We were founded as a 501c3 in 2003 under the name Kitchen Gardeners International with a focus on home vegetable gardens. Over time, our emphasis gradually shifted from helping home gardeners to offering financial and technical support to a wide variety of public food garden projects. These include community gardens, school gardens, food bank gardens, homeless shelter gardens and senior gardens, to name just a few.
Some of our most notable achievements during our first 10 years included building an online community of 20,000 gardeners from over 100 countries, winning several high-profile online advocacy campaigns to protect front yard vegetable gardens from bureaucratic overreach, giving a popular TEDx talk on the importance of vegetable gardening in our changing times and, most notably, leading the successful online “Eat the View” campaign urging the Obamas to plant a new vegetable garden at the White House.
From 2012-2015, we ran a traditional mini-grants program called Sow It Forward which offered 440 grants. We received over 3000 funding requests during that period from all 50 states and 30 countries. Frustrated at not being able to help more groups, we went back to the drawing board in early 2015 to develop a more innovative and effective funding model that would allow food garden projects to help themselves. At the end of 2015, we piloted the model which involved using challenge grants to leverage donations from individuals. Encouraged by the results of this pilot, we decided to make the funding of public food gardens our focus and renamed ourselves SeedMoney to reflect this new orientation.
SeedMoney helps healthy and environmentally-friendly public food gardens across the US and around the world to start up and thrive. We work with a variety of local partners including school gardens, community gardens, food bank gardens, community farms, as well as other nonprofits. We offer our partners training in online outreach, access to custom-built user-friendly online crowdfunding technology, cutting-edge garden planning software and grants ranging from $100 to $5000. In doing so, we enable communities and projects in need to become more self-reliant in terms of their food and their funding.
We have two main programs:
The SeedMoney Challenge: Open to all food garden projects located anywhere in the world, the Challenge is a group crowdfunding campaign that runs each year from November 15 to December 15. Participating projects use our free crowdfunding platform and support services to raise funds from within their community and qualify for challenge grants from us ranging from $100 to $1000.
Spring Planting Grants: Thanks to the generous support of Arnold, Brownberry and Oroweat Organic in partnership with 1% for the Planet, we offer $5000 grants to community gardens that they can use for projects or operating costs. Over the past three years, we have offered 48 of these grants and expect to offer more in 2023. Applications are normally due in February. We will provide information about future grant opportunities via our email list and social media accounts.
Our work is funded through donations from individuals, family foundations and corporate sponsors.