Plant With Purpose

Partners, not projects

aka Plant With Purpose   |   San Diego, CA   |  https://www.plantwithpurpose.org

Mission

Plant With Purpose works at the nexus of poverty and environmental degradation to transform the lives and land of farming communities through environmental restoration, economic empowerment, and spiritual renewal. Founded in 1984, Plant With Purpose is a Christian nonprofit that catalyzes the talent and ingenuity of farming families to transform entire watersheds. Of people living in poverty worldwide, up to 85% live in rural areas (OPHDI, 2014). Most struggle to grow enough food to feed their families and send their children to school. Plant With Purpose equips impoverished farming families to change their circumstances and land and to live with hope. We do this through sustainable agriculture training, land restoration, savings-led microfinance, and local leadership development.

Ruling year info

1985

Principal Officer

Mr. Scott Sabin

Main address

4747 Morena Blvd. Suite 100

San Diego, CA 92117 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Floresta

EIN

33-0052976

NTEE code info

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Economic Development (S30)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

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

Plant With Purpose works at the nexus of poverty alleviation and environmental degradation to empower rural farming families to rise from poverty and restore their watersheds. Globally, 85% of those living in multidimensional poverty live in rural areas (OPHI, 2014), many of whom are subsistence farmers. Human-caused deforestation as well as a changing climate contribute to land degradation, which in turn exacerbates poverty. Driven to extremes, farmers desperate for charcoal or cash cut down trees, thereby feeding the cycle of deforestation and poverty. We have observed the link between the health of land and the health of those who live on it, and, over the course of more than 35 years, have identified a three-pronged approach for healing the environment and alleviating poverty. This approach includes economic empowerment, environmental restoration, and spiritual renewal.

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?

Plant With Purpose

Plant With Purpose facilitates a holistic community development model that integrates economic empowerment, environmental restoration, and spiritual development through sustainable agriculture training, reforestation, savings groups called Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs), local leadership development, and church mobilization. Plant With Purpose operates programs to serve rural farming families facing poverty in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania, and Thailand. Overall, participating families see a 55% reduction in poverty.

Economic empowerment is achieved through community-led Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) where groups of 15 to 30 members meet to save income, take out loans, and contribute to a social fund. Access to these rural financial services leads to improved livelihoods, increased education for children, and financial resilience. The groups also provide a forum for teaching sustainable agriculture techniques and for developing faith and a sense of community. VSLA groups rely on intensive training to create sustainability. In the first year, trained staff members work closely with groups. Facilitators then regularly perform quarterly monitoring and oversee the end-of-cycle audit. In the words of partnering farmer Felicite from Burundi, “Before, we were in extreme poverty and hopeless to have credit. As soon as I joined my savings group, everything changed." Purpose partners who have participated for three
or more years are twice as likely to be actively saving cash as nonparticipants (95% vs 48%). Participants have 2.5 times as much savings in reserve as nonparticipants.

Environmental restoration is achieved through teaching sustainable agriculture techniques and through tree planting campaigns. A multi-year environmental core curriculum covers topics such as composting, agroforestry, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, and whole ecosystem health. Partnering farmers and schools plant millions of trees, including native species as well as non-native species that benefit the community (e.g. trees for fruit and fodder). Sustainable agriculture techniques increase farm yields by 37% and crop diversity by 40%, allowing families to eat healthier and improve their farms. Partnering farmer Anastazie from the DRC explains the impact of Plant With Purpose training, "Before receiving training, production was low, bringing in little income, but now we are beginning to see good results. Before, my children ate once a day, but now my house eats two meals a day.” In addition to increased farm yield, Plant With Purpose’s environmental restoration program is transforming the land. While most rural communities see vegetation decrease each year due to deforestation, participant communities see this trend reverse and vegetation increase over the course of several years. As tree cover increases, flora and fauna return, water supplies regulate, and carbon is sequestered from the air. Amidst a changing climate, these efforts to restore the environment have increased the resilience of rural farmers and the land they call home.

Spiritual renewal is realized through leadership training and through church partnerships and mobilization. These efforts increase a strong commitment to community and reconciliation and have resulted in an increased sense of confidence, self-worth, and faith. Participating families are 10% more likely to agree with the statement, “I have the ability to improve my life.” 95% of participants say they, “feel pride in the work they do now.” Further, participants are 14% more likely to agree with the statement, “Members of my community work together to change things that are wrong in my community.”

As a means to ensure effective programs, regular monitoring and evaluation activities are prioritized by both in-country staff and by North American staff members. Quarterly metrics and yearly strategic planning in each country ensure short-term success and allow for mid-year improvements as needed. Annually, field programs participate in a self-evaluation process, seeking feedback from participants on impacts and needed improvements. Larger, triennial impact evaluations measure success on outcomes through participatory workshops, analysis of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), quantitative household surveys, Difference-in-Differences, and other techniques. Plant With Purpose has also piloted a number of novel monitoring techniques and continues to pursue best-in-class practices in evidence-based development work. Plant With Purpose measures effectiveness against baseline indicators, and program staff can adjust activities based on determined strengths and weaknesses.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

The Plant With Purpose Democratic Republic of the Congo program launched in fiscal year 2015 and is now working with over 6,500 families in 38 communities with a focus on promoting prosperity and peace following civil war.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Dominican Republic is empowering over 7,500 families in 158 communities with a focus on equipping forgotten rural communities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

The newest Plant With Purpose program, launched in 2018, focuses on protecting ancient church forests in the Amhara region. It is empowering over 800 families in 90 communities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Haiti is empowering over 12,000 families in 160 communities, focusing on strengthening rural families in desolate places.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Mexico is empowering more than 2,000 families in 116 communities with a focus on supporting indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Puebla.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Tanzania partners with more than 11,000 farming families in 128 communities with a focus on community support, tree planting, and empowerment of women and girls in the Kilimanjaro Region.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Thailand partners with over 800 farming families in 44 communities with a focus on advocating for marginalized hilltribe communities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Plant With Purpose Burundi is empowering over 9,500 families in 136 communities, promoting peace and reconciliation.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

Where we work

Accreditations

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) 2020

Best Christian Workplaces 2020

Awards

4 Stars 2020

Charity Navigator

Good Steward Award 2013

Arbor Day Foundation

Best Nonprofit to Work For Award 2013

Opportunity Knocks

Best Charity In America Award 2013

Independent Charities of America

Best annual report for a Christian nonprofit 2017

Counsel and Capital

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 borrowers served through the nonprofit's programs

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

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Farmers and residents participate in local, self-governing Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs). Reporting fiscal years.

Area of land, in hectares, indirectly controlled by the organization and under sustainable cultivation or sustainable stewardship

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

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric refers to deforested areas being actively restored through agroforestry and sustainable agricultural techniques. In most cases, the land is owned by local farmers. Reporting fiscal years.

Number of communities worldwide with active partnerships

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

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Reporting fiscal years.

Number of direct program participants worldwide

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

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number reflects the number of families participating. Thousands more of our partners' families and neighbors benefit from improved land and farming. Reporting fiscal years.

Number of active Village Savings and Loan Association groups (VSLA)

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

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) is a local, self-governing group through which residents manage and develop their resources. Reporting fiscal years.

Number of trees planted in reforestation projects in given year

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

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Projects are selected within watershed areas where deforestation is severe and residents depend on subsistence farming for survival. Reporting fiscal years from Plant With Purpose Annual Report.

Total active VSLA member equity

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

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Currency is $USD. Reporting fiscal years.

Number of active church partnerships

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

Indigenous peoples, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Plant With Purpose

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The church refers to local congregations involved in community and spiritual development. Reporting fiscal years.

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.

Plant With Purpose, a Christian environmental organization, exists to transform the lives and land of rural families who live at the intersection of extreme poverty and environmental degradation. Our goal through 2025 is to empower 100,000 farming families to rise from poverty and heal 60 watersheds in 10 countries.

Plant With Purpose utilizes a three-part approach to address poverty alleviation that includes environmental restoration, economic empowerment, and spiritual renewal. By simultaneously focusing on these three areas, we achieve holistic transformation for impoverished, rural communities.

Plant With Purpose partners learn and implement sustainable agriculture techniques and have planted over 40 million trees in key watersheds. Farmer Field Schools teach units on topics such as soil health, watershed conservation, agroforestry, prevention of erosion, and whole ecosystem health. Locally-led nurseries raise species that contribute to the well-being of farming families and the surrounding watershed.

Economic empowerment is addressed by establishing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), which enable families to save their hard-earned income and invest in improving their lives. Savings groups allow rural farming families access financial services such as loans to improve their farms, send their children to school, and weather difficult times such as family emergencies. These groups are completely self-funded and locally-led without the use of outside capital.

As a faith-based organization, Plant With Purpose invests in the whole person through partnerships with local Christian churches. We believe that local churches best understand the needs of their communities and can lead the way in creating change. Churches are equipped in their efforts to help people experience God's love. Our church mobilization program trains indigenous leaders to work with their communities to meet needs using local resources.

Our programming and budget both reflect substantial growth in recent years. Worldwide, the reach of Plant With Purpose extends to more than 290,000 individuals in over 850 communities. Three key factors impact the success of our vision to alleviate poverty and restore the environment—sustainability, experience, and leadership. We approach our work with sustainability in mind; we take the long approach and take the time to train farmers and provide hands-on mentorship over the course of several years. We work to improve whole watersheds, improving the lives of not only direct program participants, but of others in the surrounding communities. Second, we have over 35 years of on-the-ground experience that has been honed into successful techniques and powerful, grassroots networks. Third, our work is community-led and leadership-focused, making it replicable and scalable, ensuring the work continues long after our direct involvement ends.

In terms of funding, Plant With Purpose draws from a wide variety of sources including individual donors, foundations, churches, and corporations. This diversity of funding ensures financial resilience and growth opportunities.

Plant With Purpose works in over 850 communities with over 50,000 families worldwide in 40 subwatersheds. Our programs impact over 290,000 children and adults. We catalyze indigenous farming families to affect change in their communities. Together, we have planted over 40 million trees, sequestering carbon through sustainable agriculture and reforestation and transforming entire watersheds. Flora and fauna return, water sources regulate, and land is restored. Together we have formed over 2,000 local Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) which have over $7.5 million in equity, without added outside capital. Women make up 64% of group participants which shows changing attitudes towards women and their contributions in typically male-dominated social structures. Together we are fostering 850 church partnerships and providing leadership training and support. Overall, participating families see a 55% reduction in poverty.

The future of Plant With Purpose and our partners is bright. Our 2025 goal is to work with over 100,000 farming families in 60 watersheds globally, impacting over half a million people and restoring watersheds through sustainable agriculture and reforestation.

Financials

Plant With Purpose
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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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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.

Plant With Purpose

Board of directors
as of 6/21/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

John Steel

Former Vice President Zytec Corporation & Artesyn Technologies

Term: 2020 - 2022

Scott Sabin

Plant With Purpose

John Steel

Zytec Corporation/Artesyn Technologies

Janet Farley

The Village Church

Ted Law

Access Evangelical Covenant Church

Cathi Lundy

Marketing Consultant

Eric Kaiser

ViaSat / Former VP Qualcomm

Denise Yohn

Denise Lee Yohn, Inc.

Darrell Shrader

Former Family Practice MD

Jeff Busby

Former Executive Director, Brandes Investment Partners

Cindy Chen

Shell

Steve Dhanens

Former Senior Director of Global Operations, Qualcomm

Judy Enns

Former Founder, HR Solutions

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 06/21/2021

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data