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COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery

Outsource programming to a local chamber, business, or other organization to improve delivery and cost savings


It can be sometimes cheaper and/or more effective to hire a third party to deliver your programming. This can be a public-private partnership, which leads to both cost-savings and greater community support.

The practice of outsourcing is similar to, but not the same as, the more common practice of cities contributing to a regional economic development marketing organization, that then pools these funds with private sector resources to deliver larger-scale campaigns and programs.

Cities have successfully used outsourcing to deliver:

  • Regional branding and marketing
  • Local business retention and expansion programs
  • Proposal preparation
  • Prospect lead identification
  • Inbound and outbound business recruitment missions (both planning and execution)


The chamber leverages a 4:1 return on city funding, with contributions from private corporations and local foundations.

A portion of the funding has been used to deliver four MAPS campaigns, which have delivered more than $3 billion in public improvements.


  • Collaborate with organizations that you trust.
  • Be very clear on your expectations regarding deliverables, key performance indicators, metrics and reporting.
  • Agree on a process and chain of command for decisions and communications.
  • Schedule regular update meetings to discuss progress/roadblocks and issues.
  • Keep councilmembers and administrators regularly informed.


  • Don’t let cost savings be the only driver in deciding whether or not to outsource. You must also trust that the vendor can do the job effectively.
  • Don’t expect the vendor to know about challenges/issues that you have experienced in previous years. If there are skeletons in the closet, disclose these before contracting.
  • Don’t forget that you may be the organization’s largest single source of funding. That means the impact of the relationship goes beyond the parameters of the contract. It is in your interest to ensure the recipient remains financially viable and civically responsible.

Learn more about the Toolkit

COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery

Invest in Capacity Building of Nonprofits


In this way, you are extending their ability to do local outreach, leveraging additional funding sources, and building neighborhood capacity to deliver local programming.

Learn more about the Tactical Guide