Grow Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA   |  www.growpittsburgh.org

Mission

We teach people how to grow food and promote the benefits that gardens bring to our neighborhoods.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Denele Hughson

Main address

6587 Hamilton Avenue #2W

Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

43-2112710

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (K01)

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

Whether you are growing in your own garden, a community garden, or purchasing from an urban farm, being an active participant in your local food system addresses major problems such as: Combating Food Insecurity Eliminating Food Deserts Tackling Poor Nutrition Habits Reversing Global Warming Growing food also has incredible benefits like: Helping the Environment Helping Families Save Money Creating a Sense of Place

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?

School Gardens

We integrate garden and cooking activities into the regular classroom curriculum to support the development and education of the whole child. We aim to teach students to grow, cook and eat fresh food while celebrating the cultures and experiences of our students and our city.

Grow Pittsburgh began its school garden work in 2007 and continues to develop and refine its programs to support an ever-growing network of schools committed to garden education. Please explore our program offerings below to see where you and your school might fit.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Infants and toddlers

Grow Pittsburgh operates a summer youth internship program at our Braddock Farms and Shiloh Farms locations, where 12-20 youth are employed every season. The organization also partners with other environmental nonprofits and local community groups to provide employment opportunities to youth in other parts of the city.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Grow Pittsburgh fosters community gardening in the Pittsburgh region in a variety of ways, both by helping build new gardens and by supporting existing gardens.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Garden Resources Center (GRC) is Grow Pittsburgh's tool lending library and materials depot. We want to make urban food gardening more accessible.

The GRC is open to any individual or group within Allegheny County. We wholeheartedly support backyard gardeners, community gardeners, and locally-owned small businesses who are working to produce food for themselves or others. We believe that “access to locally-grown, chemical-free fruits and vegetables is a right, not a privilege.”

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Grow Pittsburgh has two active production sites throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area: Braddock Farms, located just outside the city in the borough of Braddock, and the Frick Greenhouse and Shiloh Farms, located in Point Breeze. Each of our production sites strives to be an educational demonstration model of small-scale agricultural sustainable production in an urban setting.

Our production sites also provide much-needed access to fresh and local produce to surrounding communities at our weekly farm stands during the summer.

The production sites also serve as centers for Grow Pittsburgh’s educational and workforce development programming.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total pounds of target crop harvested

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Farm Education & Production

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of Allegheny County gardens protected in Perpetuity through the Three Rivers Agricultural Land Initiative.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Community Gardens

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of school and early childhood center gardens created by Grow Pittsburgh.

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

Adolescents, Children, Infants and toddlers, Preteens

Related Program

School Gardens

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

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.

The strategic planning process allowed Grow Pittsburgh’s board and staff to voice their vision for the future of the organization. As the momentum and interest in gardening and urban farming continues to grow, it is Grow Pittsburgh’s role to ensure that new and experienced growers, teachers, and community members have the resources, tools and knowledge to fully realize the many benefits that gardens bring to our neighborhoods. Having worked for over 15 years to promote and encourage backyard, school and community gardens and urban farms, this effort has become embedded into the fabric of the region and Grow Pittsburgh must now focus on ensuring that these existing and future food growing projects thrive as essential regional assets for generations to come.

The 2022-2026 Strategic Plan names 3 organizational goals to reach this vision:

1. Prioritize internal efficiencies and capacity for organizational stability

2. Cultivate the future of urban agriculture in the region by building sector-wide capacity

3. Deepen and operationalize Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) efforts across the organization and the
greater community

Based on Grow Pittsburgh's strengths and opportunities, there are five strategies to achieve these goals:

• Expand fundraising capacity and channels: Grow Pittsburgh will improve its fundraising toolkit by
expanding its major donor program, launching a planned giving campaign, increasing program specific consulting and earned revenue opportunities, and tapping into new mission-aligned funding prospects.

• Define, implement, and communicate Grow Pittsburgh’s role in advancing urban agriculture throughout the region: As the interest and need for food growing projects continues to increase, it is essential that Grow Pittsburgh identify and communicate its role in supporting and advancing this movement. Each Grow Pittsburgh department will develop work plans to identify the highest impact initiatives and clearly communicate its role in the greater urban farming landscape.

• Hone internal processes and collaboration: Growth has allowed for a wide programmatic reach. Now
Grow Pittsburgh intends to monitor staffing models, design and operationalize internal committee and communication strategies, increase access to professional development opportunities, strengthen board engagement, and invest in internal organizational capacity to break down internal silos
and cultivate leadership and effective communication.

• Focus on education and training: Grow Pittsburgh will have the greatest impact if it prioritizes
education and training as it works to reach its vision where everyone is able to grow and eat fresh, local, affordable and culturally relevant food.

• Strengthen existing program models through community engagement, partnerships, and evaluation: Grow Pittsburgh’s programs are relevant, useful, and thoughtfully designed; they will continue their important work. Strengthening and refining these existing programs through intentional opportunities for community participation and consistent evaluation ensures a grassroots and data driven grounding of the organization’s program development and implementation.

By focusing on internal processes and communications, shared data and consistent evaluation, and cross-department staffing and collaboration, the organization can streamline efforts, reduce redundancies,
and prepare for long term sustainability and impact.

By working to build sector-wide capacity through education and resource distribution, Grow Pittsburgh can increase
financial sustainability, increase organizational efficiency, and build autonomy in communities that are served by existing programs, and elevate the quality and quantity of work in urban agriculture region-wide.

Grounded in a history of racial and social justice work, Grow Pittsburgh will continue to learn, grow and lead with its effort to implement best practices in JEDI work across internal and external operations, program development and delivery.

Grow Pittsburgh was formed in 2005 as a nonprofit community outreach effort by the owner operators
of two urban farms: Mildreds’ Daughters Farm, a five-acre USDA certified organic farm in Stanton Heights,
and Garden Dreams, a small-scale, intensive market garden in Wilkinsburg. What started as a small
collaborative effort to promote urban gardening has developed steadily over the past 16 years to become
the region’s go-to resource for connecting people and communities to opportunities to grow food.

Grow Pittsburgh is staffed by energetic, knowledgeable and engaged educators and gardeners whose
passion for their work is palpable. The organization’s board cares deeply about food growing projects and
plays a central role in guiding growth and strategy. The communities served by Grow Pittsburgh are vibrant,
diverse, and share in the organization’s vision.

Since the previous strategic plan was adopted in 2018, the organization has seen significant growth and
interest in its programs and in urban agriculture in general. The School Garden program has grown
from four to 44 gardens with an expanded focus towards ensuring that all students have access to edible
education. The Community Projects team has worked to support over 100 community gardens and
regularly receives dozens of applications for support from new and existing gardens. The Farm Education
and Production team saw a particular rise in interest and engagement in programming during the
pandemic as neighbors searched for safe and affordable ways to grow and access fresh produce in their
neighborhoods. This department has doubled its food production for neighbors and has expanded to a
new site in Wilkinsburg that will serve as an urban agriculture hub for growers across the region. As the
organization shifts from its effort to expand and promote gardens as essential resources to supporting the
strong network of growers towards a sustainable future, it is a perfect time to reflect and map out the next
stage for the organization.

Financials

Grow Pittsburgh
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

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.

Grow Pittsburgh

Board of directors
as of 3/3/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Anne Marie Toccket

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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • 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 03/03/2022

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
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/03/2022

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 ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • 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 disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.