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I am an independent consultant with 16 years experience in the nonprofit sector. I specialize in building more sustainable local food systems through a variety of approaches, particularly through designing innovative programs, establishing new partnerships, and securing funding for communities to continue this work. As a leading national expert on USDA grant programs, I have completed 42 original proposals and numerous reports to a dozen different USDA programs, resulting in more than $3.4 million in new funding to date. I have served as a program designer, grant writer, project manager, evaluator, and national educator on USDA grants. Additionally, I have secured $8 million in funding for organizations from a variety of non-federal sources, including foundations, events, and individual donor campaigns.

I have assisted nonprofits and food businesses with strategic growth and capacity-building, including facilitating a successful merger and supporting boards in interim leadership roles. My depth and diversity of experience ensure that I fully understand the challenges facing your organization. I am prepared to help you achieve your goals!

Consulting Services:

  • Start-to-finish guidance with identifying and applying for USDA grants
  • Project management and evaluation of funded USDA grants and other projects
  • Partnership matching and facilitation for collaborative projects and mergers
  • Strategic planning and development for nonprofits and food businesses
  • Design of innovative new programs to meet community needs
  • Grant writing and creation of fundraising and marketing materials
  • Customized workshops and webinars on USDA funding and other capacity-building topics


Program Design for Social Impact

In my decade of working in nonprofit organizations and 7 years as an independent consultant, I have seen the difficulty most organizations have with actually achieving their mission. Obstacles such as staff members stretched to the limit, funders who don’t invest in capacity-building, and the often-crushing load of administrative tasks overshadow the creativity and good intentions of many nonprofit leaders, resulting in stagnation and burn-out. As a consultant, I offer a number of unique services to help you overcome these obstacles. I blend familiar nonprofit capacity-building tools such as fundraising, grant writing, program development, communications/marketing, strategic planning and evaluation into a customized approach that actually makes things happen.

What is Program Design?

Well-designed programs are the foundational building blocks that dictate whether a nonprofit will be successful in its work. All funders evaluate your proposals on the design of the program, whether or not they use this term. All plans created by nonprofits – strategic plans, communication plans, evaluation plans, fundraising plans – contain components of program design and cannot be successful without it. The programs I design take your specific goals, circumstances, and vision and match them with available funding, partnerships, and best practices in your field for successful, concrete plans of action. My design approach creatively combines and integrates all of the essential services needed to move good ideas forward. I bring this approach to all of my work, customizing a package to meet your organization’s needs.