Provides a safety net for disadvantaged community members

aka Stone SoupThrift Shop   |   ST PAUL PARK, MN   |


Our Mission: "To engage the community in supporting families and individuals by providing access to quality used clothing, household items and furniture in a convenient, dignified manner."

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mrs. Vickie T Snyder

Main address

950 3rd st s Suite 101


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NTEE code info

Thrift Shops (P29)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Recycling (C27)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Following the closing of our store on March 18th, 2020, all of our remaining activities were aimed at helping those in need. We started meeting with clients remotely over the phone. We provided personal shopping for the basic needs clients required and they came to the store to pick them up. We started building food packages of non-perishable items that were ordered online for pick up that was implemented on Thursday, March 26, 2020. For the first eight days after the implementation of that program, we provided 98 families and 404 individuals with food packages. If needed, we also provided hygiene kits, laundry kits, and other items that were requested by the community. We continue to provide free bakery items from Hy-Vee and Panera Tuesday-Friday from 12-4. We have seen between 4-48 cars of people per day that have stopped by our donation bay for the bakery items. It's been important that we have remained available as a service to be innovative to meet the community needs.

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?

Providing Basic Needs

Basic Needs, Inc. of South Washington County provides a safety net for residents in need. Established by clergy in 1996, Basic Needs grew as the population and need grew. In 2021, the Board of Directors hired an executive director, secured office space, and moved the Thrift Shop to a larger, more central location. Basic Needs moved from its original church-based location to an office with a meeting room, in St. Paul Park with a Thrift Shop in Cottage Grove. For more than 25 years and in coordination with other local charities, Basic Needs has been addressing housing concerns, food insecurity, clothing and essentials, and provided coordinated activities such as gas cards, repair help, and special events. Through projects including a Free Little Pantry, free meals, the Thrift Shop, a community garden, COVID relief, and a recycle program, Basic Needs works to fulfill their mission to support the basic needs of those in the community.

Population(s) Served

Food Insecurity:
Food Insecurity: 1) We provide fresh family meals on the first Saturday of the month through the Saturday Supper program. We usually provide 75-100 meals. 2) We started our Free Little Pantry program in 2020 and expanded that program to six locations We hope to expand and add these in Woodbury by 2023. 3) Community Garden: Growth for Good: Basic Needs has a community garden where vegetables are harvested by the groups and donated to one of our pantries with a cooler. 4) Thanksgiving Meal Challenge: Working with school District 833 and Washington County Services, Basic Needs was able to provide Pre-cooked Thanksgiving Meal for 54 families. 5) Our Thrift shop provides free bread to the community provided by Hy-vee.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people

Where we work


Minnesota Outstanding Employers of Older Workers 2007

Stone Soup was among the Outstanding Employers honored by the Governor and the Department of Employment & Economic Development, Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), as 2007’s .

Seal of Approval 2018

Charity Review Council

Love Takes Action Award 2020

New York Life

Nonprofit of the Year 2022

Chamber of Commerce-Cottage Grove

Affiliations & memberships

Chamber of Commerce-Cottage Grove 2020

Chamber of Commerce 2019

Chamber of Commerce-Woodbury 2019

Chamber of Commerce-Woodbury 2020

Chamber of Commerce-Woodbury 2021

Chamber of Commerce-Woodbury 2022

Chamber of Commerce-Cottage Grove 2021

Chamber of Commerce-Cottage Grove 2022

Chamber of Commerce-Cottage Grove 2023

Chamber of Commerce-Woodbury 2023

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.

The organization intends to continue to grow and to increase our value to the community we serve. We intend to do this in all of the following ways:
• By continuing to confirm and enhance our identity.
• By increasing advertising through innovative ways
• By establishing and maintaining communication with the community and partnering agencies.
• By moving donated merchandise more quickly onto the sales floor.
• By continuing competitive pricing.
• By increasing awareness of our offerings on our website and Facebook.
• By recruiting, educating, and training more volunteers and community service personal.
• By soliciting funds from local groups/organizations to support our programs.
• By reducing waste and improving recycling efforts through local recycling companies.
• By seeking new, green approaches to disposing of plastics, metals, and other material.
• By adding other useful services, similar to our distribution of bread, rolls, and pastries.
• By having fundraisers like the “Soup-er Bowl” and the “Fashion Show” to attract funding and promote public awareness.
• By Board members working to increase our visibility.
• By Board members reaching out to the community at public venues.
• By participating in community events.
• By actively recruiting volunteers to assist in the store.

To develop additional services and programs for families who are in crisis. Ongoing

In the fall of 2019, the board of directors decided to abandon their prior strategic direction to explore the next steps in getting a new building. In January of 2020, before developing a new strategic vision, the board performed a SWOT analysis (attached). Of the challenges that were chosen, the board developed a new strategic vision that includes the following:
Increase Visibility-1-3 years:
• Developing a Marketing Plan-submit grant for funding
• Need to differentiate between Basic Needs and Stone Soup Thrift Shop.
• Need to hire a Marketing consultant
o Name branding
o Advertising
o Social Media
o Marketing materials
o Elevator Speech (What are using the funds raised for?)
o Review Voucher program,develop new programs, Social Worker.
o Connect with and update all existing /new referral organizations
o Determine Service area
o Children’s groups
o What donations we accept
o Updating Website
Develop Partnerships 1-5 years:
• Building relationships that are sustaining
o Develop Volunteer Program
o How can you get involved with Basic Needs?
o Donor Program/membership
• Strategic Partnering with other nonprofits
o Have similar values-
 St Croix Family Services
 Hastings Family Services
• Corporate Organizations
o These can help with our committees, fundraising, board of directors, and volunteer programs
o The big corporations:
 Renewal By Anderson
 Werner Electric
 3M
• Churches
o Community Meetings
• Government Officials
o State Reps, Washington County Commissioners, etc
o Mayors
o City Council Members
New Building- In the next 10 years
• Develop Plan
o Capital Committee
o Develop a Capital Campaign
• Government Officials
• Business Partnerships.
With this continued success in serving people and maintaining a strong financial position, our Board has turned its attention to the future and how we can best invest to grow our impact of helping individuals and building communities. There are countless challenges that remain as we work to help provide basic needs to the most vulnerable members of society so that they can continue to live their day to day lives.

Stone Soup has been part of Washington County for over 20 years. Basic Needs Inc. of South Washington County formed Stone Soup Thrift Shop in 1996 to serve the local community. Since that time, we have provided household necessities and/or clothing to disadvantaged and/or homeless individuals/families at no cost to them. We accomplished this through generous donations of gently used household items and clothing from our community, grants from foundations and businesses, fundraisers, and from volunteers and a dedicated staff. Stone Soup does not receive any financial support from the county, state, or government agencies.
The current Board President has the drive and passion for the work the organization does. She ensured the organization updated it's Charity Review process and received the seal of approval in 2018. She has also helped turn the organization around financially (see previous financials in Guidestar). She ensures the organization's strategic goal and vision is being accomplished by holding all members of the board and working staff accountable.

Stone Soup Thrift Shop strives in changing the lives of our community members and lending a helping hand to those in need. We have provided meals to over 250 families and have also given free bread out to 425 cars per month in the community.

We are now exploring installing a permanent Free Little Pantry in front of our store. We think this will be a great transition from our meal packs as a way to still provide food to the community. We find that people want to give in ways that are manageable and tangible and this will be a way to help. You can pick up a couple of cans at the grocery store, and put them into a pantry, and feel like you’re doing something. We also think a pantry will break down the barriers between a service provider and client that you see in traditional food shelves. Everyone can walk up to the pantry the same way. Our hope is that some of the shame that people experience from being in need will diminish.

We just implemented a Summer Activity Challenge for the children in the community that is being sponsored by one of our donors. It runs from July 2oth thru August 28th. We are excited to offer something to keep the kids busy and the adults involved for the summer. We offer weekly giveaways/snack packs and chances to win prizes, including a free bike at the end of the challenge.

Covid and the recent protests remind us that we need to be helping build stable and strong community ties as well as giving a voice to those community members living at or under the poverty level. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of our community members and incorporate growth within our organization.

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

    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

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, 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 engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult connecting with the people we serve. Many don't have emails or stable communication



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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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.


Board of directors
as of 12/07/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Sarah Sturner

Basic Needs Inc. of South Washington County dba Stone Soup Thrift Shop

Term: 2021 - 2022

Dominic Busta

Mari Pittman

Traci Leffner

Whitney Harvey

Genya Akselrod

Brigit Fields

Meenu Howland

Mary Masucka

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 6/8/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/08/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.