|  PO BOX 7801 Bloomington IN 47407-7801

Sycamore Land Trust Incorporated is headquartered in Bloomington, IN, and is a 501(c)(3) organization. EIN: 35-1830637.  Donations are tax-deductible. The IRS NTEE classification code is C340, Land Resources Conservation within the Environmental Quality, Protection and Beautification category. The IRS ruling year for tax exemption was 1992.

(Source: IRS Business Master File and Form 990)

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Encompass Rating System by Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator’s Encompass Rating System evolves on a quarterly basis as we add new measures and indicators, which we call Beacons. Check back often to see how this organization’s score changes.

Learn about the Encompass Rating System: Announcement | FAQ | Release Notes

Overall Score


out of 100

This charity's score is a passing score. This overall score is identical to the organization's Finance & Accountability beacon score. It does not have an Impact & Results beacon. Each beacon report below provides further information about the organization's rating including rationale as to why a particular beacon may not be scored.

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...   Finance & Accountability

Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.

Finance & Accountability Score


out of 100

This charity's score is a passing score

This Beta V2 of the Finance & Accountability Score provides a baseline measure of an organization’s health including the indicators listed in the report below.

This score represents Form 990 data from latest filing year 2018.

Finance & Accountability Rating Highlights

Higher Effect on Score


Independent Board Composition

We look for at least 3 board members, with more than 50% of members identified as independent.

Lower Effect on Score


Liabilities to Assets Ratio

We look for a ratio less than 50%.

No Effect on Score


Total Revenue

We do not evaluate revenue amounts or sources in Beta V2. An organization’s size can affect whether and how we evaluate other indicators.

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Finance & Accountability Report


of 100 points (BETA)

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio


Higher effect on score

More data  

The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).

For a passing score, Charity Navigator looks for a ratio of 70% or higher. Charities in the 50%-70% range receive zero points for their Program Expense Ratio score. Charities that fall below 50% will receive zero points for both of their financial metric scores, Program Expense Ratio AND Liabilities to Assets Ratio.

Source: IRS Form 990

Board Composition

14/14 Independent

Higher effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for at least 3 board members, with more than 50% of those members identified as independent.

Source: IRS Form 990

Independent Review or Financial Audit


Higher effect on score

For organizations larger than $1million in total revenue we expect to see that the charity completed an audit.

This indicator is not part of the score for organizations less than $250k in total revenue and is removed from the scoring methodology.

For charities under $1 million but over $250K in total revenue we expect to see that the charity completed an Audit, Review or Compilation.

Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio


Lower effect on score

The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).

Charity Navigator looks for a ratio less than 50%.

Source: IRS Form 990

Website Listed


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for a website on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.

Nonprofits act in the public trust and reporting publicly on activities is an important component

Source: IRS Form 990

Additional Information


This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are up to five of the highest compensated employees listed on page 7 of the IRS Form 990. This compensation data is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts include salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting here.











Source: IRS Form 990, filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

The Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) includes cumulative information the IRS collects and displays for all exempt organizations. The data is updated monthly. Below are some key data points from the BMF for this organization. View information about the BMF on the IRS website here.


Land acquisition for preservation (BMF activity code: 352)

Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The IRS Form 990 is the source of the finance and accountability data used within the Encompass Rating System. When an organization is eligible for a Finance & Accountability beacon score, each metric is based on elements of the 990. Some metrics are based on the most recent available filing, while others are based on averages of values over multiple years. We provide links to all available 990s here, whether or not this organization is eligible for a Finance & Accountability score.

IRS Forms 990 are provided courtesy of Foundation Center.

...   Impact & Results

Charity Navigator assesses how well a nonprofit delivers on its mission. To issue an Impact & Results score, we estimate the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determine whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.

No Score

We have not issued this nonprofit an Impact & Results score. This does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, only that we have not reached a conclusion for one of the following reasons:

  • The nonprofit is eligible for a score, but we have not yet gotten to scoring it.

  • The nonprofit is eligible for a score, but we have not yet developed the specific algorithms to estimate the impact of the type of service it delivers and so cannot issue a score yet.

  • The nonprofit does not primarily deliver services directly to beneficiaries or it is not reasonable to expect the nonprofit to measure impact for its primary activity. The impact analysis framework that we use is not well suited to these nonprofits.

  • The nonprofit is not heavily reliant on individual donors because beneficiaries fund a majority of its costs or it does not receive any private charitable contributions.

Learn more about how we rate nonprofits.

Do you work at Sycamore Land Trust Incorporated? Share your impact data to request a score.

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Additional Information


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Largest Programs

Largest Programs

Sycamore Land Trust Incorporated reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses


GuideStar Seal of Trans­parency


GuideStar is Charity Navigator's trusted partner in sharing information on how this organization seeks impact. GuideStar has recognized this organization with a Gold Seal of Transparency for voluntarily and publicly describing their goals, strategies, and accomplishments. Click here for more information.

Note: GuideStar Seals do not effect the nonprofit’s Impact & Results Score.

What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Sycamore Land Trust believes that the quality of life is connected to the quality of place, and the choices we make about Indiana's natural environment today will impact the quality of life for future generations. We are working to create a future for southern Indiana that includes an abundance of: - Clean water and air; - Healthy, productive forests; - Diverse habitats for plants and animals; - Farms to provide food, fuel and fibers; and - Citizens who feel a sense of pride and responsibility towards our Hoosier environment. Our goals are to: - Permanently protect important natural areas in southern Indiana; - Ensure the conservation values of protected lands while providing appropriate public access opportunities; - Provide environmental education to thousands of participants each year; - Engage the public in private land conservation and the mission of Sycamore Land Trust; and - Build the capacity of Sycamore Land Trust.

What are your strategies for making this happen?

Goal 1: Permanently protect important natural areas in the southern Indiana region: - Identify and prioritize land conservation opportunities across Sycamore Land Trust's coverage area. - Proactively implement permanent protection for high-priority lands. - Respond to other conservation opportunities that arise for lands with conservation value but which are not considered high priority. - Cultivate and expand partnerships to support private land conservation in the region. Goal 2: Ensure the conservation values of protected lands while providing appropriate public access opportunities: - Manage properties owned by Sycamore Land Trust to maintain and enhance their conservation values. - Managed properties owned by Sycamore Land Trust to offer public access and recreational opportunities where appropriate. - Ensure conservation easement permanence through management and monitoring. - Cultivate and expand partnerships that support restoration and management of Sycamore Land Trust properties. Goal 3: Engage the public in private land conservation and the mission of Sycamore Land Trust: - Engage with local communities and key constituent groups to understand their conservation needs and priorities. - Identify and cultivate relationships with key audiences that can help promote private land conservation in southern Indiana. - Inform landowners and professional advisers about ways to conserve private property. - Provide high quality environmental educational programs through a mix of school-based and public programming. Goal 4: Build the capacity of Sycamore Land Trust: - Recruit and support a diverse group of volunteer leaders, including Sycamore Land Trust's Board, Advisory Board, committees, and network of advisers. - Expand the professional staff. - Build stable and adequate funding to support Sycamore programs. - Ensure a system of sound organizational management and internal fiscal controls that reflect the highest standards of the land trust community.

What are your organization's capabilities for doing this?

In 2019 Sycamore became an accredited land trust by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. This nationally recognized seal of approval demonstrates Sycamore's long-term commitment to upholding the highest standards of accountability and conservation excellence. To earn accreditation, Sycamore prepared for years and provided extensive documentation, and were subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation in order to achieve this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that the lands under Sycamore's care will be protected forever. Sycamore Land Trust's professional staff has decades of experience and expertise in land acquisition and conservation, environmental education, finance, communications, administration, volunteer management, and development. Our Executive Director, John Lawrence, has been on the staff of Sycamore since 2006. Our Board of Directors and Advisory Board are made up of a diverse group of individuals with extensive environmental, business, academic and governmental experience. They have been committing their time and financial resources to Sycamore Land Trust for many years. Our volunteers, members, and supporters are enthusiastic supporters of our mission and many have been involved with Sycamore since its founding in 1990. Sycamore is not a political or advocacy organization, and we welcome and work with people and organizations to protect and take care of land and connect people to nature in southern Indiana.

How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We measure progress by: - Acres of land protected. - Rare and endangered species found on our protected properties. - Number of trees planted and caliber of habitat restoration projects. - Number of participants in our Environmental Education Program. - Organization's financials. To operate in the black, and add to our net assets, reserves and endowments. - Membership growth. - Increase in revenue each year, - Being a productive member of the communities that we serve. Our goals for the future are to continue to protect more land, restore healthy habitats, and reach more people with our environmental education programming.

What have and haven't you accomplished so far?

Some of our accomplishments as of May 2020: - After a multi-year process of work, documentation and a third-party evaluations, Sycamore was awarded the Accredited designation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, signifying its confidence that the lands under Sycamore's care will be protected forever. - Completed 118 land protection projects to permanently protect 10,070 acres of land in southern Indiana. - Have provided money and expertise to protect an additional 10,100 acres of land that is owned by the government or other conservation organizations. - dozens of rare and endangered species are found on our protected properties, including the Indiana bat, barn own, bald eagle, and bobcat. - Over 100,000 trees planted. - Each year, more than 5,000 participants of all ages take part in our environmental education programming, while thousands more visit our free public nature preserves on their own. - Our membership is strong at 1,100 households and businesses. - We maintain 16 public nature preserves with over 35 miles of trails. Our newest preserve, on Lake Monroe in Monroe County, was established in December 2016.


GlobalGiving Badge not earned

GlobalGiving is the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country. For donors, GlobalGiving provides an additional layer of vetting and due diligence for each of its nonprofit partners every two years, which may include site visit verification. Learn more about GlobalGiving.

Note: GlobalGiving Badges do not effect the nonprofit’s Impact & Results score.

...   Leadership & Adaptability

Charity Navigator will provide an assessment of the organization’s leadership capacity, strategic planning, and the ability to readily innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization’s mission.

Leadership & Adaptability Score (BETA)

Coming Soon

Encompass Rating Beta V2 does not provide an evaluation of the organization's leadership and adaptability.

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...   Culture & Community

Charity Navigator will provide an assessment of the organization’s people operations, its engagement with the constituents served, and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) measures.

Culture & Community Score (BETA)

Coming Soon

Encompass Rating Beta V2 does not provide an evaluation of the organization's culture and community. Beta V3 will provide an evaluation of Constituent Feedback and Listening Practices. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community. Other measures will be added later in the year.

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Additional Information


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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people/communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile.

Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:
How is the organization collecting feedback?
Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email, Visitor log questionnaires at nature preserves
How is the organization using feedback?
To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, 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
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback
Describe a recent change in your organization that resulted from feedback.
Note: This organization did not answer this question
This Constituent Feedback information is provided to us by Candid. At this time, Constituent Feedback information published on this organization's page has no effect on its star rating per our methodology.

Why It Matters

Like the Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as relevant metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.

Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.