2019 was a year of expansion as we added collaborative food partners as well as food distribution sites. The Nourish Food Relief Program rolled into 2019 with 7 weekly distributions and partnership with three Trader Joe’s stores.
We started the year picking up from these stores:
Trader Joe’s Northville – 7 days a week
Trader Joe’s West Bloomfield – Sundays only
Trader Joe’s Ann Arbor – Sundays only
Additionally we picked up from the West Bloomfield and Grosse Pointe stores around holidays when Forgotten Harvest was unable to pick up.
In 2019 we reset three distribution sites to new locations in Detroit through partnerships with local churches who are actively involved in their communities serving families. The food distributions added another layer of support to families they were already serving. We also connected with Pastor Barry Randolph, pastor of Church of the Messiah on the lower east side. He has a network of 65 pastors in Detroit and southeastern Michigan. As we continue to scale food distribution locations we will connect with the pastors in his network.
In August/September we began to start picking up weekly on Saturday and Sunday from Trader Joe’s Grosse Pointe. We are in discussion with them about picking up daily from their store. Additionally Trader Joe’s West Bloomfield is interested in talking with us about giving Saturday pickups to us as well. Our goal is to get TJ’s Grosse Pointe and West Bloomfield on to a 7 day pickup with us. There is a strong possibility that we can do that over the course of 2020.
We have also started picking up produce from Leonardo’s Produce in Detroit. This produce came to us through our partnership with Food Rescue US and Darraugh Collins. Darraugh curates food rescues from local restaurants and through the Food Rescue US app connects churches and nonprofits to the food so it can be rescued and served out to the community. We love our partnership with Darraugh and Food Rescue US!
What we accomplished this year through Nourish Food Relief Program:
Food Distribution Events 540
Boxes of Food Distributed 16,200
Families Served 315+
Volunteer Hours 5,460
In Q4 we began fundraising for Eden Gives. Two consultants are being utilized to train our team to raise funds. Sandy Rees and Mary Valloni are seasoned nonprofit fundraising professionals. Each one has a niche that supports our work.
Sandy’s business Get Fully Funded works with small and medium nonprofits using a training format that is largely online while still giving access to Sandy at specific times in the week so questions can be dealt with and strategies assessed. Through Sandy’s help (online class + support through instant messenger) Eden Gives now has a fundraising plan for 2020 that we are executing on. We also used Sandy’s template to create a plan for Q4 of 2019 and raised $3860.00.
Mary Valloni worked for the American Cancer Society and Red Cross among other large nonprofits. Her focus was on gaining major donor gifts and that is what she is training our team to do. We are creating a plan for securing major donor gifts this year. Those relationships when maintained properly can produce recurring revenue yearly. Mary has two weekly podcasts that provide excellent training for nonprofit fundraising and we are utilizing those podcasts to create a plan for EG that will bring in major donors. We utilized the training we received from Sandy and Mary to secure gifts from new donors at the end of 2019. The fundraising plan we have developed for 2020 is being executed by our team and we are confident we will succeed as we continue to train with two seasoned fundraising professionals.
Our fundraising goal for this year is $150,000.00.
Additional funding source
In June/July 2020 Kimberly will launch a greenhouse hydroponic farm that will provide a revenue stream for Eden Gives. The farm will operate as a for profit business. Kimberly is setting up the business to provide a percentage of the profits as a donation to the Eden Gives. The initial launch will be three greenhouses with each greenhouse providing $75,000.00 of profit annually. The revenue stream for Eden Gives will come out of the profits and will likely not be available until Q4 of 2020 but will be ongoing after that.
The strategic plan for 2020 is complete and in spreadsheets that will allow our team to manage our goals. Two things to highlight for the coming year:
Additional staff – Our fundraising plan and strategic plan allow for the hiring of two full time staff. One staff member will run the Nourish Food Relief Program, the second staff member will run operations for the organization and oversee the fundraising plan.
Food Policy – Moving into 2020 we will begin to enter the food policy space. Over the course of the last six months Kimberly has had the opportunity to be involved in conversations with local stakeholders who have encouraged the move toward being involved in policy discussions on the community, state, national and global level. We are taking their advice and stepping into that space this year.
Community engagement – We will continue to utilize our connections with pastors and community leaders to engage the community in food related discussions. These discussions are helpful as they help us decide what programs are needed to create food security in Detroit communities.
Creating a model for food security – We will continue the discussions on a local level, state level and national level regarding model creation for food security.
Expanding operations nationally – We have an opportunity to expand Nourish our flagship program as well as farming and food model programming to Los Angeles. This year we will investigate the possibilities.
Additional programming – What we know now is that nutrition classes, cooking classes and community dinners are needed and necessary to create a model for food security. There is much interest on the community level for participation in these activities. We will explore these options more during 2020 with the idea that these activities will become part of the overall food security model.
In 2019 we received $13,742.00 in donations and grants. $11,000.00 of that funding occurred Q3 and Q4 when Kimberly began working full time at Eden Gives. Three (3) grant applications have been completed for 2020 that can potentially bring in $15,000.00 in Q1 and Q2. The goal is to apply for 10 grants a year – thank you Sandy Rees for this target. We have a list of just over 20 grant possibilities for this year. It is our plan to apply for all of these with the intention of landing 10 of them.
In reference to the hiring of staff – based on what we know now it looks like a Q2 hire will be possible with a second hire in Q3. This is based on the timing of grants coming in as well as projected donor acquisition (based on advice from Sandy and Mary). The decision to hire will be made through the Board of Directors based on current money in the bank and projected arrivals of grants we have been awarded. The goal is to acquire funding that will allow us to have 2-3 months of expenses saved into the account in an ongoing way to secure that operations run smoothly.
The funding strategy for Eden Gives this year is:
Connect with 1,000 new donors. We will utilize social media ads to connect with new donors primarily and will also use strategic events locally to gain new donors.
10 grants of $5,000.00 or more.
Acquiring 10 major donors ($1,000.00 or higher in a single donation)
Revenue stream from farm (total of $5,000.00 for 2020).