Frequently Asked Questions

About Us

Can I get financial information on your organization?

Gaining Ground maintains an online non-profit profile on Guidestar that provides detailed information on our mission, programs, management and financials.

How could I start something like Gaining Ground in my community?

Read about the Gaining Ground model of hunger relief and volunteerism in our Model Overview. We’ll tell you a bit about what we do and how we do it. We hope our story will inspire you.

Please click here to request a copy of the Model Overview PDF.

How do I contact Gaining Ground?

If you need more information before signing up to volunteer, please email your questions to Check out the Volunteer Guidelines and FAQ sections to see if your question is answered there, too.

Gaining Ground Office

Phone: 978-610-6086
Fax: 978-610-6085
Mailing Address: Gaining Ground, P.O. Box 374, Concord, MA 01742

What type of organization is Gaining Ground?

Gaining Ground is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

For more details on our operations and financial status, please see Gaining Ground’s profile on Guidestar, the world’s largest information source on not-for-profit organizations and activities.

Where is Gaining Ground?

Gaining Ground is located in Concord, Massachusetts on the farmland behind the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau, American writer and naturalist. Volunteer opportunities are available during the growing season for individuals and appropriate groups. The farm is located near public transportation in Concord Center, but is easier to get to by car.

See our Directions page for more information.

Supporting Us

Are there volunteer opportunities outside of the garden?

Office volunteers occasionally help in our office—in the Thoreau Birthplace House at 341 Virginia Road, Concord—with mailings, data entry, volunteer scheduling, publicity, and program and event planning. Every so often there are also opportunities for home-based volunteering projects that support the farm.

Email for further details.

Can our group make a donation to Gaining Ground?

Gaining Ground relies on donations from individuals and groups to support its programs. For example, schools and church groups have generously established fund drives and other efforts to raise money for Gaining Ground.

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to: Gaining Ground, P.O. Box 374, Concord, MA 01742. Thank you!

Do you accept other forms of financial support, such as stock?

Gaining Ground accepts marketable securities as a donation, enabling you to make a charitable contribution while adjusting your portfolio and never paying the capital gain on the donated appreciated securities. Please contact our office for more information.

Do you take physical donations?

Yes. Our most current wishlist can be found on our Support Us page.
If you have something specific you would like to donate, please contact our office.


How do I volunteer at Gaining Ground?

If you would like to volunteer on the farm between April and October, we suggest you review our Volunteer Guidelines and then sign up for specific sessions using our online form. Our staff will follow up with your request and confirm a date and time, generally within three business days during the growing season.

Occasionally we need help on indoor office projects such as mailings, data entry, research, technology and social media support, event organization, etc. Please email to discuss the possibilities.

How long do volunteers work?

Volunteers in the field are invited to help for two hours either in the morning or afternoon. Many volunteers choose to come several times during the growing season to see the results of their work.

How old do you need to be to volunteer?

Minimum age for unaccompanied volunteers is 15 (occasionally 14, if in high school). Children 5 and older are welcome if accompanied by parents or other adults to supervise them.

Should we bring food?

You may bring snack food and beverages. However, we expect you to carry out all trash that you bring in.

What does Gaining Ground provide?

We provide water and tools as well as tables, benches, a bathroom, and hand-washing sink. We also have a bag of assorted gloves that never seem to fit or match!

What if it rains? Is our visit cancelled?

No. The only time we are not working in the fields is during thunder and lightning.

What should we wear?

We recommend wearing temperature-appropriate clothes that can get dirty and a hat and sunblock for skin protection. If the forecast calls for rain, please bring rain jackets and shoes or boots for the mud! Further information is provided in our Volunteer Releases, Preparation and Directions document.

What’s the work in the field like?

Every day is different, but working at the farm is fun, physical work that our volunteers find rewarding and interesting. No gardening experience is needed. Further information is provided in our Volunteer Releases, Preparation and Directions document.

When is Gaining Ground open?

From April through October, we work with volunteers to accomplish a variety of farm tasks. We welcome individual and group volunteers Wednesday through Saturday, between 10am and 3:15pm.

Our office is normally open Tuesday through Friday during business hours.

Who volunteers?

We welcome groups and individuals of all abilities to volunteer in the fields. Generally, a combination of groups and individuals are helping at any given time. Group leaders are expected to support the farm staff in leadership of their groups. Further information is provided in our Volunteer Releases, Preparation and Directions document. In addition, this is the Waiver Form for Individuals and Groups.