In our second year the Chesapeake Institute for Local Sustainable Food and Agriculture is finding ways to involve members. The collective vision for a sustainable food system is what inspires our volunteers to get involved. The experiences they have while volunteering is what inspires them to stay involved. With multiple projects there is something for every skill set. To see how your interests, skills and passions can add to our vibrant community check out the committees we have put together.
- Social Media Committee
- Outreach Committee
- Business Plan Committee
- Grant Writing Committee
- Teacher Advisory Committee
CILSFA wants to communicate with a diverse group of people. The issues that we are tackling effect every single person in America, which means their input is crucial to the success of CILSFA. The best way to reach anyone interested is through social media. Today, social media is a full time job, so we have broken it down into a few easy to handle categories. the best thing about being on the Social Media committee, is that the things it requires, you probblyl already do on a daily basis, and you can give as little or as much time as you like, on your own schedule.
Tumblr: do you love communicating through pictures. Tumblr is a great way to do this. Our project, Brickyard Educational Farm has pictures galore on Tumblr; fresh veggies, students on the farm and creative gardening.
Pinterest: this is another great picture platform. Pinterest quickly connects individuals to new websites and to each other through photos. This is a great way to inform each other about national issues, while focusing on the simple things that make local food systems to beautiful and nutritious.
Twitter: Have you ever written a Haiku? Then twitter is for you. Speak to thousands of folks at a time, in real time, learning to say what you want in 140 characters or less. Twitter offers a large active community a way to discuss the most exciting things going on in the local food movement.
Facebook: Probably the most visited social media platform in the world, Facebook allows organizations to create pages for their projects, groups for their members, event invitations for the community and so much more. The perception that Facebook takes us away from the garden is far from the truth. Share farming, gardening and community organizing experiences that inspire others to get outside and play in the dirt.
Meetup: If you have ever wondered where people who share similar interests are hiding, then Meetup is for you. It provides a central platform for you to meet others. Create events, that anyone on the website can attend, or go to someone else's event and meet new people.
Researcher: Do you love reading articles online? Then you could provide volunteers with content for posts on the above social networks. There are so many fascinating things happening in the Go Green movement, the Buy Local movement, School Gardens, Urban farming, Sustainable Farming, Food Councils, National Legislation... the list goes on and on!
Any other platforms you can think of that provide an outlet for CILSFA to communicate through. Share your ideas and join the social media committee by contacting Carissa.
Outreach covers a broad range of activities in any organization. CILSFA is defining outreach as "reaching out to those around you, to share CILSFA's mission" There are several ways to go about reaching out. Meeting for coffee, sending an email, making a phone call, attending other organizations gatherings.
Public Schools: Two of CILSFA's project focus on public school students. In order to serve local public school students, relationships need to be formed with principles, teachers and parents.
Faith based communities: Many of these communities are already very involved in public outreach. A commitment to protecting the earth is often a staple of faith based communities. Through collaboration with these groups, CILSFA can begin to bring diverse people together to work on a common goal.
Journalists/Writers/Reporters: The best way to get your mission is accomplished is to have someone talking about it. In order for news outlets to report on good works, a relationship must be formed with individuals who work there.
Farmers Markets/Farming Community: This one speaks for itself. In order to change the food system, we need to be collaborating with the food producers and the consumers. Farmers markets are a great way to talk with folks that are already interested in CILSFA's mission.
Local elected officials: The members of local councils and delegations are dedicated people, with a commitment to serve their community. They always appreciate hearing from constituents about issues that are important to them.
Can you think of other groups that would be could to reach out to. Send your ideas and join the Outreach committee by contacting Carissa.
This is specifically for our Project Brickyard Educational Farm
Brickyard Educational Farm's goal is to collaborate with the Montgomery County Public School System. The Business Plan has been in development for the past year and is ready to be taken to the next level. There are three major volunteer roles that you may have expertise in.
Organizer: There are multiple components to the Brickyard Educational Farm vision. The business plan reflects this diversity but needs to do so in a clear and organized way. The multiple facets need to be able to be interchanged as program grows.
Editor: If you have an eye for detail this would be a great way to volunteer. Grammer, punctuation, and layout can never be checked enough.
Budget Advisor: The educational programming has run for the past two years through hard working volunteers. This is something to be incredibly proud of. At the same time, that makes it hard to create realistic budgets. If you have experience in formulating budgets to express the needs of an organization or business, you could apply that knowledge to the budget and create a clear path for collaboration with MCPS.
Are there areas of the Business plan that you think we have missed? Send your ideas and join the Business Plan Committee by contacting Carissa.
The Grant writing process can seem daunting. That is why we have broken it down into simple steps that can help CILSFA reach its goal. If you have experience in writing grants, or would like to learn how this is a great volunteer opportunity.
Research: There are tons of grants out there! We need to be aware of them, understand what they require, and when the deadlines are. Loving hunting for things on the internet? This is a wonderful way to volunteer on your time. An hour of research or 10, the information you gather would be a huge help.
Writer/Coach: There is a definite formula to writing grants. If you can use your experience to help with writing or to give tips to the staff, the results will be that much more successful.
Editor: If you have an eye for detail then this is the perfect volunteer opportunity. So many organizations apply for every grant. An application can be instantly rejected because of a simple oversight.
This is a very specific committee. Members need to be a teacher or staff member in a elementary school, middle school, high school or university/college. The goal of the committee is to align lessons at Brickyard Educational Farm with state and federal education standards. There are also opportunities with Real Food For Kids - Montgomery regarding policies and procedures for getting local nutritious food into school meals.
If would like to find out more about the Teacher Advisory Committee contact Carissa.