a perfect fit because Giving Hearts Day provides an amazing opportunity to give back to the community, something that Melissa Rademacher, President/CEO of the DCP, says she is really passionate about.

“We were really excited about Giving Hearts Day” Melissa said. They attended member meetings to brainstorm creative ways to engage the downtown businesses and community members.

Bringing everything and everyone together

The DCP gave a few $25 downtown gift cards to ABOVO for their Giving Hearts Day event. They also provided Giving Hearts Day apparel to downtown businesses to promote the day and raise awareness. Employees had shirts to wear and marketing materials to turn their stores red.

The DCP also asked for businesses and community members to help decorate the streets downtown. Kimberly Hess, the owner of Prairie Petals, created red hearts that hung from light posts on Broadway.

“I thrive on helping people, so the idea of putting fuel into the tank of Giving Hearts Day grabbed and inspired me. It helped me help many more people at one time!” said Kim.

She, along with some Dakota Medical Foundation volunteers, also helped decorate tree stumps with Giving Hearts Day taglines. Dave Belling, a local chainsaw and ice sculpture artist, carved hearts into the tree stumps as well.

Believing in Giving Hearts Day’s impact

The DCP looks forward to Giving Hearts Day because they believe in Giving Hearts Day’s ability to create a significant impact for so many nonprofits.

The businesses are “part of our DNA” Melissa said. They want businesses and the community to work together as was the dream of the DCP founders.

Business support creates more awareness and boosts the potential impact of Giving Hearts Day. It’s also “a great way to show that we have an awesome downtown community,” Melissa said.

Purpose to impact

The DCP is excited to participate in Giving Hearts Day again. They are going to build on last year and want to start planning earlier since they are “all pre-planners” Melissa said.

The downtown community is why the DCP exists. By engaging with the community and giving back, they can ensure a vibrant, extraordinary future for the businesses they serve and for the community their businesses serve.

Stay tuned for another nonprofit story next week, and remember to live with purpose!

Together, we can become the most generous region on the planet.


Derek Hatzenbuhler

Author Derek Hatzenbuhler

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