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Helping nature centers succeed in a 21st century world.

Natural Start Alliance

Washington, DC • November 2015-April 2016

Project Description

The Natural Start Alliance, a project of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), is a coalition of educators, parents, organizations, and others who want to help young children connect with nature and care for the environment. One of the ways they do that is by offering training to adults who work with young children—especially in the setting of nature-based preschools. I developed a business plan to expand the types of training they offer. To achieve that, I:

  • Did a market analysis that included a survey of potential clients and a thorough review of the competition.
  • Conducted interviews with nature-based preschools that might serve as regional training sites and partnering institutions.
  • Developed cost estimates, income projections, and pro forma budgets for several types of live and on-line training.
  • Facilitated the decision-making process within the Natural Start Alliance and NAAEE (its parent organization).
“Dave Catlin provided the outside perspective and specialized knowledge we needed to develop a sound financial plan for our new initiative. With a combination of focused research, skillful facilitation, and experienced financial planning, he helped us develop a flexible plan that will grow with our program. Best of all, Dave moved the project ahead precisely on schedule. He brought a rare mix of passion and realism to the project, and his contributions have been essential in advancing our work.”
Christy Merrick, Natural Start Coordinator

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