PLATINUM2024

Gaining Ground, Inc.

Growing food, growing community.

Concord, MA   |  http://www.gainingground.org/
GuideStar Charity Check

Gaining Ground, Inc.

EIN: 04-3083976


Mission

Gaining Ground envisions a future where everyone has equitable access to healthy, sustainably grown produce. Our mission is to provide free, fresh, organic produce to people experiencing food insecurity. We do this with the helping hands of a diverse community of volunteers who work and learn with us on our farm.

Ruling year info

1992

President of the Board of Directors

Polly Vanasse

Vice President of the Board of Directors

Karen Perkins

Main address

PO Box 374

Concord, MA 01742 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3083976

Subject area info

Land resources

Organic farming

Basic and emergency aid

Food aid

Food banks

Population served info

Children and youth

Adults

Families

Immigrants and migrants

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gaining Ground's mission is to provide free, sustainably grown, fresh organic produce to people experiencing food insecurity. We do this with the helping hands of a diverse community of volunteers who work and learn with us on our farm.

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?

Growing organic produce for hunger relief

Gaining Ground grows organic produce for hunger relief with help from volunteers of all ages and abilities, who work and learn in our fields. In short, we grow food and we give it away to people who need it. For free. This refreshingly simple approach lets us focus on meeting the needs of our volunteers and the people we help feed. These two aspects of our work are closely intertwined – one wouldn’t work without the other. We work hard to grow high-quality produce, provide an exceptional experience to each volunteer, serve the needs of our recipients and maximize the generous support of our donors.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

Gaining Ground is open to volunteers Wednesday - Saturday each week from April until the end of October. The farm attracts hundreds of volunteers every growing season - from 3rd graders to people in their 80s, from Boy Scouts to juvenile offenders, from prep school athletes to the wheelchair-bound. Our farm coordinators match the skills and needs of the people who volunteer with the specific work that needs to be done on a specific day. We believe everyone has something to contribute to the farm. A typical volunteer visit lasts 2 hours. We're not teaching our volunteers to be farmers. We're giving them an opportunity to help others in their community, and to learn about growing food in the process. They see tangible results of their labor, and know that the squash they pick today will end up on someone's table tonight. We believe the work is the learning. We budget this program together with growing organic produce. Please refer to that program for budget information.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Health
Ethnic and racial groups
Religious groups

Where we work

Awards

Included Gaining Ground in the Good Food Org Guide - one of five MA non-profits doing exemplary work in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice 2014

James Beard Foundation and Food Tank

Climate for Freedom Award for significantly contributing to the climate for freedom in our communities 2014

Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council

Program Innovation Award to Community Teamwork in Lowell for its partnership with Gaining Ground 2014

Massachusetts Head Start Association

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
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Growing organic produce for hunger relief

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

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

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Farm volunteering

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We closed our volunteer program to on-farm visitors in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Normal volunteer operations resumed in 2021.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Farm volunteering

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Area of land, in hectares, directly controlled by the organization and under sustainable cultivation or sustainable stewardship

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

Growing organic produce for hunger relief

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

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

Growing organic produce for hunger relief

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

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

Children and youth

Related Program

Farm volunteering

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of meals served or provided

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

Growing organic produce for hunger relief

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our 2022 produce total is equivalent to over 461, 000 individual servings of vegetables and fruit.

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.

Gaining Ground offers a unique combination of hunger relief and community volunteerism. All of the food we grow is given away to people who need it, for free. This refreshingly simple approach lets us focus on meeting the needs of our recipients and volunteers. It lets us provide healthy produce to people who need it most, while offering new volunteer opportunities to a wide range of people and promoting awareness of hunger relief needs.

Gaining Ground employs two primary strategies that have enabled us to achieve our mission:
1. Growing organic, nutrient-dense produce to supply meal programs and food pantries:
We grow over 50 varieties of organic vegetables and fruits, including some heirloom varieties. The diversity of our garden lets us serve our recipient groups well throughout the growing season. We supply approximately 1,200 food-insecure households in Boston, Lowell and the Metrowest area each week during the growing season. For some of our recipients, Gaining Ground is their sole source of fresh produce.
2. Creating a meaningful volunteer work experience for a wide variety of volunteers:
Gaining Ground attracts more than 2,500 volunteers every growing season - from preschoolers to retirees, from Boy Scouts to juvenile offenders, from prep school athletes to those with special needs. For all our volunteers, the farm is a place to connect to the land, to contribute and to learn.

We rely on three full-time, year-round farmers, a Director of Agriculture, a seasonal team of five field assistants, a part-time Executive Director, Operations Director, and Communications & Development Manager, as well as an active 17-member Board of Directors and 2,500 annual volunteers. We farm three and a half acres of leased land, tended organically using no-till, regenerative agriculture methods.

Gaining Ground has had a significant and deep impact on hunger relief in the metrowest region for nearly 30 years. Through the distribution of freshly harvested, sustainably grown produce to meal programs, shelters, schools and food pantries, we support more than 2,100 households experiencing food insecurity each week during the growing season. We have also created a vibrant and engaged volunteer community of over 3,000 people. We are looking forward to expanding onto an additional 5 acres of leased land in 2024 within the Minuteman National Historical Park as well as continuing to improve our soil and farm facilities to extend our growing season. We strive to listen to feedback from our cherished hunger relief partners, growing the healthiest, most culturally-relevant produce for those who may otherwise have trouble accessing it.

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 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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • 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, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
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

25.78

Average of 38.92 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

11.6

Average of 18.9 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

9%

Average of 9% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Gaining Ground, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Gaining Ground, Inc.

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

Gaining Ground, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Gaining Ground, Inc.’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 -$19,376 $78,749 $206,511 $218,038 $236,906
As % of expenses -4.4% 15.3% 38.5% 43.0% 34.1%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$62,295 $32,085 $163,318 $170,819 $190,803
As % of expenses -12.9% 5.7% 28.2% 30.8% 25.7%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $557,173 $567,868 $701,827 $1,022,604 $869,611
Total revenue, % change over prior year 28.3% 1.9% 23.6% 45.7% -15.0%
Program services revenue 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.5% 0.7% 0.4% 0.2% -0.9%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 98.8% 99.1% 90.7% 99.7% 100.8%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.2% 9.0% 0.1% 0.1%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $440,277 $516,145 $536,553 $506,769 $694,893
Total expenses, % change over prior year 25.3% 17.2% 4.0% -5.6% 37.1%
Personnel 64.3% 59.8% 68.2% 62.8% 60.6%
Professional fees 2.3% 3.7% 2.7% 4.0% 4.0%
Occupancy 4.1% 3.9% 4.1% 4.1% 3.7%
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 29.4% 32.6% 25.0% 29.1% 31.7%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $483,196 $562,809 $579,746 $553,988 $740,996
One month of savings $36,690 $43,012 $44,713 $42,231 $57,908
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $62,422 $50,592 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $519,886 $668,243 $675,051 $596,219 $798,904

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 16.0 13.8 16.0 20.2 11.6
Months of cash and investments 16.0 13.8 16.0 21.6 19.9
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 13.0 11.5 14.6 19.6 18.2
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $585,963 $595,278 $714,213 $853,052 $671,677
Investments $0 $0 $0 $60,781 $478,121
Receivables $48,333 $53,333 $32,000 $51,825 $57,908
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $816,346 $878,772 $929,365 $970,925 $982,670
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 27.9% 31.2% 34.2% 37.6% 41.8%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.8% 1.3% 1.2% 0.6% 2.2%
Unrestricted net assets $1,067,248 $1,099,333 $1,262,651 $1,433,470 $1,624,273
Temporarily restricted net assets $198,582 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 $198,582 $171,556 $130,319 $428,116 $365,928
Total net assets $1,265,830 $1,270,889 $1,392,970 $1,861,586 $1,990,201

Key data checks

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

Operations

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

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President of the Board of Directors

Polly Vanasse

Vice President of the Board of Directors

Karen Perkins

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Gaining Ground, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
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.

Gaining Ground, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Mrs. Sue Mildrum


Board co-chair

Ms. Lisanne Wheeler

Lucy Rosborough

NLT Foundation

Jen Flint

Harvard Business School

Christa Collins

Self-Employed

Amy Capofreddi

Deaconess Abundant Life

Joe Rigali

Retired

Kristen Van Daam

PwC

Laurie Engdahl

Retired

Ashley Perssico

Toast

Shilpi Tanden Desai

New Relic

Yvette Philip

Scratch Foundation

Sigmund Correa

S&P Global Market Intelligence

Catherine "Katie" Bekel

Boston College Law School

Sam Hiersteiner

New Profit

Polly Vanasse

Retired

Karen Perkins

Retired

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 1/22/2024

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Alaska Native/Indigenous
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/22/2024

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 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 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 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.

Contractors

Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.