Startup & Founder Services at On Deck
Emily worked with On Deck (after her stint there as a Writing Fellow!) to support no-code operations, program management, partnership development, comms, and founder services.
While there, she met a group of pretty amazing humans starting social impact companies, and started using her skills to support them through a goodtech newsletter, monthly salons, and 1-1 advising. To date, she’s worked with more than 120 founders on legal and financial structures, program development, grantwriting and fundraising, and more.
You can join goodtech here!
GrowCherokee: EBCI Agricultural Economic Development Plan
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians wanted to create a path forward for agriculture, food businesses, and related support businesses in the Western North Carolina region. With their leadership in other critical industries, such as outdoor tourism and hospitality, it was a natural fit for EBCI to consider both what their own tribal members needed and how they could lead Western North Carolina’s agricultural development efforts. The EBCI Agricultural Economic Development plan focused on creating pathways for outreach through the GrowCherokee brand in underserved communities both on the Qualla Boundary and across Western North Carolina. Community feedback from Native farmers, business owners, and residents informed every step of the Tribe’s plan to build agricultural equity into its future development plans. Because the Cherokee relationship with land is both a spiritual and a political one, the process required an ability to listen to marginalized communities, to build equitable approaches that account for both economic and cultural needs, and to navigate the best ways to maintain land sovereignty and cultural agricultural traditions while reaching beyond tribal borders to identify markets in an authentic and genuine manner. The planning process involved more than 200 stakeholders over a period of six months and included both data collection and analysis as well as an action plan for moving small and large initiatives forward over the coming decade.
Piedmont Triad Regional Food System Assessment
CCW conducted a unique regional food system assessment for the Piedmont Triad Regional Food Council, which represents food and farm advocates in a 12-county region of North Carolina. The project required an innovative approach to collecting and mapping data-driven solutions to food access and the regional food economy simultaneously – building a robust original data collection strategy and creatively addressing systemic engagement barriers for underserved communities. Although the pandemic forced a significant shift in our engagement and outreach, the final product is still something we’re proud of creating and we hope it’s useful to other food system advocates looking for data-focused solutions.
Emily served as a Senior Consultant for Special Projects with Apolitical in 2021, including high-profile partners like Mastercard, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and others. She provided bespoke instructional design support, technical writing, communications management and project management for microcourses designed to make government professional education interesting, accessible, and relevant from an online platform. Courses are locked behind a membership paywall but sample courses and field guides are available from links here and here.
NC Choices, CEFS, NC State University
Carolina Creators has served as the lead evaluator and communications developer for NC Choices’ Beginning Farmer Project, which matches niche meat producers across the state with innovative land access opportunities with solar farms, land conservancies, and private landowners with silvopasture properties. The project is also implementing MeatSuite, an online freezer trade market at no cost to farmers in the state, over the coming years. For NC Choices, we manage USDA BFRD and LPFF grant administration, reporting, and evaluation requirements as well as developing training tools, guides, web content, and other materials.
Carolina Creators provided UX and UI strategy and content for a multi-step marketing and app campaign for a six-week pilot with a potential partner for babbly.co. We designed copy to meet aesthetic and brand requirements for two brands while keeping consistency across email and app environments; provided adjustments and feedback for onboarding and user journeys; and built all content on a three-week turnaround to meet a client deadline.
Foothills Food Bank Feasibility Study
CCW completed a comprehensive business plan and feasibility exploration for the Foothills Food Bank in Whatcom County, WA, including scenario planning for increased demand, new facilities, legal structures, and operations to meet food security goals in this rural region of Washington.
Camp Lejeune Regional Aggregation Center Study
Camp Lejeune is a Marine Corps Base in Jacksonville, NC, and was one of the first in the country to explore partnerships through DoD’s pilot programs focused on agricultural protection as a way to protect and conserve flyover lands outside military bases. Through the regional agriculture assessment, the base developed programs supporting incubator farmers with Cooperative Extension in Onslow County, brought farmers’ markets to the base where military families could easily access fresh local foods, and built outreach to surrounding communities to encourage market development and support farm businesses. The outreach process coordinated events and relationships among 12 counties and over 40 municipalities in the region, and successfully navigated relationships between the base itself and rural areas in the region. Final deliverables included a business plan for the regional food hub, a farm capacity analysis, market analysis, distribution channel selection, and five- and ten-year pro formas to support decision-making by USMC leadership and community supporters.
Interfaith Food Shuttle Evaluation Program
Emily assisted Interfaith Food Shuttle’s leadership team with building evaluation into all programs across the organization. The challenge was to create evaluation forms that were accessible by a wide range of audiences on a small budget and without adding a heavy workload to the existing nonprofit staff. Working with the leadership team, Emily developed surveys and interview tools that fed into the CRM functionality already in use and built out an evaluation plan for building feedback loops focused on equity, accessibility, and program effectiveness over time.
A Government Guide to Building Regional Food Economies
Emily managed and published this guide for regional and local governments through NC State University.
This publication provides information, resources, templates, and regulatory guidance for local governments and small business developers working to support local food and farm economic development projects.
NC Local Food Infrastructure Inventory
This map, a five-year collaborative project with statewide agencies, used NAICS data and a personal ground-truthing process to create a full infrastructure map of the links between production and consumption in the local food system. It is now hosted through Piedmont Triad Regional Council.