Causeway is a non-profit that uses an entrepreneurial approach to inspire and equip individuals to solve Chattanooga’s toughest challenges. Whiteboard is a for-profit creative agency helping leaders leverage creativity and technology to accomplish their mission. In 2017, Whiteboard became a certified B-Corp, meaning they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
“Whiteboard has been a supporter of Causeway from the very beginning, both in concrete ways like sponsoring events and in more fluid ways like helping us brainstorm new ideas,” said Abby Garrison, Causeway’s executive director. “Because there is so much overlap in our missions we have always talked about the potential for further partnership and collaboration. I know that some of those great ideas will naturally come to fruition once we are sharing space.”
Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Whiteboard, Eric Brown, joined Causeway’s board earlier this year. He said, “The vast majority of our clients are located outside of the state of Tennessee. We have been looking for ways to better connect with and support social innovation here in Chattanooga. Causeway is at the forefront of that work and we are so excited about the energy and engagement they are going to bring to our space.”
Causeway is moving away from their Patten Parkway location just before the year-long construction project begins there, an extension of the Miller Park Renovation. “Accessibility is absolutely integral to our mission,” said Emilie Sewak, Causeway’s program director. “We consider ourselves the ‘front door for social innovation’ in Chattanooga. We have people who walk through the door on a weekly basis who say ‘I have an idea, and someone told me to start at Causeway.'”
Their new space on Cherry Street will be open to the public in the same way as Causeway’s previous space.
The potential inaccessibility of the construction might have been the catalyst for the move, but the shared vision for the future is what brings these organizations together. Ms. Garrison said, “A common misconception is that Causeway exists to start new nonprofits. In actuality, we know that there are lots of ways to create positive change no matter if you are a nonprofit, a for-profit, or something in-between. Whiteboard is modeling that mission every single day, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them as a living example of the possibilities.”