“Tax dollars can’t do everything,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Wednesday. “We have no state income tax here, which makes it more challenging to do all the things we have to do.”
Goodman made those remarks as she announced the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE project, which she described as a way to fill in funding gaps on city projects and services that could benefit from donations.
The City of Las Vegas established a preliminary fund in the fourth quarter of 2017, but Wednesday marked the official unveiling of the program. Similar efforts have been developed across the country. A mayor’s fund allows businesses and nonprofits to donate to projects and services within the city.
“We identified the city’s key priorities and will be able to raise funds to support them,” says Scott Adams, city manager.
The city breaks down its focus areas using the acronym LIFE — Livability, Innovation, Future and Education. Donors can contribute to projects such as the Courtyard Homeless Resources Center (an example of livability) and city-run youth employment programs (an example of future). Priorities might change over time, added Lisa Morris Hibbler, the director of the youth development and social innovation department.
The city is working with the Moonridge Group, a philanthropy consulting firm, to spread the word about the projects on the Mayor’s Fund list.
Tom Thomas with the Greater Good Council, which was established under the Moodridge Group, says the group will work with potential donors to determine where their money will have the greatest results. “We want to invest in the biggest impact possible,” he says.
The fund has collected $250,000 since it started.
Several groups announced pledges at the event. Thomas said the Greater Good Council group will raise $110,000 for the fund, specifically to go toward the Courtyard.
The Molasky Group pledged another $10,000 for the fund, saying it wouldn’t rule out contributing to the Courtyard but is still determining what specific project the money would go to. Rich Worthington, president & chief operating officer with the Molasky Group donated $10,000 of his own money. Goodman even announced she too would donate $10,000 to the fund.