About & Application

The 10th Annual Creative Give Back

The Creative Give Back is an award of up to $25,000 worth of our consulting services.  Winners are selected through a competitive application process.

The Creative Give Back is Creative EDC’s way to give back to the field of economic development. Our team has enjoyed long careers as practicing economic developers and consultants. This profession has given us meaningful work and lifelong friends. We have enjoyed playing even the smallest part in improving thousands of lives through sustainable economic development. It is important for us to give back to the profession that has given us so much. Starting in 2014, we committed to giving away one consulting project a year through a competitive application process.

Previous winners of the annual Creative Give Back have included the North Carolina Employee Ownership Center, the Nikwasi Initiative, Lancaster, SC, Waynesboro Office of Economic Development, VA, Cabarrus County EDC, NC, Wayne County Development Alliance, NC, City of Graham, NC, and the Blacksburg Partnership, VA.  The results of past Give Back projects can be found on our website in the free resource library

Click here for a printable application instructions.

All applications must be completed online.

To be considered for The Creative Give Back, the project must:

  • Challenge us to think outside-the-box
  • Have the ability to significantly impact the local economy
  • Ability to be replicated
  • Have a true, demonstrated consulting need
  • Be consistent with sustainable economic development practices
  • Give us the opportunity to work with a great community and great people

Scope of Project:

The types of projects we will consider are as wide-ranging as the creativity of the applicant pool. Creative EDC has expertise in strategic planning, product development, organizational development, downtown and small business development, entrepreneurship, and many other areas of economic development. Our website has recent project examples, but don’t limit project ideas to our list. Just make sure the scope is in our wheelhouse.

Selection Process:

The Selection Process is pretty simple. Creative EDC staff will narrow the submissions to three for an independent panel to review.  To make our finalist list, the project will be awarded points for:

  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Ability to be replicated
  • Capability for economic transformation
  • Demonstrated consulting need
  • And just a few points for how much fun the project will be – If we’re not getting paid at least we should have fun!

The staff-selected finalist projects will be reviewed and assessed by an independent Review Panel of strategic partners. We will not announce the Review Panel members in advance to avoid influencing, but we will name them when we announce the winner.

Influencing :

Absolutely no influencing is allowed. Keep the expensive dinners, sports event tickets, and bottles of wine. If you can afford all of that, then you could hire us instead of applying.

Eligible Applicants :

Units of local governments and nonprofit economic development organizations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are eligible applicants. Communities do not have to be economically distressed. There could be many reasons the consulting project has remained unfunded.

Deadlines :

We mean it. No late proposals. No extensions. Remember, like any good site selector, we’re looking for reasons to eliminate.  Applications are due February 20th, 2023 by 5:00PM

Creative Economic Development Consulting