Mission: Growing Home has a vision of a world of healthy people and communities. Everyone deserves to have a good job, and everyone deserves to eat well. That's why we've bee ... (More)

Growing Home is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1993, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://growinghomeinc.org/

  825 West 69th Street
2nd Floor
Chicago IL 60621 

  773-549-1336


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Growing Home is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.

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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


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.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 92.21, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2020, the latest year published by the IRS. 

View this organization’s historical ratings.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

78.4%


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


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

7.7%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

13.7%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

26.9%


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


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.12


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

1.31 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

6.38%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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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 this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Janelle St. John, Executive Director

$100,038 (5.87% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code (BMF activity code: 994)

Job training, counseling, or assistance (BMF activity code: 566)


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)


Affiliation:

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 Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Growing Home reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received

  • Grants Sent


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

in light of COVID-19, we increased our food donations and did door-to-door deliveries year round. Our delivery system proved very successful in reaching more people while also maintaining their safety. Because of our ability to quickly pivot our programming, we did not suffer much financial hardship. In fact, we have been very fortunate as many of our funders have increased their funding or transitioned their program support into general operating grants to ensure we would be able to make any adjustments needed to continue serving our community.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on Chicago, and even more so in marginalized black and brown neighborhoods such as Englewood. This made it extremely crucial to adjust our programs, and we are proud to say that these changes have been successful. Even during the pandemic, we were able to pivot our Job Training program to maintain our staffing and continue to meet the needs of our community. We transitioned our job training program to a virtual platform by providing laptops and hotspots to all trainees who needed it.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

Before COVID-19, Growing Home made a strategic goal to increase our food distribution in Englewood from 20% to 50%; achieving this was contingent on us developing our new farm site. In April 2020, we completed construction of another 16,500 square foot farm in Englewood, implementing this plan to add a third site to our campus and grow an additional 8,000 pounds of produce per year -- 9,600 meals per year using USDA calculations. All produce from this third farm site is distributed in Englewood through affordable sales and donations. Due to COVID-19, we have far surpassed our 2020 Working Plan goal by donating 100% of our harvest to the Englewood community, our alumni, and current trainees. To ensure the safety of our staff and residents, the Growing Home engagement and food access team delivered to our residents, and anyone who expressed interest in accessing food. Thanks to our partnerships with other local organizations were able to include non-perishable food with our produce.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

As COVID-19 has increased the need for access to healthy produce, we have worked to adjust our operations to grow during the winter months by heating our crop housing units and growing produce that can survive lower temperatures. We intend to keep that momentum going moving forward.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
5/1/20222020 92.21
4/1/20222020 90.77

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to its Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

2/1/20212019 84.95
3/1/20202018 88.93
6/1/20192017 82.45
12/1/20172016 81.65
10/1/20172015 79.70
9/1/20172015 75.41

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Growing Home cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.


Back to Overall

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Growing Home reported its largest program on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$1,384,402

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


Employment Training Program and Organic Farm


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to 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

100

out of 100

The score earned by Growing Home is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


Growing Home’s mission is to operate, promote, and demonstrate the use of organic urban agriculture as a vehicle for job training, employment, and community development. Our unique employment training program uses farming to teach transferable skills to individuals with barriers to employment, giving them the opportunity to secure full-time, stable jobs. Through our USDA-certified organic farms, we also provide healthy, fresh food and food education to our neighbors in Englewood.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


We believe everyone deserves access to a good job and good food.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: A larger food processing area & indoor agriculture space will allow us to increase food production by over 70%. This will enhance our basic food outreach programs, free and discounted produce.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: An indoor agriculture space would allow us to initiate training in “higher tech” agriculture such as hydroponics. The job market is looking for skilled employees in theres more specialized areas.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Three: Increasing the number of people employed and trained at Growing Home will increase our impact on individuals and their families, as well as our community.

Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Growing Home believes that professional leadership development of staff is essential. A Certification course called "Conscious Ambassador of Trauma Informed Care" was made a priority for all staff to not only look inward for self-reflection but to be better leaders in the community we serve.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

We have a robust Community Engagement program that includes events, speaking engagements, tours, volunteer programs, cooking demonstrations & K-12 workshops in our Learning Garden. Through cooking demonstrations, farm tours and events, and community outreach, we share with our customers and their families how to integrate nutritious foods into our daily lives. Growing Home posts several times a week about upcoming events and partnerships on social media with a following of 16,495 followers. We are proud to have an array partnerships including Greater Chicago Food Depository, The Salvation Army Red Shield Center in Englewood, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Englewood Village Market and Grow Greater Englewood, University of Illinois Chicago among others. We also have a robust volunteer program that offers people an opportunity to learn more about our work, to expand their skills and to offer team building experiences.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


Growing Home was able to pivot our Job Training program during COVID-19 and therefore able to maintain our staffing and continue to meet the needs of our community. We transitioned our job training program to a virtual platform. Our success of this transition was contingent on our ability to meet the technology gap of our trainees. We did so by providing laptops and hotspots to all trainees who needed it. Our ability to pivot our program is even more important today as COVID-19 has further exacerbated socio-economic conditions impacting Englewood residents and businesses. As of April of 2021, approximately 70 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Chicago have been Black residents -- despite the city's total population being only 30 percent Black. As of May 2020, Chicago’s unemployment rate was at 17.00% compared to 3.70% last year. Though we do not have exact data for Englewood, one can imagine that the situation is even more dire for a community that was already heavily disinvested and has a high population of individuals with limited higher education, criminal backgrounds, and poverty. Despite all this, we pivoted to remote programming which included all of our important employment training curriculum along with: one-on-one case management and additional hours of counseling and support via phone; virtual job readiness workshops including video interview and computer skills; and access to and participation in virtual job fairs. We were also able to bridge the digital divide by providing laptops and hotspots to all production assistants in need of internet and technological access. And during this time we even called each member of our 500+ alumni community to connect them with food, housing, unemployment and healthcare services if needed and found job opportunities for our graduates who have lost their jobs.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Janelle St. John

Executive Director

Lynn Sheck

Board President

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Growing Home is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback or Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen and Equity Practices sections of their Candid profile.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.



Methodology


We've partnered with Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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