Trees for the Future, Inc.

Plant Trees. Change Lives.

Silver Spring, MD   |  www.trees.org

Mission

Trees for the Future is dedicated to improving the livelihoods of impoverished farmers by revitalizing degraded lands.

Ruling year info

1989

Executive Director

Mr. John Leary

Main address

1400 Spring Street. Suite 150

Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1644869

NTEE code info

International Agricultural Development (Q31)

Forest Conservation (C36)

International Environment, Population & Sustainability (Q38)

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

Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa often face challenges to provide for themselves and their families which results in the use of harmful agricultural methods that allow farmers to meet short-term survival needs but destroy their lands long-term. Harmful methods include planting monocultures that drain the soil of natural nutrients, resulting in continually worsening yields as the years continue. This prevents farmers from feeding their families nutritious foods, as they only grow a limited number of crops and do not generate enough income to buy more. Before starting TREES’ 4-year Forest Garden Approach (FGA), TREES’ research shows farmers were growing an average of 2.78 food crops per hectare with even fewer marketable products. These are easily doubled by the FGA. Farmers also had very high food insecurity levels and low dietary diversity scores shown on TREES’ baseline surveys. Lastly, farmers must guard against outside threats to their land, such as animals and theft.

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?

Technical Training

We provide farmers with the necessary technical training to plan a locally appropriate Forest Garden, to seed and nurture tree and vegetable nurseries, to plant the trees and vegetables in the Forest Garden, and to sell and market the products from their Forest Garden at local markets. Our training provides local participants with the important skills on how to care for their Forest Garden's trees and crops, as well as help them to promote, sell, and market their products in order to boost their incomes and make their families and communities more environmentally sustainable and more food secure.

Population(s) Served

Trees produce seeds in a variety of ways. Most often, they are produced in seed pods, flowers, or fruits. In any case, be sure the seed is fully-developed before harvesting them. The optimum time for collecting seed is as soon as the seed is mature. Seed pods are generally mature when the pods turn brown, just before or after they open. On flowers, the seed is mature just before or after they fall from the flower. Fruit seeds are generally mature in a fruit when the fruit is ripe for eating. Collecting seeds that fall to the ground is sometimes easier than collecting seeds that are still on a tree, especially for larger trees that produce seed from pods or flowers. However, seeds on the ground are often more exposed to insects, moisture, and other environmental factors that can decrease their quality or viability.

Population(s) Served

It is extremely important to manage the trees in your Forest Garden properly to promote healthy, vigorous growth. Leaving trees unmanaged weakens them, reducing production and increasing the risk of disease damage. Good tree management requires regular pruning. Pruning can be quite technical and labor-intensive, requiring different practices and considerations depending on the species, variety, and climate. Regular pruning strengthens trees by focusing growth on the root system and the branches you want to grow. Pruning improves health and encouraging bud growth, and increases the quantity and quality of fruit and nut production.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD 1990

National Arbor Day Foundation

EARTH TRUSTEESHIP AWARD 1994

The Earth Society

Commendation Winner 1999

GREEN GLOBE

Best of Silver Spring Award in the Environmental Consultants category 2009

U.S. Commerce Association

Recognition for service 2010

Maryland Legislature

Affiliations & memberships

Aid for Africa 2018

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

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
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Forest Gardens have reforested and revitalized over 3,372 hectares of degraded farmland across 5 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda).

Number of trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Trees for the Future has planted over 170 million trees in our entire lifetime as of November 2019.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Through the Forest Garden Approach, we are impacting the lives of farmers, their families and also their children, resulting in engagement of 32,689 people as project beneficiaries in 2018.

Number of members from priority population attending training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

All of the farmers in the Forest Garden program across five countries attend multiple training events each year.

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

1565 Forest Garden agroforestry workshops were conducted with farmers in 2018.

Percentage of farmers reporting food security after one year in program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

86% of farmers food secure after 1 year in the Forest Garden program.

Number of clients who attain economic stability within two years of training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

91% of our farmers are confident in their economic resiliency to cope with their future.

Percentage of women particpating globally in Forest Garden projects

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

32.3% of our project participants across six countries are women. We strive to include women in our programs and we hold trainings at times convenient for them so they can participate.

Number of curricula designed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We updated our Forest Garden Training Materials (from 2016), and developed an app for disseminating information offline.

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.

Our overall goal is to be a solution to poverty and hunger for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and across the globe through our FGA. Furthermore, we aim to solve environmental issues, such as deforestation, soil degradation, and carbon emissions through the FGA as well.


Our 2019 Goals Include:
-Strengthen ongoing, successful programs in our 5 target countries of Senegal, Kenya, Cameroon, Uganda, and Tanzania
-Implement Forest Garden Approach to support tree-planting programs and training initiatives across target countries, and through our online training and certification methodology


Our 2019 Funding Goals Include:
-Continue to partner with businesses, foundations, governments, and other major donors to increase the impact of our programs and our ability to promote sustainable livelihoods in our project countries

Using over 30 years of entrepreneurial and practical, on-the-ground experience, TREES developed a teachable, scaleable, and resource efficient farming method that uses the common sense entrepreneurial abilities and desires of our farmers to gain self-sufficiency, hope, and prosperity. We can break the cycle of poverty for millions of African farmers by helping them plant a Forest Garden, a small yet diverse mix of trees and vegetables that provides food to eat, fuel for cooking, and tools for daily use, while simultaneously improving water tables, nourishing the land, and providing shelter to wildlife. Furthermore, it provides multiple paydays for farmers as they sell the crops they grow at markets.

A typical Forest Garden will have on average 22 different species of plants and trees to meet the many needs of impoverished farming families. TREES has active Forest Garden projects in East and West Africa and sees significant potential to expand its use to other regions.

Implementing the FGA has been successfully implemented in 28 on-the-ground projects using our 5-phase approach:

1. We Mobilize staff and stakeholders (government representatives, community leaders, potential partners)
2. We train farmers to Protect their land through creating green walls to shield land from outside threats
3. Farmers then diversify their crops by learning advanced farming techniques
4. Farmers optimize land by adopting integrated pest management and conservation techniques
5. Farmers graduate indicating the Forest Garden will be successful solely through the farmer’s capabilities.

At the end of the 4-year FGA, farmers see significant increases in food security and dietary diversity, increases in their income through almost tripling their number of marketable products. In addition, the number of trees per hectare on Forest Garden land increasing from a baseline of 20 to over 1500 in just 2 years.

TREES currently has 28 on-the-ground projects in 5 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have brought thousands of farmers out of poverty and planted over 170 Million trees in our history. Furthermore, we created the Forest Garden Training Center, which gives access to all of our Forest Garden training materials to farmers and practitioners globally, allowing them to implement their own Forest Gardens and take exams to become certified to train farmers on the FGA. It is currently available in both English and French, and will be translated again in the coming year. Our programs are continuing to expand and we are adding in more projects in regions we currently work in.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

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

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  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Trees for the Future, 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

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 for the Future, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 11/15/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Mark Brown

Thomas P. Brown Management, Inc.

John Leary

Trees for the Future

Shannon Hawkins

FBR Capital Markets

Mark Brown

Strayer University

Michael Gumbley

Charity:Water

Humphrey Mensah

Calvert Foundation

Ariana Constant

Clinton Foundation

Therese Glowacki

Boulder County Parks and Open Space

Steve Hansch

International Business & Technical Consultants

Kaylin Nickol

Nickol Global Solutions LLC

VC Lingam

Check Point Software Technologies

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? No
  • 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