PLATINUM2023

Plant With Purpose

For People & Planet

aka Plant With Purpose   |   San Diego, CA   |  https://www.plantwithpurpose.org

Mission

Plant With Purpose works at the nexus of poverty and environmental degradation to transform the lives and land of farming communities through environmental restoration, economic empowerment, and spiritual renewal. Founded in 1984, Plant With Purpose is a Christian nonprofit that catalyzes the talent and ingenuity of farming families to transform entire watersheds. Of people living in poverty worldwide, up to 85% live in rural areas (OPHDI, 2014). Most struggle to grow enough food to feed their families and send their children to school. Plant With Purpose equips impoverished farming families to change their circumstances and land and to live with hope. We do this through sustainable agriculture training, land restoration, savings-led microfinance, and local leadership development.

Ruling year info

1985

Principal Officer

Mr. Scott Sabin

Main address

4747 Morena Blvd. Suite 100

San Diego, CA 92117 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Floresta

EIN

33-0052976

NTEE code info

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Economic Development (S30)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Plant With Purpose works at the nexus of poverty alleviation and environmental degradation to empower rural farming families to rise from poverty and restore their watersheds. Globally, 85% of those living in multidimensional poverty live in rural areas (OPHI, 2014), many of whom are subsistence farmers. Human-caused deforestation as well as a changing climate contribute to land degradation, which in turn exacerbates poverty. Driven to extremes, farmers desperate for charcoal or cash cut down trees, thereby feeding the cycle of deforestation and poverty. We have observed the link between the health of land and the health of those who live on it, and, over the course of more than 35 years, have identified a three-pronged approach for healing the environment and alleviating poverty. This approach includes economic empowerment, environmental restoration, and spiritual renewal.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Plant With Purpose

Plant With Purpose works at the nexus of poverty and environmental degradation to transform the lives and land of farming communities through environmental restoration, economic empowerment, and spiritual renewal. Founded in 1984, Plant With Purpose is a Christian nonprofit that catalyzes the talent and ingenuity of farming families to transform entire watersheds. Of people living in poverty worldwide, up to 85% live in rural areas (OPHDI, 2014). Most struggle to grow enough food to feed their families and send their children to school. Plant With Purpose equips impoverished farming families to change their circumstances and land and to live with hope. We do this through sustainable agriculture training, land restoration, savings-led microfinance, and local leadership development.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

The Plant With Purpose Democratic Republic of the Congo program launched in fiscal year 2015 and is now serving over 10,300 families in 74 communities, focusing on promoting prosperity and peace following civil war.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Dominican Republic launched in 1984, and is now serving over 9,500 families in 180 communities, focusing on forgotten rural communities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Ethiopia launched in 2018 and is now serving over 4,300 families in 154 communities; focuses on protecting ancient church forests in the Amhara region.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Haiti launched in 1997, and is now serving over 14,600 families in 166 communities; focuses on strengthening rural families in desolate places.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Mexico launched in 1996 and is now serving over 3,600 families in 151 communities; focuses on supporting indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Puebla.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Tanzania launched in 2004 and is now serving over 12,200 families in 141 communities; focuses on empowering female farmers in the Kilimanjaro Region.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Thailand launched in 2006 and is now serving over 400 families in 55 communities; focuses on advocating for marginalized hilltribe communities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Burundi launched 2008 and is now serving over 13,800 families in 201 communities; focuses on promoting peace and reconciliation.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Where we work

Accreditations

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) 2020

Best Christian Workplaces 2020

Awards

4 Stars 2020

Charity Navigator

Good Steward Award 2013

Arbor Day Foundation

Best Nonprofit to Work For Award 2013

Opportunity Knocks

Best Charity In America Award 2013

Independent Charities of America

Best annual report for a Christian nonprofit 2017

Counsel and Capital

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Area of land, in hectares, indirectly controlled by the organization and under sustainable cultivation or sustainable stewardship

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric refers to the total area of land Plant With Purpose is working in (a sum of all watersheds). Reporting fiscal years.

Number of communities worldwide with active partnerships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Reporting fiscal years.

Number of direct program participants worldwide

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number reflects the number of families participating. Thousands more of our partners' families and neighbors benefit from improved land and farming. Reporting fiscal years.

Number of active Village Savings and Loan Association groups (VSLA)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) is a local, self-governing group through which residents manage and develop their resources. Reporting fiscal years.

Number of trees planted in reforestation projects in given year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Projects are selected within watershed areas where deforestation is severe and residents depend on subsistence farming for survival. Reporting fiscal years.

Total active VSLA member equity

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Currency is $USD. Reporting fiscal years.

Number of active church partnerships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The church refers to local congregations involved in community and spiritual development. Reporting fiscal years.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Farmers and residents participate in local, self-governing Purpose Groups, which include savings-and-loan group activities. Reporting in fiscal years.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Plant With Purpose, a Christian environmental organization, exists to transform the lives and land of rural families who live at the intersection of extreme poverty and environmental degradation. Our goal through 2025 is to empower 100,000 farming families to rise from poverty and heal 60 watersheds in 10 countries.

Plant With Purpose utilizes a three-part approach to address poverty alleviation that includes environmental restoration, economic empowerment, and spiritual renewal. By simultaneously focusing on these three areas, we achieve holistic transformation for impoverished, rural communities.

Plant With Purpose partners learn and implement sustainable agriculture techniques and have planted over 40 million trees in key watersheds. Farmer Field Schools teach units on topics such as soil health, watershed conservation, agroforestry, prevention of erosion, and whole ecosystem health. Locally-led nurseries raise species that contribute to the well-being of farming families and the surrounding watershed.

Economic empowerment is addressed by establishing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), which enable families to save their hard-earned income and invest in improving their lives. Savings groups allow rural farming families access financial services such as loans to improve their farms, send their children to school, and weather difficult times such as family emergencies. These groups are completely self-funded and locally-led without the use of outside capital.

As a faith-based organization, Plant With Purpose invests in the whole person through partnerships with local Christian churches. We believe that local churches best understand the needs of their communities and can lead the way in creating change. Churches are equipped in their efforts to help people experience God's love. Our church mobilization program trains indigenous leaders to work with their communities to meet needs using local resources.

Our programming and budget both reflect substantial growth in recent years. Worldwide, the reach of Plant With Purpose extends to more than 290,000 individuals in over 850 communities. Three key factors impact the success of our vision to alleviate poverty and restore the environment—sustainability, experience, and leadership. We approach our work with sustainability in mind; we take the long approach and take the time to train farmers and provide hands-on mentorship over the course of several years. We work to improve whole watersheds, improving the lives of not only direct program participants, but of others in the surrounding communities. Second, we have over 35 years of on-the-ground experience that has been honed into successful techniques and powerful, grassroots networks. Third, our work is community-led and leadership-focused, making it replicable and scalable, ensuring the work continues long after our direct involvement ends.

In terms of funding, Plant With Purpose draws from a wide variety of sources including individual donors, foundations, churches, and corporations. This diversity of funding ensures financial resilience and growth opportunities.

Plant With Purpose works in over 850 communities with over 50,000 families worldwide in 40 subwatersheds. Our programs impact over 290,000 children and adults. We catalyze indigenous farming families to affect change in their communities. Together, we have planted over 40 million trees, sequestering carbon through sustainable agriculture and reforestation and transforming entire watersheds. Flora and fauna return, water sources regulate, and land is restored. Together we have formed over 2,000 local Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) which have over $7.5 million in equity, without added outside capital. Women make up 64% of group participants which shows changing attitudes towards women and their contributions in typically male-dominated social structures. Together we are fostering 850 church partnerships and providing leadership training and support. Overall, participating families see a 55% reduction in poverty.

The future of Plant With Purpose and our partners is bright. Our 2025 goal is to work with over 100,000 farming families in 60 watersheds globally, impacting over half a million people and restoring watersheds through sustainable agriculture and reforestation.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We partner with rural smallholder farmers experiencing poverty. Of people living in poverty worldwide, up to 85% live in rural areas (OPHDI, 2014). Most struggle to grow enough food to feed their families and send their children to school. Plant With Purpose equips impoverished farming families to change their circumstances and land and to live with hope.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Additional training in Income Generating Activities (IGA) was requested by program participants. We responded by initiating a pilot phase, conducting a difference-in-differences (DID) study to measure the impact of the IGA training, and formulated a broader roll-out plan based on positive results of the DID study.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We ask for feedback and input from our partner farmers and global leadership on an ongoing basis. All of our programs are 100% community-based and locally-led. We honor the contributions of our participants, learning alongside them as equals. We are gratified that our partners feel highly respected by Plant With Purpose staff (average score of 4.6 on a scale of 1-5 as measured in the 2021 Impact Report). In addition, one core aspect of our regenerative agriculture training—Farmer Field Schools—relies on community feedback. While Plant With Purpose staff teaches regenerative techniques, Farmer Field School is a place for participating farmers to codevelop regenerative agriculture practices. Farmers are able to test techniques and find what works best for their soil, weather patterns, etc.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Plant With Purpose
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Plant With Purpose

Board of directors
as of 01/27/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

John Steel

Former Vice President Zytec Corporation & Artesyn Technologies

Term: 2020 - 2022

Scott Sabin

Plant With Purpose

John Steel

Zytec Corporation/Artesyn Technologies

Janet Farley

The Village Church

Ted Law

Access Evangelical Covenant Church

Cathi Lundy

Marketing Consultant

Eric Kaiser

ViaSat / Former VP Qualcomm

Denise Yohn

Denise Lee Yohn, Inc.

Darrell Shrader

Former Family Practice MD

Jeff Busby

Former Executive Director, Brandes Investment Partners

Cindy Chen

Shell

Steve Dhanens

Former Senior Director of Global Operations, Qualcomm

Judy Enns

Former Founder, HR Solutions

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/19/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data