Closed Loop, Open Source

Chicago, IL   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 45-2439418


Plant Chicago's mission is to cultivate local circular economies. We envision a paradigm shift of production, consumption and waste driven at the local level, generating equity and economic opportunity for all residents. Plant Chicago equips people and businesses with the tools to live more sustainably through community-driven, hands-on programs and innovative research projects. We run a circular economy network for small businesses, farmers market, provide free education programming to schools and community organizations located in our local Chicago neighborhood of Back of the Yards, and are establishing an indoor victory garden project in an old firehouse on the southwest side of Chicago.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Jonathan Pereira

Main address

4459 S. Marshfield Ave

Chicago, IL 60609 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Energy resources

Agriculture, fishing and forestry


Population served info

Children and youth


Economically disadvantaged people


NTEE code info

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms


What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

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?

Closed Loop in the Classroom

Closed Loop in the Classroom is our STEM education program, designed for students in upper elementary through high school. Hands-on labs cover content from Circular Economies, water ecology, nitrogen cycles, and decomposers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

One of the few year-round farmers markets in Chicago, and the only one featuring produce grown on-site. Local products include: honey, bread, mushrooms, greens and more. The farmers market works with over 20 small food business entrepreneurs.

Credit/Debit, Cash, Link, and Senior Coupons are all accepted at the market. LINK transactions for produce are doubled up to $25 per market.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Many people want to grow their own food, but lack the space, knowledge, equipment or money to do it. The Indoor Victory Garden is a pilot project to remove these barriers and give city residents the opportunity to learn how to grow food indoors, year-round. The IVG is designed to have multiple types of growing systems for users to experiment with. Paid youth interns assist with maintenance and learn how to grow their own food as well. Located in a former firehouse, this is the first project of its kind!

Population(s) Served

Plant Chicago’s Circular Economy Leaders Network brings Chicago-area small businesses together to cultivate local circular economies. A local circular economy is one that regenerates natural ecosystems, minimizes waste, and ensures that economic and social benefits are distributed equitably.

Any small business (20 employees and under) based in the Chicago area and interested in implementing circular economy practices is welcome to join. Potential members include established small businesses, early-stage entrepreneurs, home-based businesses, and independent contractors.

Population(s) Served

Plant Chicago sources locally and sustainably grown food for our year round marketplace. In order to ensure equitable access, Plant Chicago provides Link matching and sliding scale purchase options for low income residents. Plant Chicago also is the only location in the city where residents can drop off food scraps for free to be composted.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Young adults
Young adults

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.

Number of students educated through field trips

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

Closed Loop in the Classroom

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Estimated dollar value of food donations distributed to community feedings programs

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

Plant Chicago Farmers Market

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Total amount of healthy food incentives distributed to low income households.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2022 2021 2020 2020 Audit 2019 2019 Audit
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.82 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6.6 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 11% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of PLANT CHICAGO NFP’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $110,136 $21,605 -$5,188 $88,882 $39,460
As % of expenses 37.5% 6.6% -1.2% 19.9% 8.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $101,887 $14,468 -$11,281 $83,157 $27,141
As % of expenses 33.8% 4.3% -2.6% 18.4% 5.9%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $270,254 $836,701 $245,078 $417,352 $362,337
Total revenue, % change over prior year -29.4% 209.6% -70.7% 70.3% -13.2%
Program services revenue 21.3% 6.0% 7.0% 5.0% 9.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 61.5% 6.0% 16.8% 25.7% 17.9%
All other grants and contributions 13.6% 86.5% 75.1% 62.3% 69.7%
Other revenue 3.5% 1.5% 1.1% 7.0% 3.4%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $293,435 $328,189 $429,267 $446,864 $445,391
Total expenses, % change over prior year 1.9% 11.8% 30.8% 4.1% -0.3%
Personnel 67.0% 67.8% 63.6% 66.2% 73.2%
Professional fees 9.9% 12.0% 8.2% 9.0% 6.8%
Occupancy 12.8% 10.7% 13.4% 14.9% 7.6%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.5%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 10.3% 9.5% 14.8% 9.9% 8.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $301,684 $335,326 $435,360 $452,589 $457,710
One month of savings $24,453 $27,349 $35,772 $37,239 $37,116
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $7,340 $0 $614,496
Total full costs (estimated) $326,137 $362,675 $478,472 $489,828 $1,109,322

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 5.7 8.2 5.7 9.7 7.1
Months of cash and investments 5.7 8.2 5.7 9.7 7.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 5.1 5.3 3.7 5.8 -9.7
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $139,397 $222,954 $205,493 $360,219 $263,891
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $33,977 $451,829 $324,789 $145,357 $44,805
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $65,575 $46,332 $53,672 $58,972 $673,468
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 61.7% 55.2% 59.0% 63.4% 7.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 10.5% 3.3% 12.8% 14.4% 60.9%
Unrestricted net assets $150,893 $165,361 $154,080 $237,237 $264,378
Temporarily restricted net assets $35,128 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $35,128 $522,035 $343,034 $224,640 $102,126
Total net assets $186,021 $687,396 $497,114 $461,877 $366,504

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Jonathan Pereira

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 05/15/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Kristie Conklin


Term: 2021 -

Joseph Lopez

Spanish Coalition for Housing

Chad Flores


Phil Fry

University of Chicago

Kristie Conklin

Fry Foundation

Adam Rodriguez

Alden Management

Daniella Mazzio

Sarah Somers Design

Brenda Espinoza

Caroline PAwlak


Myla Skinner

Quarterfive Consulting

Katie Mee


Michael Edwards

Fifth Third Bank

Kristie Conklin


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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/15/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/07/2021

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

  • 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.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • 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 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.