Trellis for Tomorrow

aka Formerly, Trellis for Tomorrow was associated with Triskeles Foundation (2002-2009). In 2009 the youth programs component was split off and renamed Triskeles Inc. In 2018, Triskeles, Inc. was officially changed to Trellis for Tomorrow to avoid confusion with Triskeles Foundation..   |   Phoenixville, PA   |  www.trellis4tomorrow.org

Mission

We foster resilience and compassion in individuals and inspire them to build sustainable communities.

Ruling year info

2009

Executive Director

Jennifer Kurtz Anderson

Main address

35 Hall Street, Suite 302

Phoenixville, PA 19460 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Triskeles Foundation (was a program of)

Triskeles, Inc

EIN

27-0268541

NTEE code info

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At Trellis for Tomorrow, we work to build resilient communities from the ground up in underserved areas of the Greater Philadelphia region. Our programs deliver innovative and systematic approaches to address the effects of generational poverty: food insecurity, disenfranchised youth, and community instability.

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?

Food For All

Food for All is an innovative garden program providing high-impact opportunities for corporations,
universities, faith communities and other groups to address food insecurity in the region. Trellis staff work together with partner organizations and businesses to design and install raised-bed gardens at their locations, and provide a full stewardship plan for the garden and education of volunteers. FFA partners then donate more than 90% their harvest to local food pantries and other food assistance programs. In 2019 gardens generated over 30,000 lbs. of nutrient dense produce that impacted over 120,000 meals for the food insecure in the region.

FFA provides rewarding opportunities in community engagement, volunteerism and social responsibility while meeting the needs of those struggling with food insecurity.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Tempus is an annual, day-long, hands-on conference where high school students are provided an
opportunity to learn about the steps to becoming social entrepreneurs. The speakers, workshop leaders and
mentors are successful entrepreneurs whose stories and experience are relevant, relatable, and inspiring.
Youth attending have the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs, test their own ideas, work on aspects of
making their idea a reality and practice networking. 2019 will be our 8th annual Tempus conference. In
2018, we had 162 youth attend from across 10 schools and organizations in the Philadelphia area.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Young adults

Youth Seed Enterprise (YSE) is an 8-week intensive summer program for teens 13-18 years old. Young
people engage in sustainable gardening, community engagement, and entrepreneurship. Participants learn
about food justice and run a pay-as-you-will Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model that provides
fresh, organic produce to their own community members. Teens grow, harvest and distribute the CSA shares
and through their efforts, improve the health, wellbeing and connectivity of their local community. Each teen
receives an educational grant for participation and has the potential for an increase based on performance
after the mid-point of the eight weeks. Many youth return and are offered opportunities for leadership
positions that entail more responsibility and opportunity

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) is a program that seeks to cultivate the next generation of land
stewards that spans three seasons. In YES, a cohort of youth work on a variety of conservation projects at
local preserves and land trusts. Projects include planting trees, trail maintenance and construction, invasive
species removal and beautification. As the name implies, the program focuses on skills and careers related to
environmental conservation. Participants explore the possible career opportunities in that field during which
they network with individuals with whom they can stay connected to future employment possibilities.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

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.

Trellis is a 15-year old organization that works to build more resilient communities through youth leadership and development, promotion of health and wellbeing, and the advancement of environmental sustainability. We inspire young people, families, and communities to acquire the skills, energy and momentum needed to shift their circumstances by connecting their lives to the natural world, through sustainable agriculture and conservation. Trellis' programs have a deep and lasting impact on communities in three key areas:

Meaningful Work: People feel best when they are both productive and purposeful in their daily lives. Our programs provide both youth and adults with opportunities to engage in work that benefits the communities in which they live. This creates positive feedback loops that bolster health, happiness, and economic prosperity for themselves and those around them.

Dynamic Relationships: Thriving communities offer many ways for people to get to know and support one another. Our programs create new connections and build bridges between those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to know one another. These relationships cultivate understanding and compassion and strengthen the fabric of the communities we serve.

Healthy Land: Our land sustains us at the most fundamental level. The health of our water and soil impacts individuals and communities. Through organic farming and environmental conservation, Trellis participants learn systems thinking, integrated problem solving, and how to best care for our natural world.

Each of our programs has specific goals and expected outcomes. In general, however, the outcomes we seek as an organization include the following:

1) Advancement of six key social and emotional (SEL) capacities by the youth participating in our programs as follows:
a) Self-management
b) Contribution
c) Academic Self Efficacy
d) Social Skills
e) Positive Identity
f) Social Capital

2) Skills acquisition in the areas of environmental stewardship, organic gardening, leadership, career building, 21st century life skills, entrepreneurship and community engagement.

3) Increased civic engagement among participants that includes youth community connection and awareness of issues impacting local communities.

4) Reduction in regional food insecurity--both our Youth Seed Enterprise and Food for All programs offer more dignified ways to provide nutrient dense food to populations in need

5) Improving the quality and health of the land around us--most of our programs promote sustainable land use. In our YES program, we teach diverse groups of youth hands on land conservation skills while also teaching them how these land conservation projects make a difference for large populations of people in their region. Similarly, through sustainable agricultural practices, participants learn how to maintain the health of soil so that food has the highest nutritional value possible, thereby impacting the health of their community.

Since inception, Trellis' approach has been holistic and integrative, focusing on the personal development of humans in community with one another to achieve long-term sustainable impact. Now we are moving even more solidly to a systems-change approach. We seek to leverage the intergenerational strength of communities to address long term barriers to health through the co-creation of a more localized and sustainable solutions.

We have three signature programs:

1) Youth Seed Enterprise (YSE) program is an 8-week intensive summer experience for teens 13-18 years old. Two YSE cohorts build, plant, maintain, and harvest organic gardens in their community. From the gardens they create and run a pay-as-you-will Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) model that offers fresh, organic produce weekly to local residents. Each teen receives an educational grant for participation that enables the youth the participate without sacrificing income.

2) Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) is a three season program (spring, summer and fall) that aims to cultivate the next generation of land stewards. In each season, a cohort of teens work together on a variety of conservation projects at local preserves and land trusts. They are also provided with a variety of experiences to explore possible career opportunities in environmental and land conservation oriented organizations.

3) Food for All (FFA) is an innovative organic garden program that provides rewarding opportunities in community engagement, volunteerism and social responsibility while meeting the needs of those struggling with food insecurity. Growing partners in the Food for All program commit to donating at least half of their harvest to local pantries and other food assistance programs, resulting in an immediate and significant impact on access to nutritionally dense, organic food. Trellis staff work together with partner organizations (corporations, universities, faith communities and other groups looking for meaningful community engagement) to design and install attractive raised-bed gardens on site and provide a full stewardship plan for the garden and education of all volunteers.

Trellis has a measurable, strong track record of excellence and impact recognized by community members and commendations from County Commissioners and our state Senator. Trellis is always accountable to its participants and the communities we serve, and our success rests heavily on the stability of operations, commitment of our board, and the internal financial controls we have in place. We are proud to have been one of six non-profits identified by Hello Insight as having exceptional impacts on youth, representing the top 15% of programs and the top 10% of the 500 in their system.

Our organization is successful because of several capabilities:

- We have a dedicated, trained, and experienced staff; most have been with Trellis for five or more years. Staff members are dedicated to the mission of the organization and committed to making a positive impact.

- We have a developed and effective system of evaluation that provides feedback and measures the impact of our programs. We hold ourselves accountable to our participants, our community and our funders. Year after year we have exceeded our goals and utilized the data we collect to strengthen our curriculum and improve our delivery.

- We have recently consolidated our programming in order to enhance scale and replicability, and we are poised to expand and increase the number of youth we serve annually.

- The organization is fiscally sound and maintains strong internal controls to ensure financial security.

- Having undergone a leadership and location change in 2019, the organization has clarified policies and galvanized its board, creating a powerfully dynamic relationship between staff and board.

Trellis has a longstanding and strong track record of excellence and impact which has been recognized by community members and includes commendations from County Commissioners and our state Senator. In 2018-19, we were proud to have been designated as one of six non-profits identified by Hello Insight as having exceptional impacts on youth, representing the top 15% of programs and the top 10% of the 500 youth programs in their system.

We are proud of the following accomplishments:
- Since 2013, Food for All garden partners have donated 140,000 pounds of organic produce to assist households experiencing food insecurity. FFA garden partners have maintained 278 raised beds at 17 locations throughout the region. Based on the USDA’s current recommendations for fruit and vegetable portions as a part of a healthy, balanced diet, we estimate that these 190,000 pounds of produce have positively impacted close to 800,000 meals. Additionally, 84% of the 449 volunteer FFA gardeners reported an increased knowledge of sustainable gardening practices.
- Since 2008 Trellis programs for teens has served over 450 teens and awarded over $60,000 worth of educational grants to teens, many of which are considered at-risk and socio-economically challenged
- Since inception, our YSE program has served more than 170 households in food deserts by providing weekly shares of produce to more than 210 residents who have little access to healthy, nutrient dense foods.
- In two years, our youth in our YES program have cleared miles of trails, removed dumpsters full of invasive species, removed miles of fencing and planted several acres of native species to improve habitats for local wildlife.
- Our flagship teen programs have earned Trellis for Tomorrow the designation of a High Impact Organization. The external evaluation of our youth programs indicates that 100% of participants made gains in at least 3 of the 6 SEL capacity areas. Hello Insight, reported that more youth made gains through our programs than the typical group. Specifically, youth in our programs significantly increased in the following 5 SEL capacities: Self-Management, Social Skills, Social Capital, Academic Self Efficacy and Positive Identity.
- Academic self-efficacy rose to the surface for a program that did not specifically highlight academic achievement but rather provided opportunities and activities for youth to master skills and build success and confidence through the use of multi-dimensional learning styles and the development of the ‘whole child.’

Looking forward, Trellis for Tomorrow seeks to maintain the momentum of its teen initiatives by increasing the number of sites and thereby the number of youth we serve and communities we can positively impact. We are currently developing new partnerships for hosting an additional cohort of participants in both YSE and YES for 2020. Our mission remains at the center of our work, and we are alert and responsive to the needs of our local communities.

Financials

Trellis for Tomorrow
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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

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Trellis for Tomorrow

Board of directors
as of 8/30/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Raymond Schneider

Independent Consultant

Term: 2009 - 2021

Raymond Schneider

Management and Operations Consulting

Tessa Henry

USAID Donald M. Payne Fellowship Program

Razvan Ionescu

Citizens Bank

Algreen Bakasa

Vanguard

Alexander Lutz

Vanguard

Melissa Hinmon

Glenmede

Dennis Wilson

Lia LoBello

Saint Gobain

Jenna Armato

Attract, Engage, Inspire

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 ? No
  • 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 08/30/2021

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
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

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