PLATINUM2024

TREE Fund - Tree Research & Education Endowment Fund

Cultivating Innovation

aka TREE Fund   |   Naperville, IL   |  www.treefund.org

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Mission

To identify and fund programs that support the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in arboriculture and urban forestry.

Ruling year info

1977

President and CEO

Paul Putman PhD, CAP

Main address

1755 Park St. Suite 200

Naperville, IL 60563 USA

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Formerly known as

ISA Research Trust

National Arborist Foundation

EIN

37-1018692

NTEE code info

Public Foundations (T30)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (C12)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (C12)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2019.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Deforestation is a global issue that contributes to climate change and threatens human life and well-being. Loss of urban canopy is particularly harmful to humans.

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?

Hyland R. Johns Grant Program

Established in 1995 to honor one of the leaders in the arboriculture industry and a founder of the ISA Research Trust, the Hyland R. Johns Grant Program funds longer term research and technology transfer projects that have the potential of benefiting the everyday work of arborists.

Projects are expected to be completed within three to five years, with a maximum award value of $25,000. No project may receive more than one award from this program. Please note that funds cannot be used to pay for overhead expenses or student tuition and fees.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The John Z. Duling Grant Program was established and funded by a bequest from the estate of John Z. Duling of Indiana, who was a strong advocate of research and proposed in 1972 the establishment of the ISA Research Trust. The goal of this program is to provide start-up or seed funding to support innovative research and technology transfer projects that have the potential of benefiting the everyday work of arborists.

Projects are expected to be completed within one to three years with a maximum grant award of $25,000. No project may receive more than one award from this program. Please note that funds cannot be used to pay for overhead expenses or student tuition and fees.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Robert Felix Memorial Scholarship Program funds scholarships through the Robert Felix Memorial Fund. Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or technical college and must be pursuing a career in commercial arboriculture.

Scholarship award amounts are $5,000 each, to be paid in two increments, one in the fall semester, one in the spring. (Second payment is contingent upon re-enrollment and GPA standards being met). The award is non-renewable and no applicant may receive more than one award from this program. All awards will be paid directly to the educational institution attended by the recipient in two equal payments. Mid-year proof of enrollment and a minimum 3.0 GPA is required prior to the second payment.

Population(s) Served
Students
Adults

The John Wright Memorial Scholarship Program offers one annual scholarship via the TREE Fund, established by Wright Tree Service in memory of founders John L. Wright and John R. Wright. Aimed at supporting aspiring arborists in commercial arboriculture, it assists college students in achieving academic success without accruing excessive debt.

Eligible applicants include high school seniors entering college, returning college students pursuing a bachelor's or associate's degree, and those planning to enter the commercial arboriculture industry. Special consideration is given to honorably discharged veterans and active members of the military. The $5,000 non-renewable award is disbursed in two equal payments directly to the recipient's educational institution, contingent upon proof of enrollment and a minimum 3.0 GPA mid-year. Awards may only be applied to tuition expense, and applicants may not request scholarships greater than the anticipated amount of their tuition.

Population(s) Served
Students
Adults

The Jack Kimmel International Grant Program, championed by the Canadian TREE Fund, honors the late Jack Kimmel who was the former Director of Parks for the City of Toronto. He is remembered for his contribution of 46 years of leadership to the ISA and its Ontario chapter. Jack Kimmel grants provide much needed funding to arboriculture and urban forestry researchers all over the world. This grant is administered by the TREE Fund, with participation from the Canadian TREE Fund in the evaluation process.

Projects are expected to be completed within one to three years. Grant award amounts are limited to a maximum of $10,000 and will vary depending upon the adjudged value of the project relative to the needs of the arboriculture community. No project may receive more than one award from this program. Please note that funds cannot be used to pay for overhead expenses or student tuition and fees.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) and Utility Arborist Association (UAA) established the Utility Arborist Research Fund (UARF) in 2010 to finance work with real importance and benefit to utility tree care professionals. In 2017, the UARF endowment reached its $1.0 million activation goal, and the first grant under this program was awarded in 2018. TREE Fund manages the UARF endowment and administers all research grants awarded, while UAAs Research Committee advises TREE Fund with respect to research priorities.

A total of $50,000 is available for award in 2024; the minimum award considered will be $10,000, the maximum $50,000, so that one to five grants may be awarded, subject to receipt of compliant applications. Work funded by UARF is expected to be completed within one to three years of award.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

Jim and Annie Barborinas, renowned figures in the nursery realm, operate Urban Forest Nursery in Washington's Skagit Valley. They cater to urban forestry needs, specializing in high-quality street and landscape trees. Concerned with root growth improvement, they initiated the Barborinas Family Fund, with support from the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. This fund aims to enhance tree production techniques, focusing on root science. Research funded by this grant seeks to optimize root systems for seamless tree transplantation, reducing installer intervention. Grants support studies from seedling growth to tree transfer processes, addressing root package options and species diversity.

Award amounts range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

The Safe Arborist Techniques Fund (SATF) is a joint program of Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) and International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), established in 2015 to support research and development into the techniques and equipment that arborists use in climbing, rigging, and working on trees, and the means of identifying potential hazards, to provide a safer working environment. Grant-funded projects are expected to be completed within two years of initial fund disbursement.

SATF grants must support useful inquiry into the areas of worker safety and/or biomechanics, to include investigation into tree failure mechanisms and causes, and offsetting practices and techniques to protect workers, residents and property.

The maximum award value of SATF grants is $15,000.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

Bob Skiera, an urban forestry trailblazer, fostered collaboration between urban foresters and planning professionals. As former President of ISA and WAA, Milwaukee's City Forester, and a Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame inductee, his legacy endures. The Bob Skiera Memorial Fund, established by TREE Fund, the Skiera Family, WAA, and ISA, supports the "Building Bridges Initiative." This initiative aims to enhance tree advocacy through collaborative research with various professionals. The

Building Bridges Initiative Grant(s) will be focused on research to facilitate or engage interactions between urban forest managers, arborists, and other professionals committed to maximizing value/use of the urban forest resource.

Grants, with a maximum value of $30,000, are jointly funded by the Bob Skiera Memorial Fund and the John White Memorial Fund.

Population(s) Served
Academics
Adults

The TREE Fund Board of Trustees launched the Tree and Soil Research Grant, made possible by a permanently restricted endowment fund supporting areas of research of interest to the landscape architecture community with special focus in the area of trees and the soils that support them.

Projects are expected to be completed within one to three years, with a maximum award value of $10,000. No project may receive more than one award from this program.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of reports written/published

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

Academics, Self-employed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We track the number of times the research we fund appears in peer-reviewed journals and the number of citations per paper. Number reported here is total between 2002 and 2023.

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

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

Academics, Self-employed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Total represents research grants ($265,000) and education/community engagement ($5,000). Additionally $35,000 in scholarships were awarded.

Total number of grants awarded

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

Academics, Self-employed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The total reported here is the total between 2002 and 2023, inclusive. 8 new 2022 grants ($161,514) and 24 continued multi-year grants.

Estimated number of funding dollars secured for the sector

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

Academics, Self-employed people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

A study found that for every dollar granted by TREE Fund, at least $2.63 is leveraged. The total reported here is the total between 2002 and 2023, inclusive.

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.

We hope to increase widespread understanding of the benefits of trees and empower arborists to better assist us in keeping our trees healthy.

We are funding the scientific research and education that strengthens our understanding of trees, their care and their value.

We have built several permanent endowments, now valued at approximately $5.2 million. These grants will exist forever. We have a small but talented and highly dedicated staff, as well as an informed and engaged community of volunteers and funding partners.

Between 2002 and 2023, we have given grants and scholarships totaling more than $5.3 million.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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

  • 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 act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

TREE Fund - Tree Research & Education Endowment Fund
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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
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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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.

TREE Fund - Tree Research & Education Endowment Fund

Board of directors
as of 03/27/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Patrick Franklin

Bartlett Tree Experts

Term: 2024 - 2026

Rachel Barker

ArborMetrics Solutions, LLC

Jacques Brunswick

Childrens Museum of Manhattan

Lori Brockelbank

Davey Resource Group

Arnold "Beau" Brodbeck

Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Auburn University)

Asia Dowtin

Michigan State University

Dan Herms

The Davey Tree Expert Company

Jon Hicks

Wright Tree Service

Pete Smith

Arbor Day Foundation

Sam VanMaanen

Arborwear

De'Etra Young

Tennessee State University

David Gorden

Mark M. Holeman, Inc.

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/14/2024

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/14/2024

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

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.