Seeds of Literacy

aka Seeds   |   Cleveland, OH   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Seeds of Literacy

EIN: 20-0884284


Seeds of Literacy is an award-winning, personalized education adult literacy program offering free, 1-to-1 tutoring in basic ed and GED test prep to nearly 1,000 adults annually with the help of more than 200 volunteer tutors. With a primary focus in Cleveland, OH at 2 brick-and-mortar locations, Seeds also serves students all over the US via a Virtual Classroom. 88% of our students live at or below federal poverty guidelines. Adult literacy annihilates poverty. Education is is the first step to economic self-sufficiency, better employment, better health, and the academic success of children. Seeds is the only nationally accredited literacy program in Ohio.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Ms. Bonnie Entler

Vice President of Programming

Dr. Carmine Stewart

Main address

3104 W. 25th Street 3rd Floor

Cleveland, OH 44109 USA

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Subject area info


Adult education

Adult literacy

Adult numeracy

Population served info


NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

What we aim to solve

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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?

Seeds of Literacy

66% of adults in Cleveland are functionally illiterate, struggling with navigating daily life. They may struggle to advance ore even qualify for gainful employment. This affects multiple generations, as they are also unable to help children with schoolwork. Recognizing that it is NEVER too late to graduate, Seeds of Literacy offers individualized GED and basic adult education through one-to-one tutoring. The award-winning program annually serves nearly 1,000 adults. Students range in age from 18 – 80s, but most are in their 30s and 40s, having been out of school 20+ years. Because traditional classroom models failed them, “classes” at Seeds are really individual tutoring 4 days a week, 3 times a day. Our Virtual Classroom uses Zoom breakout rooms. Seeds relies on 200+ volunteer tutors to make the program successful. Our program is 100% FREE for students, and relies on community support to help make a difference in the lives of adult learners.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


National Tutor of the Year Award 2008

Dollar General Foundation/ProLiteracy America

Outstanding Agency of the Year Award 2008

RSVP of Greater Cleveland

Volunteer of the Year Award 2008

Cleveland Reads

National Student of the Year Award 2012

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Oustanding Nonprofit Service Award 2013


Richard Aldine Award for Nonprofit Excellence 2014

Court Community Service

Nonproft Best Practice - Volunteers 2014

Governor Kasich's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives

State Administrator of the Year 2015

Ohio Association of Adult and Continuing Education

Support Staff of the Year 2022

Ohio Association of Adult and Continuing Education

Most Treasured Volunteer 2021

The Center for Community Solutions

Instructor of the Year Award 2021

Ohio Association of Adult and Continuing Education

Administrator of the Year 2021

Ohio Association of Adult and Continuing Education

Best Practices Award 2021

Library of Congress

Ruth J. Colvin & Frank Laubach Award for Adult Learner Excellence 2021


Award for Program Innovation and Collaboration 2021


Most Treasured Volunteer Award 2020

The Center for Community Solutions

Local Excellence in Advocacy 2020

Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE)

Nonprofit Leadership Award from the Alumni Association 2019

Case Western Reserve University

Women In Education AWard 2019

Crain's Cleveland Business

Hero Award 2018


Philanthropy Tank Winner Runner Up 2016

African-American Philathropy Summit

National Learner of the Year 2016

Coalition on Adult Basic Education

Affiliations & memberships

ProLiteracy America 2002 - current 2002

Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) - current 2002

Ohio Association for Adult and Continuing Education (OAACE) - current 2002


Seeds of Literacy
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
Financial documents
2022 Seeds of Literacy Audit 2020 Seeds of Literacy Audit 2017 Seeds of Literacy FINAL FS 2017.pdf
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 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 9.07 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5.7 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 14% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

Source: IRS Form 990 info

Seeds of Literacy

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Seeds of Literacy

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

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

Seeds of Literacy

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

This snapshot of Seeds of Literacy’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.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $155,739 $90,897 $878 $67,054 $27,947
As % of expenses 23.1% 11.4% 0.1% 6.3% 2.7%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $145,906 $78,549 -$12,823 $55,334 $14,732
As % of expenses 21.3% 9.7% -1.2% 5.2% 1.4%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $663,384 $909,645 $1,208,521 $1,078,856 $1,160,345
Total revenue, % change over prior year -13.9% 37.1% 32.9% -10.7% 7.6%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 0.4%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 100.0% 98.9% 99.9% 99.6% 99.6%
Other revenue 0.0% 1.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $674,292 $795,268 $1,022,778 $1,056,335 $1,044,944
Total expenses, % change over prior year 12.9% 17.9% 28.6% 3.3% -1.1%
Personnel 70.1% 67.8% 72.4% 71.0% 71.1%
Professional fees 1.1% 1.3% 2.7% 2.1% 4.9%
Occupancy 12.4% 12.3% 10.5% 9.7% 9.6%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 16.5% 18.6% 14.4% 17.2% 14.4%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total expenses (after depreciation) $684,125 $807,616 $1,036,479 $1,068,055 $1,058,159
One month of savings $56,191 $66,272 $85,232 $88,028 $87,079
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $16,371 $0 $0 $33,494
Total full costs (estimated) $740,316 $890,259 $1,121,711 $1,156,083 $1,178,732

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Months of cash 5.7 6.7 5.6 5.5 8.7
Months of cash and investments 5.7 6.7 5.6 5.5 8.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 5.6 5.9 4.6 5.1 5.1
Balance sheet composition info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Cash $321,767 $441,912 $477,465 $482,578 $756,523
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $63,396 $47,329 $248,859 $284,551 $216,712
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $89,546 $102,670 $96,943 $103,914 $133,123
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 47.1% 50.0% 57.9% 65.3% 57.7%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 7.9% 7.3% 3.8% 5.5% 16.2%
Unrestricted net assets $363,465 $442,014 $429,191 $484,525 $499,257
Temporarily restricted net assets $40,603 $64,083 $310,634 $274,801 N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 N/A
Total restricted net assets $40,603 $64,083 $310,634 $274,801 $363,755
Total net assets $404,068 $506,097 $739,825 $759,326 $863,012

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
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

President and CEO

Ms. Bonnie Entler

Bonnie Entler has a master's degree in Nonprofit Organization Administration, a bachelor's degree in Biology, and holds a permanent teaching certificate. Under her direction, Seeds became a separate 501(c)(3) organization in 2003 and attained national accreditation that same year. She has overseen the growth of Seeds from 100 students to 1,000 annually, making Seeds larger than the average high school. She was instrumental in preparing for the 2014 GED, work that outpaced peer agencies state-wide and nationally. Under Bonnie's tenure, Seeds has won dozens of awards, both at the local and national levels.

Vice President of Programming

Carmine Stewart

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Seeds of Literacy

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.

Seeds of Literacy

Board of directors
as of 03/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mr. Jonathan Khouri

Carnegie Management & Development Corporation

Term: 2021 -

Brooke Emmel

Key Corporate & Commerical Bank

Alan S. Lufkin

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Mary Helen Petrus

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

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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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/14/2023

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
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data