GOLD2022

Vermont Land Trust

Uniting Land and Lives

aka VLT   |   Montpelier, VT   |  www.vlt.org

Mission

Rooted in Vermont since 1977, Vermont Land Trust unites land and lives for the enduring benefit of people and the place we share. We have conserved farms, forests, trails, and natural areas covering over 11% of the state—land that contributes to our abundance of food and forest products, tourism and recreation, and community vitality. Partnering with landowners, communities, and all Vermonters, we work for a future where land and lives, in all of their diversity, can thrive.

Ruling year info

1977

Principal Officer

Nick Richardson

Main address

8 Bailey Ave

Montpelier, VT 05602 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

03-0264836

NTEE code info

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Farmland Preservation (K25)

Forest Conservation (C36)

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

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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?

Climate Solutions

Advance promising natural climate solutions that improve the ecological health and resilience of Vermont’s lands while also providing economic benefits to our state. This includes both climate adaptation and mitigation strategies, such as landscape-scale conservation, ecosystem services, and science-based ecosystem management.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

Adapt to climate change and foster ecological health.
Management of land plays an essential role in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate
change, protecting communities from some of its most adverse effects, and providing healthy
habitat for plants and animals. We will test and help to deploy new approaches to land management
that sequester and store carbon, and improve the health of our watersheds, soil, forests, and
broader ecosystems—all in partnership with owners of conserved land.

Support land-based economic vitality
Land is central to the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of our communities.
Demographic change, growing income inequality, and land transitions, among other factors,
threaten to diminish our prosperity and wellbeing, particularly among Vermonters struggling to
meet their basic needs. We strive to reverse this trend by putting land at the center of economic
vitality. We will mobilize capital and provide services to support the success of working farms and
forests, growth of our recreation and tourism economy, a strong regional food system that feeds us
all, and livable wages across these sectors.

Foster health and wellbeing
From time immemorial, people have understood and experienced the healing power of land for the
mind, body, and spirit. Today, research tells us what Indigenous communities have known and
practiced: that when connections between land and lives are strong, both thrive. We will tap into
the healing power of land by: 1) creating experiences (physically and virtually) that deepen
connection, appreciation, and delight; 2) expanding opportunities that promote health and
wellbeing, particularly in underserved communities; and 3) caring for the health of our land, water,
and soil through hands-on restoration and programming.

Improve racial equity and justice
Now is the time to understand and reckon with persistent racial, cultural, and economic inequalities
shaped by our history of land theft and persecution of Black and Indigenous people. We will learn
and seek to understand these injustices, elevate awareness of persistent inequalities, and seek to
expand land ownership and sovereignty among, and alongside, BIPOC-led organizations and
communities as a path to healing and justice.

Strategies:
Each strategy described below will be achieved through collaboration and deep partnership with the
many trusted organizations, communities, and individuals with whom we have worked over the years,
as well as new partnerships we seek to grow.
1. Climate Solutions
Advance promising natural climate solutions that improve the ecological health and resilience of
Vermont’s lands while also providing economic benefits to our state. This includes both climate
adaptation and mitigation strategies, such as landscape-scale conservation, ecosystem services, and
science-based ecosystem management.
2. Farm and Forest Viability
Catalyze a vibrant working landscape that helps provide employment, fulfillment, and food. This
includes facilitating successful land transfers, supporting viable land-based businesses, increasing
opportunities for more diversified ownerships, and conserving high priority lands.
3. Coalition Building and Policy
Form and strengthen coalitions in order to advance policies and programs that expand our impact. This
includes participation in efforts to increase flexibility in state and federal funding that meets emerging
needs, modernizing existing programs to best serve communities, and expanding equity and justice on
the land.
4. Land for All
Expand the role of land to support the wellbeing and sense of belonging for all. This includes activating
VLT-owned lands to address a range of community needs, supporting land sovereignty and reparations,
and working with communities to own and manage land important to them.
5. Public Engagement
Inspire joy through education and public programming that helps people connect with and commit to
the land. This includes hosting a rich array of events, utilizing VLT-owned lands for learning and sharing,
and developing robust opportunities for volunteers and interns.

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 serve everyone in Vermont by safeguarding land and improving the ecological, economic, social and spiritual benefits that healthy land provides. One specific group we serve is farmers. We engage with ~700 owners of conserved farms regularly and run a program to make farmland more affordable for new and beginning farmers and help obtain with wrap-around business services to ensure farming success. We survey those farmers whom we have helped acquire land to improve services. We engage with four bands of the Abenaki tribe to learn about their attitudes about and need for land sovereignty. We are seeking input from black and indigenous groups to establish an independent grant making entity to disburse a $4 Million grant we received to support land access for these communities.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • 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 inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, 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?

    When we surveyed farmers who had participated in our farmland access program we learned that they needed more beyond access to affordable land, though that was the biggest obstacle to overcome. We secured grants and partnered with the Intervale Center and the VT Housing and Conservation Board Farm Viability Program to provide wrap-around business planning, access to finance, and other support services to farmers.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

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

    We purchased a farm on Lake Memphremagog In Newport, VT to keep it off the market, assuming we would find a new farmer-owner though an RFP process. However, when seeking input from the community, we learned there were other needs. So, we held a number of facilitated meetings to engage with more people and understand how this land could best serve them. As a result, we reconsidered our plan and committed to ownings the farm for the long-term in order to fulfill the expressed desires of the community. We secured funding and built a recreation path to connect downtown to the lakefront and to trails leading to Canada. We opened up community gardens, conducted a hunting lottery, and partnered with others to grow food for the hospital and enable outdoor education programs.

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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 ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Vermont Land Trust
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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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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.

Vermont Land Trust

Board of directors
as of 06/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Cheryl Morse

University of Vermont


Board co-chair

Charlie Hancock

North Woods Forestry

Heidi Chamberlain

Barclays

Katherine Sims

Green Mountain Farm-to-Schools

Charlie Hancock

William Keeton

University of Vermont

David Middleton

Photographer/Writer

Hannah Sessions

Blue Ledge Farm

Jean Hamilton

Farmers To You

Jess Phelps

Lyme Timber Company

John Laggis

Laggis Brothers Farm

Lynn Ellen Schimoler

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets,

Maria Young

NorthWoods Stewardship Center

Merriwether Hardie

, Bio-Logical Capital

Mike Donohue

Outdoor Gear Exchange

Pieter Bohen

The Cotyledon Fund

Ramsey Luhr

Maple Capital Management

Susan Goodfellow

Land Use Advocate

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 3/30/2022

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

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/30/2022

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

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.