TREES FOREVER INC

Planting a better tomorrow

aka Trees Forever   |   Marion, IA   |  www.treesforever.org

Mission

To plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community and promoting stewardship.

Ruling year info

1995

Principal Officer

Shannon Ramsay

Main address

80 W 8th Ave

Marion, IA 52302 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

42-1419181

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

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

Trees, shrubs and plants are vital to the health and well being of all people. In recent years there has been a great reduction in the amount or trees and natural areas causing health and social problems and affecting our quality of life. The loss of trees in rural and urban landscape allow soil erosion, reduce water quality and eliminate shelter and food for wildlife.

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?

Planting and Caring for Trees in Communities (Urban Forestry)

The community forest is our habitat. It is one we share with other people, as well as with birds, other animals, and thousands of species that all contribute to what makes our place on this planet special. It is also the place where we raise our kids and play with our grandchildren, so making it as healthy and nurturing as possible is essential. Trees Forever helps communities grow and care for their community forests by providing grant funding as well as friendly and knowledgeable assistance to community volunteers and leaders who are interested in planting and caring for trees and natural areas.

Trees Forever also provides assistance with disaster preparedness planning and recovery as it relates to urban forestry - from educating about tree hazards to replanting the urban forest after the initial crisis has passed.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We are deeply invested in helping others learn. We provide numerous educational programs that build participants' knowledge of trees and native plants and how these all work together to add beauty, ecological integrity, health and vitality to our homes, schools, farms, businesses and the entire community.

We also are deeply invested in continually learning ourselves, and in helping others learn with us. We provide numerous educational programs that build participants’ knowledge of trees and native plants and how these all work together to add beauty, ecological integrity, health and vitality to our homes, schools, farms, and businesses.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Trees, shrubs, native grasses and flowers provide multiple benefits. Their root systems help stabilize soil by improving its physical structure. This helps to reduce erosion while also improving the soil's ability to absorb and filter water. Diverse and well-managed plantings of native trees and plants also reduce the ability of invasive plant species to become established, provide critical habitat for birds, bees, amphibians and other wildlife, and in some cases diversify crops and income.

Trees Forever works with landowners who are committed to planting native trees and prairie plant species to benefit the land, as well as the larger community. We work with landowners to implement conservation practices and promote land stewardship to reduce soil erosion, improve water and soil quality, as well as provide wildlife and pollinator habitat.
To highlight the ongoing efforts to restore flood plains and to increase the awareness of vegetative buffers and other conservation practices.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Trees Forever is dedicated to working with others to make our communities better places, today and for future generations. We do this by engaging volunteers in thorough planning processes that result in projects with the best chance for success. At the core of our mission is a deep belief that a diverse, robust natural world is an investment in the health, vitality, and well-being of individuals and communities, now and into the future.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

National Planning Award 2006

American Planning Association

Environmental Excellence Award 2003

Federal Highway Administration

Iowa Environmental Excellence Award 2013

Iowa Governor's Office

Award for Energy Efficiency 1992

U. S. Department of Energy

Governor's Good Neighbor Award 1996

Iowa Governor's Office

National Service Award 2000

AmeriCorps

Arbor Day Award (IE Branching Out Project) 1991

Arbor Day Foundation

Conference on Cooperative Conservation - Outstanding Leadership and Personal Stewardship 2005

White House

Affiliations & memberships

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member 2020

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 Trees Planted

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

Adults

Related Program

Planting and Caring for Trees in Communities (Urban Forestry)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

# Trees Planted fluctuates from year to year. Factors include the timing of reports completed by Grant Recipients. 2019 saw a significant decrease due to funding cuts due to IA Energy Efficiency Bill

Number of volunteers

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteers are a vital resource for Trees Forever. We look to increase participation from youth and under served populations in all our programs.

Number of Education & Outreach Events

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of education and outreach events varies each year. Trees Forever also participates in large regional events like the Farm Progress Show where we educate thousands of attendees.

Dollar Amount of Grants Paid for Projects

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Dollar Amount of Grants Paid for Projects varies depending on available funding, and timing of reports received from grant recipients.

Number of Volunteer Hours

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The success of Trees Forever depends on the dedication and involvement of our many volunteers!

Dollar Amount of Cash Match Provided by Grant Recipients

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

A wonderful component of the Trees Forever programs is the participation by grant recipients in leveraging their grant with matching dollars from their community.

Number of Projects Awarded

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

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We have more applicants than we can provide funding to in many of our programs. Number of projects awarded is dependent on the dollar amount of funding requests received.

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 strive to involve volunteers and plant and care for more forests and natural areas every year. All neighborhoods should have tree-lined streets; children should have parks with trees and natural areas within walking distance of their homes; farms should have trees, shrubs and grasses along every stream and river to prevent soil erosion and improve water quality. Wildlife need and should have trees for both shelter and food, from mammals to insects to birds.

From the Trees Forever Strategic Plan for 2017-2021:
1) Extend the reach and impact of Trees Forever
2) Deliver measurable results
3) Develop flexible partnerships and funding streams
4) Be a leading voice for change
5) Cultivate a culture of excellence

Trees Forever is working hard to grow its number of dedicated, engaged donors and increase our endowment. For over 20 years, we have had an annual budget at or above $2 million and a staff of 20, providing core capacity to carry-out very effective programs. To continue our outstanding accomplishments, we need strong board leadership, outstanding staff and the resources to provide funding for projects and volunteer support.

Trees Forever has made great progress in educating and training volunteers who will spread the reach and impact of the organization.
In 2018 Trees Forever purchased a headquarters that fits its mission and will allow the organization to have a site where we can demonstrate conservation and engage volunteers of all ages. In 2019 Trees Forever has established a new program called Growing Futures. This program engages diverse and under-served teens to plant and care for urban trees. The program has an educational component to build the skills of the teens employed by training them on financial literacy, GIS mapping of trees planted and database training to calculate the benefits of the trees to the community. On August 10, 2020, many of the communities that work closely with Trees Forever experienced a devastating Derecho which decimated the tree canopy over a large area of Iowa and Illinois. Trees Forever is intimately involved in planning and planting to recover the tree canopy in the affected areas over the next 10 years.

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 diverse communities and rural landowners. Those who participate in our programs are encourage to provide feedback regarding the program they participated in, their experiences and the value of the program to them personally and to their communtiy.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We are currently in the process of building an online application process to collect grant applications and reporting after the grants are completed. Many of the communities and landowners we work with have provided feed back on the process of filling out paper applications and online pdf forms. The new process will allow applicants to stop and return to the online portal to continue an application, or report on the results of the grant at any time during the process.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

    Feedback is important to the organization to provide transparent and honest opportunities for change.

  • 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 aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, 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 look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

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

Financials

TREES FOREVER INC
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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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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.

TREES FOREVER INC

Board of directors
as of 5/10/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dave Blankenship

Lu Barron

Tracy Peterson

Brad Morgan

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 5/10/2021,

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:

Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/10/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
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 help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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.