Digging into Fall Fundraising

In the quiet snow-covered months of winter, Doug and Hannah look back on the growing season to take stock of the year. They seek to understand not just which plants flourished and which vegetables produced our highest yields, but also to identify and explore the challenges of the season.

In order to improve the future, we must understand the past.

Our farmers gather multitudes of qualitative and quantitative data throughout the season, from soil treatment reports and pest counts to pounds of crops harvested per week. We can dig into specific data about which plants were planted when and where. I am fairly confident that if asked, Doug or Hannah could report which volunteer group planted which row on any particular day.

Our development team takes a similar approach year upon year. We work hard to let our donors understand the importance of their support and the tremendous impact of their gift.   

In 2019, our 25th season, we published a beautiful photo-filled book detailing our history. Gaining Ground—The Story of a Community Growing Food and Giving It All Away, written by Patricia Brady. This touching and beautifully crafted publication was guided by Joe Rigali, Board Member Emeritus, and Board Member Jess Huddy designed and managed the book’s production. As we had hoped, the history inspired and reminded new and long-time donors of their meaningful connections to Gaining Ground.

In celebration of our 25 years, four donors, including the Trefler Foundation, initiated a donor-match program for our fall appeal. Every dollar donated to Gaining Ground this fall was matched up to $50,000.

We are very happy to report that our efforts reaped results. Inclusive of matching funds, our fall appeal raised a total of $130,000, exceeding our goal of $125,000. Many donors generously increased their support, giving more this year than last, and many members of our community embraced our powerful mission and reengaged with a gift.   

We are extremely grateful to our donors, volunteers, granting organizations, and to everyone who supports our efforts here at the farm. We look forward to spring and the start of our 26th growing season.