Growing Food Security

aka Seed Programs International   |   Asheville, NC   |

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GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 56-2092576


Seed Programs International (SPI) works to improve food security, strengthen communities, and cultivate sustainable livelihoods through agriculture. WE BELIEVE that improving access to seed, training, and agricultural resources will reduce hunger and poverty, improve nutrition, build local community capacity, cultivate climate resilience, and create sustainable practices for resilient livelihoods.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Robyn Love

Main address

125 S Lexington Ave. Suite 101 - 11

Asheville, NC 28801 USA

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Subject area info

Agriculture, fishing and forestry

International development

Population served info



Women and girls


Refugees and displaced people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

International Agricultural Development (Q31)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over 720 million people are hungry and over 650 million people live in poverty. These numbers had been decreasing for a decade, but reversed in 2019 due to the COVID pandemic. Since 2019, 161 million more people are food insecure and 95 million more people live in poverty. In addition, global displacement is at an all-time high, with 100 million people displaced due to conflict, climate change, and poverty. Unreliable and erratic weather patterns have challenged agricultural production, with the Horn of Africa experiencing its worst drought in 40 years.

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?

Women in Agriculture

Provide vegetable seed to women cooperative groups facing hunger and malnutrition so that they can grow food and generate income by selling excess food at market for the household and community. Women farmers produce more than half the developing world's food, yet have limited access to resources such as land, seed, tools, and training. Our programs support women in acquiring these resources.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Seed Programs International provides seed and garden resources to schools to create school gardens. A garden-supported school lunch might be the only healthy meal a child receives during the day. These gardens enrich the learning environment, motivate parents to keep kids in school, and teach kids healthy eating habits.

Population(s) Served

We enable access to seed, training, and agricultural resources to support refugees, internally displaced people, and people experiencing crisis. Programs support people in creating sustainable livelihoods and become less dependent on aid and food rations.

Population(s) Served

Seed Programs International aims to create resilient agricultural practices by considered environmental, economic, and societal factors that influence our programs and incorporating strategies to improve programmatic success based on these factors. We do this by using climate-smart agriculture strategies to counter environmental fluctuations, utilizing partnerships and technologies to reduce waste and extend the shelf-life of food, and planning for effective land use.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Children and youth
Refugees and displaced people
Internally displaced people
Children and youth
Children and youth
Refugees and displaced people
Internally displaced people

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 seed packets distributed globally to program partners.

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Part of our impact is measured as the number of seed packets that are distributed to our project partners around the world. More seed packets can produce more food for improved food security.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Seed Programs International is working both internationally and domestically to improve food security and household income by improving access to seed, training, and agricultural resources. Our primary areas of focus are:

WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE: Women farmers produce more than 50% of the developing world’s food, yet own less than 2% of land and have limited access to quality seed, improved technologies, agricultural resources, and training. Studies show that for every dollar a woman makes, 90% goes back into the community, in comparison to only 30-40% for men. This means more money reinvested into health, education, and other household-level needs that improve livelihood indicators. By working with women’s groups, we aim to improve their access to agricultural resources to open their path to empowerment, income, and food security.

CRISIS RECOVERY: Crisis caused by conflict, climate change, and poverty is prevalent throughout the world. Global displacement is at an all-time high, with 100 million people displaced. Most disaster responses focus on short-term needs: shelter, food and medicine. While critical, this approach must be supplemented with medium-term recovery plans to rebuild lives. By working on vegetable-growing programs for crisis relief, we aim to bring stability to the lives of our program participants and enable sustainable and resilient livelihoods that are self-sufficient and not dependent on aid.

SCHOOL GARDENS: School gardens grow vegetables and future leaders to counter hunger and poverty in their communities. In many locations, a garden-supported school lunch is the only healthy meal of the day and motivates parents to keep their kids in school. Our school garden programs teach food literacy and healthy eating habits, enrich the learning environment, and provide nutritious lunches for students in the US and around the globe.

CHARITABLE GARDENS: In the US, 38 million people are food insecure. Charitable gardening programs promote agricultural literacy and distribute nutritious food to people struggling with hunger. By partnering with charitable gardening programs we aim to improve food security domestically.

AGRICULTURAL RESILIENCE: As climates continue to change, sustainable agricultural practices can be complicated to develop and maintain. Our programs aim to incorporate climate-smart agriculture strategies to counter environmental fluctuations. This can range from utilizing water infrastructure in drought prone areas to incorporating agroforestry or greenhouses in areas with heavy rainfall. Our programs also aim to reduce waste by accepting donations of seed that would otherwise be discarded and utilizing technologies to preserve food to prevent spoiling. Our programs work with what is available locally. If land is limited, then sac or urban gardening techniques can be incorporated. By considering environmental, economic, and societal factors, we aim to create sustainable and resilient agricultural practices.

SPI was founded in 1998 by John Batcha when he noticed that large quantities of high-quality vegetable seed were being discarded by seed companies each year, often due to overproduction or small decreases in germination rate. He also knew that communities and families around the world have difficulty accessing quality seed due to financial or geographic constraints. He created SPI to connect these communities with seed that would otherwise be wasted.

Throughout our 25 years of operation, we have continued to maintain a close relationship with the seed sector and receive donated seed to distribute to community partners struggling with food insecurity. We have also evolved our strategy to connect our program partners with seed sources in their country to promote local procurement of seed. We aim to foster this relationship to ensure sustainable practices that can operate without our support. This process also provides a feedback loop to strengthen the local seed market by improving the capacity of local farming communities while also encouraging developments in crop improvements within the local seed sector. Through this, we strengthen local seed supply chains.

Organizations interested in partnering with us can contact us via phone or email. They can also apply using an application form on our website. We accept partners as funds allow. Support can range from providing in-kind donations of seed to providing grants for seed, agricultural resources, water tanks, and comprehensive training. We partner with organizations that are local to the program. We work cohesively and collaboratively with our partners to utilize and build their local capacity to create sustainable change that is not dependent on continued outside aid. We design and execute our work with an exit strategy in mind. We have long standing flagship programs that replicate programmatic successes in surrounding communities.

Since our founding in 1998, we have worked with over 380 partners in 94 countries. We have distributed over 17 million packets of seed, capable of growing over 58,000 tons of food. In 2023, we worked in 20 countries with 39 partners, distributed over 759,000 packets of seed to grow 2,510 tons of food.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, 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 engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Some of our partners have limited access to technology and education, and/or have a language barrier

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 34.82 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 5.1 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 8% 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 SEED PROGRAMS 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.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $7,047 $49,336 -$80,599 -$2,858 $19,467
As % of expenses 2.9% 18.6% -22.7% -0.7% 6.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $7,047 $49,336 -$80,599 -$2,858 $19,467
As % of expenses 2.9% 18.6% -22.7% -0.7% 6.4%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $259,851 $318,593 $349,741 $395,654 $352,459
Total revenue, % change over prior year 1.4% 22.6% 9.8% 13.1% -10.9%
Program services revenue 11.2% 8.8% 12.4% 7.3% 3.7%
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 0.0% 0.0% 8.0% 7.8% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 88.4% 91.2% 79.6% 85.0% 96.3%
Other revenue 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $243,232 $265,523 $355,651 $412,800 $302,671
Total expenses, % change over prior year 1.8% 9.2% 33.9% 16.1% -26.7%
Personnel 53.7% 54.4% 44.8% 47.1% 53.7%
Professional fees 8.1% 5.0% 6.2% 2.9% 4.4%
Occupancy 2.8% 2.7% 1.3% 2.7% 1.1%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 12.7% 1.7% 4.8% 16.7% 25.2%
All other expenses 22.7% 36.2% 43.0% 30.6% 15.6%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $243,232 $265,523 $355,651 $412,800 $302,671
One month of savings $20,269 $22,127 $29,638 $34,400 $25,223
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $263,501 $287,650 $385,289 $447,200 $327,894

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 4.5 4.5 5.1 4.9 6.5
Months of cash and investments 4.5 4.5 5.1 4.9 6.5
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 12.5 13.7 7.5 6.4 9.4
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $91,688 $99,649 $151,293 $168,700 $162,931
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $6,551 $0 $0 $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 2.2% 8.1% 0.8% 14.3% 0.4%
Unrestricted net assets $252,744 $302,080 $221,481 $218,623 $238,090
Temporarily restricted net assets $10,572 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 $10,572 $14,306 $88,995 $74,707 $105,028
Total net assets $263,316 $316,386 $310,476 $293,330 $343,118

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

Principal Officer

Robyn Love

Prior to joining Seed Programs International, Robyn Love worked as an environmental consultant and project manager with a background in ecology and restoration ecology.

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 01/17/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Jack Bernens

JTB Ventures, Inc.

John Batcha

Founder, Seed Programs International. Retired, Asgrow Seed Company. Post-humous.

Timothy Batcha

Director of Finance, CDS Global Logistics, United States Operations. Board Emeritus.

Thomas Tolman

Retired: President Condor Seed Production

Jason Nickerson

Principal at Context Network

June Lavelle

Owner and Chief Consultant, Lavelle & Associates, Inc.

Pete Perez

Retired: EVP Human Resources, ConAgra Foods

Antonius Van Der Velden

Retired: President and CEO Enza Zaden USA, Inc.

Alan Krivanek

Retired: Tomato Breeder, Seminis

Gary Kushner

Hogan & Lovells US LLP. Legal Counsel to the Board

Milcah Kigoni

PhD Candidate, Crop Science, University of Illinois

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 4/27/2023

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
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data