Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

SAINT LOUIS, MO   |  www.danforthcenter.org

Mission

To improve the human condition through plant science: * Feed the hungry and improve human health * Preserve and renew our environment * Enhance the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science

Ruling year info

1998

President

James C. Carrington PhD

Main address

975 NORTH WARSON ROAD

SAINT LOUIS, MO 63132 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

31-1584621

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (K05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (J05)

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

By the year 2050, the UN estimates the world population will reach 10 Billion. Already today nearly 1 in 8 people world-wide is food insecure. We simply do not have enough arable land or fresh water to grow enough food using the current farming methods and crops.

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?

Green Means Grow

This school gardening program introduces elementary students to the basics of plant science and agriculture. The program provides equipment and instructional materials for students to plant and grow tomatoes, lettuce, and other plants in their classrooms. Students learn a range of science and math concepts through a variety of activities including planting, cultivating and harvesting crops. The program helps students understand the origin of their food, appreciate food choices and farming practices throughout the world and grasp the importance of global food security.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

The multi-state program Mutant Millets offers high school students, including female and minority students, in the St. Louis region the opportunity for hands-on, observation-based scientific research. Participants cultivate plants, observe their development and record and submit data with the aim of identifying unique characteristics that may be of interest to plant scientists at the Danforth Center who are developing sustainable sources of biofuels and improved food crops. Mutant Millets seek to foster an interest in science both as an academic subject and potential career field, particularly in the areas of plant science and genetics.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Ethnic and racial groups

The Danforth Center has received continuous funding since 2003 by the National Science Foundation to serve as a “Research Experience for Undergraduates” Site. This 11-week intensive summer program provides a comprehensive approach encompassing research, educational experiences and mentorship to students primarily from schools with limited research opportunities and to students from underrepresented groups. Interns gain skills and knowledge critical to advancement in the sciences and are exposed to research areas including bioinformatics, genomics, cell biology and translational plant science. In addition, they attend special events on career advancement opportunities. The program culminates in a one-day symposium where each intern presents his or her research project. Interns receive stipends for research, food and travel. Non-local interns are provided with housing.

Population(s) Served
Students
Ethnic and racial groups

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.

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization that focuses research at the nexus of food security and the environment to address some of the most important global challenges of the 21st century. We seek to increase agricultural productivity to sustainably feed people today and nearly 10 billion people by the middle of the century, and to do so with a lower environmental footprint and with fewer natural resources.

The mission of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is simple: to improve the human condition through plant science. We are the largest independent nonprofit dedicated to plant science in the world. Through plant science, we aim to:

* Feed the hungry and improve human health
* Preserve and renew the environment
* Enhance the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science

The focus of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is scientific research at the nexus of food, energy, and the environment to improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. With the assitance of our cutting-edge core facilities, we assemble interactive teams of scientists and develop unique platforms to discover underlying principles about how plants work. We then convert that knowledge into useful crops and products, and partner with organizations that are best positioned to solve problems where they exist around the world.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is well equipped to tackle our goals. We have:
• More than 300 employees, 26 scientific teams with staff from 20 countries
• Collaborative research projects across the globe
• Total gross square footage: 303,860 sq. ft.
• Laboratory space: 26+ suites; over 77,458 sq. ft. total including lab support
• Greenhouse complex: 43 bays providing 54,130 total sq. ft. of active growth space
• $200M in competitive research funding from government agencies, industry, and foundations
• $50M investment in core technologies
• $31M annual operating budget
• 7 startup companies launched by faculty, and 11 patents
• Faculty and graduate student affiliations: Washington University in St. Louis, University of Missouri Columbia, University of Missouri St. Louis, and Saint Louis University

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is helping to feed the world and heal the planet. Important recent developments include:

* Delivery of pod-borer resistant black-eyed peas approved in Nigeria.
* Development of virus-resistant cassava, an important food security crop for 500M people
* Development of micronutrient-enriched cassava to battle the "hidden hunger" of nutritional deficiency, a problem for nearly half of all people in developing countries.
* Progress in sorghum genetics research, an important food in drought-prone regions, and an important, but poorly understood, candidate for bioenergy.
* Foundational research into the genetics of all major crops--corn, rice, wheat, soy--with a goal of improving drought- and stress-tolerance in the face of climate change.
* Discovery and development of perennial crops that might both feed people as well as improve soils.

Economic Development
The Danforth Center places an unusually high emphasis on formation and attraction of innovative plant science-based companies. The BioResearch & Development Growth (BRDG) Park and [email protected] on our campus serve as home to 16 enterprises employing 400 people. Tenants include startups and mid-stage companies that have grown in the ecosystem as well as international companies that have chosen to establish their North American headquarters in the 39 North innovation community. St. Louis Economic Development Partnership estimates that our impact is $377M annually to the region.

Education and Outreach
Education and training infuses all of the Center’s research programs and students come from around the world. Since inception, we have trained more than 530 people from 52 countries. The Center hosts the prestigious NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Ninety percent of former interns have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in science or work full-time in the field of science. Danforth Center K – 12 outreach and education provides STEM enrichment and career introduction to over 3,500 school children annually throughout the region.

Funding
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Nearly half of all annual operating revenue comes from the generosity of individual donors and foundations.

Financials

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
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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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Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Board of directors
as of 9/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Todd Schnuck

Schnuck Markets, Inc.

Term: 2019 - 2024

John McDonald

Boeing

Brett Begemann

Bayer Crop Science

Philip Needleman

Monsant, Searle, Pharmacia

Blackford Brauer

Hunter Engineering Company

Lee Broughton

Broughton Brand Company

Alexander Cartwright, PhD

University of Missouri

Christopher Danforth

Cultivation Capital Life Science Fund

Steven Fox

Harbour Group Industries, Inc.

Richard Gephardt

Gephardt Group/Gephardt Government Affairs

Robert Jones, PhD

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wesley Jones

Sage Capital LLC

Anna McKelvey, LLM

community volunteer

Thomas Melzer

RiverVest Venture Partners

Penny Pennington

Edward Jones

Mary Stillman

Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls

Robert Vergil, DBA

Edward Jones

Eric Ward, PhD

AgBiome, Inc.

Andrew Martin

Washington University in St. Louis

Peter Wyse-Jackson, PhD

Missouri Botanical Garden

Tewodros Bekele

Land O'Lakes

Desiree Coleman

Wells Fargo Advisors

Ruth Kim

Fleishman-Hillard Inc.

Ann Marr

World Wide Technology

James Johnson

Johnson Bender Asset Management

Kiersten Stead

DCVC Bio

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/21/2021

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
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data