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Ten at the Top launches Ignition Fund

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Ten at the Top launched an initiative this week aimed at putting good ideas to work sooner.

The Ignition Fund is a financial reserve that will enable the organization to skip over the fund-raising stage of putting ideas into action, Executive Director Dean Hybl told a group of supporters Thursday.

The funding goal is to raise $100,000 per year for three years and to have $300,000 on hand.

Program funding can slow down some initiatives, Hybl said, because Ten at the Top is a “long-term strategic regional capacity builder” and not a provider of immediate services. Once a plan has been incubated through the organization’s collaborative process, usually a partner is identified to lead and fund long-term implementation.

The Ignition Fund would enable Ten and the Top to launch an effort and showcase it for future funding and partners, he said.

“I think the best recent example of how things can work through our process is the Upstate Mobility Alliance, which was a result of nearly three years of collaborative efforts through the Connecting Our Future effort,” Hybl said. “Having this ignition fund will allow us to push forward efforts like that quicker because we will already have some ‘seed funding’ to get things moving.”

“The ignition process would ultimately be faster, more efficient and more impactful,” Ten at the Top said in a written announcement. “Through generous donations from regional partners, TATT will maintain a dedicated fund controlled by a committee within the TATT board of directors.”

Hybl said the fund will be utilized in a way to prevent it from disrupting existing Ten at the Top priorities. The fund will be controlled by a committee within the board.

“In consultation with organization staff, the committee will have the discretion to provide funds to projects that have gone through TATT’s collaborative process and are at a stage where they are in need of funds to advance,” the announcement said. “The funding allotments will be determined based on project needs, anticipated impacts and long-term ownership plans.”

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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