SeedMoney Highlights: 2003-2023
20 Years = No Small 🥔🥔! SeedMoney has advocated for and supported food gardens across the US and globally for the past two decades. Thanks to the hard work and support of thousands of volunteers and donors, we’ve helped 2500 garden projects in all 50 US states and 68 countries and reached millions of people via social media and press coverage of our work. You can see highlights of our 20-year journey below.
To mark this important milestone, we’re looking back on what we’ve accomplished and ahead to all of the food garden projects we’d like to support in the future. Please consider sharing a story from your garden or a donation.
Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI) is founded in Maine by Roger Doiron as a 501c3 nonprofit to promote the benefits of home gardening. Among KGI’s first acts is to declare the last Sunday of August as “World Kitchen Garden Day” as a healthy response to “Snack Food Month” organized by the International Snack Food Association each February.
KGI’s website and email newsletter build an online readership of several thousand gardeners.
Roger is chosen for a 2-year fellowship from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to focus on a mass communications project of his choosing related healthy and sustainably-grown foods. Roger uses his fellowship to start and lead the online “Eat the View” advocacy campaign to replant a kitchen garden at the White House. The campaign receives coverage in over 500 newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and Wall Street Journal. The campaign attracts the support of celebrity chefs, food activists, garden writers and over 110,000 citizens who sign a petition calling on the next president to replant the First Garden which Michelle Obama does to great fanfare in March 2009. Roger secures a private tour of the White House Kitchen Garden in 2010 for W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellows given by the Obamas’ private chef, Sam Kass. Roger brings a copy of the White House Garden petition (printed on organic paper with soy-based ink) and asks that it be ceremonially tossed onto the White House compost pile so that the 110,000 signatories could symbolically become part of the garden they helped plant. It’s unclear if that ever happened!
KGI runs other successful high-profile, high-impact online advocacy campaigns to fight for the right for homeowners to grow food gardens on their front lawns. These campaigns also attract national (New York Times) and international (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Daily Mail, AFP, etc.) media attention.
Roger’s TEDx talk filmed in Portland, ME on the power of vegetable gardens and gardeners to make the world a better place goes viral-ish (for a garden video!) and is promoted to the TED.com website where it is translated into 14 languages and is viewed 500,000 times.
KGI launches the “Sow it Forward” mini-grants program for public food gardens. Over three years, it awards 440 grants to projects across the country. Grant packs include checks of $300 to $500, free seeds and gift cards to Gardener’s Supply Company.
KGI launches a pilot project called the SeedMoney Challenge, an innovative group “crowdgranting campaign” where participating garden projects raise funds through crowdfunding and compete for challenge grants. $198,824 is awarded to 390 garden projects. KGI changes its name to SeedMoney in 2016 to shift its focus to helping public food gardens access the resources they need to thrive. $243,917 in funding is awarded to garden projects in the 2nd SeedMoney Challenge
Inspired by the popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge, SeedMoney launches the “Carrotoke Campaign” urging people to post videos of themselves singing karaoke into carrots. Many songs are sung, laughs are had and carrot mics are eaten!
With the Covid-19 pandemic underway and leading to national and global food shortages, SeedMoney is able to expand its programming thanks to a partnership with 1% for the Planet and Arnold, Brownberry and Oroweat Organic (ABO) to fund community gardens and food bank gardens across the US. $262,255 in total is awarded to garden projects through this new program and the annual SeedMoney Challenge.
In partnership with environmental activist and influencer, Alex Haraus, we ran a “Dollar Gardens” awareness and fundraising campaign on TikTok that engaged over 1,000 people to donate $1 for community gardens. Through that effort, the continuation of the 1% for the Planet collaboration and our annual SeedMoney Challenge, SeedMoney awards $420,820 in funds to food garden projects.
SeedMoney adopts a new logo and awards $530,895 to over 370 garden projects, its most ever for one year.
SeedMoney celebrates its 20th anniversary and the awarding of over $2.5 million in funding to over 2500 food garden projects in 50 US states and 68 countries.