Strategies for Growth: Investing in and Building the Capacity of Your Market

Does your market need a face lift? Do you have data you don’t know what to do with? Is one vendor dominating the sales of your market? Do you need help approaching donors? Do you want to grow the community and capacity of your market? We’re here to help!

Farm 2 Facts is more than just a data collection toolkit. Our team of marketing, economics, and graphic design professionals, as well as our data analysis and reporting tools, are at your service. In the last year, we’ve expanded to take on projects that build the capacity of your market—logo and web redesign, spatial analysis, economic impact reports, reaching out to potential donors, and more—to ensure that your community is aware of, involved in, and appreciative of the work you do.

What is capacity building? To us, capacity building is putting procedures in place, studying past and current efforts, and utilizing existing aspects of your market to create a space where people gather, spend money on locally produced goods, and learn more about their communities. Capacity building is recognizing the power of each hat you wear as a market manager; you are a community organizer, provider of food, voice of cooperation and collaboration, and business startup platform manager.

Last winter, Farm 2 Facts worked with a market organization in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to build capacity. The manager was looking to provide better sales opportunities for all their vendors, bring new visitors to the market, increase donations to their SNAP matching program, and engage corporate partners through sponsorship opportunities.

The market already made over $100,000 in sales annually, but one vendor outshined the rest. By looking into this vendor, we were able to recommend new layouts for the market, conduct economic analyses without the data of the outcompeting vendor, and develop strategies to boost the sales of other vendors. We also researched who was and wasn’t attending farmers markets to attract a larger crowd, other area markets, and the types of goods being sold to ensure cultural congruence with market-goers.

Additionally, we were able to diversify donors to the markets’ SNAP matching programs; this takes the pressure off one or two organizations to provide huge sums and allows for more community engagement and involvement at the market. Some examples offered were selling sponsored and pre-packed market baskets at a flat rate to customers, sponsoring “community spaces” around music and dining areas, directly reaching out to local healthcare providers, and more.

We recognize that wearing all those hats can be tiring, and we know that each of those hats brings value to your community and market. If you have a vision for your market but you might not be sure how to get there, check out our Capacity Building webpage and send us an email at We’re here to help.