The Nashville Food Project (TNFP) is located in Nashville, Tennessee.
TNFP set out to open a for-profit catering business, with the idea that profits from that business could support new growth for their core mission of providing community meals at no charge to people living with hunger.
As they got deeper into the investigation, it became clear that it would not be a good fit for the organization. They have hundreds of volunteers who do most of their meal preparation work and using that labor force for a traditional for-profit catering business was neither feasible nor desirable.
They pivoted to a more collaborative model: TNFP provides long-term contract meal prep and delivery for other nonprofit organizations who are already providing other services to people who live with hunger or food insecurity.
As a result of this “pooled resources” model, TNFP has been able to dramatically increase the number of meals they serve every week (by 800% from 2015 – 2019), and have formed meaningful partnerships with a growing number of social service agencies in Middle TN.
This growth allowed them to raise enough funds to build their own facility in 2018. Their new commercial kitchen, offices and community space have allowed them to pursue even greater growth opportunities to better meet the need for fresh, nutritious food in their community.
Brings people together to grow, cook and share nourishing food, with the goals of cultivating community and alleviating hunger in our city.
“Working with CauseImpact helped our board find the courage to challenge our way of thinking of how we can use our skills and resources to find new funding. Social Enterprise was new to all of us and, at first, was difficult to integrate with our philosophy. We had to step back, look at the real cost of "doing business", and weigh the potential against the risk. Without Cause Impact's thoughtful guidance and wisdom, I don't think we would have made the leap.”
Julie Smith, Modcon Living
“Preparing for this presentation brought us together to get some difficult decisions made while capturing our focus collectively as a team. I really believe the future is bright for our project.”
North End Community Improvement Collaborative
“See Kids Dream is the type of organization that really NEEDS a social enterprise as a stream of
revenue… we don’t tend to be very competitive on grants and typical fundraising approaches
because our mission/ impact is not so easily communicated… takes time for people to
understand why they should invest… and people don’t have a lot of time to listen these days.
Social enterprise and our participation in the Catalyst program has opened up a whole new
world of opportunity for the mission of SKD.”
Laura Grindle, See Kids Dream
“It’s been a great value for Project Return specifically to have dedicated weekly and monthly time to focus on Pro-Housing. The convening of the impact team, which brings together all tiers of the community—successful business leaders, supporters, staff—brings new and different perspectives. That’s been invaluable. The check-ins or conversations with Sean on a weekly basis have allowed us to move forward a lot of work that might otherwise have remained on a list of to-dos. ”
Darrell Hawks, Project Return
“We think in a more enterprising way. We went into this thinking we would have an enterprise over here, and conduct our normal business over there, and it became much grayer. Sean even ended up saying very well: “It’s not that the Nashville Food Project has a social enterprise; the Nashville Food Project IS a social enterprise.” And that’s a distinguishing feature that was important for us to recognize on our own. So the language with which we talk about ourselves is different. And the way we think about ourselves is different—we’re sharper and more strategic.” Tallu Quinn, The Nashville Food Project
"The Frist Foundation loves to support the Innovation Catalyst program because it continues to foster innovation in our nonprofit community, especially around earned revenue. This is extremely important for diversifying a funding base for so many nonprofits in Nashville and making them sustainable in the long term, which we love to see."
Corinne Bergeron, Frist Foundation