The Giving Grove
300 E. 39th Street
Kansas City MO 64111
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 912-0594
Mission Statement
The mission of Giving Grove, Inc. (GGI) is to increase food security, strengthen communities, and improve the urban environment by bringing together the resources to develop community orchards across the nation.  Our vision is to provide a more sustainable solution to hunger, lifting families out of the need for emergency assistance and helping communities become more resilient by increasing food security.  Giving Grove's perennial community orchards supplement the conventional food supply chain with fruit that is grown, harvested, and shared directly with food-insecure neighborhoods year after year.
In addition, these orchards transform neighborhoods by building a sense of community - bringing neighbors together, providing a safe gathering space and creating a lasting community asset. The green space removes carbon from the air, enriches the soil and controls storm water runoff.
CEO/Executive Director Robert Reiman
Board Chair Mr. Kevin Birzer
Board Chair Company Affiliation CEO Tortoise Capital Advisors
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2017
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
To donate securely online, use the "Donate" tab on You can use a credit or debit card. If you prefer to send a check by mail, address the check to: Giving Grove, Inc.; 300 E. 39th Street; Kansas City, MO  64111 
To volunteer, use the "Get Involved" tab on 
To make an in-kind donation or to learn about estate planning, contact Lisa Heishman at or 913-710-5399.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
The mission of Giving Grove, Inc. (GGI) is to increase food security, strengthen communities, and improve the urban environment by bringing together the resources to develop community orchards across the nation.  Our vision is to provide a more sustainable solution to hunger, lifting families out of the need for emergency assistance and helping communities become more resilient by increasing food security.  Giving Grove's perennial community orchards supplement the conventional food supply chain with fruit that is grown, harvested, and shared directly with food-insecure neighborhoods year after year.
In addition, these orchards transform neighborhoods by building a sense of community - bringing neighbors together, providing a safe gathering space and creating a lasting community asset. The green space removes carbon from the air, enriches the soil and controls storm water runoff.
Background Statement
Giving Grove's three founders had run their church's food ministry for years but wanted to find a more sustainable solution for feeding their hungry neighbors. After a fall retreat, six committed individuals spent a year researching food insecurity in the Kansas City metro area, identifying existing hunger relief efforts and studying successful tree planting organizations across the nation. Recognizing that we shared a similar mission with Kansas city Community Gardens (KCCG) and the value of sharing resources, the Giving Grove initiated its local operation as a program of KCCG in 2012. Spring 2013 was our first planting season. As of end of spring planting, 2019, we have 175 community orchards spread across the Kansas City metropolitan area, on the grounds of schools and churches, on previously vacant city lands, and in parks. We have trained over 400 stewards and apprentices who tend the orchards. We have planted trees and shrubs whose total lifetime potential fruit production is over 18 million pounds. We have empowered people and neighborhoods. We have fed people and changed lives.
In November 2017, Giving Grove, Inc. became its own 501(c)(3) charitable organization in order to replicate this successful local program in other cities across the nation. Having refined the plant selection and the planting and maintenance techniques; having developed, implemented and refined the training curriculum; and having participated in the harvest and sharing of fruit with food insecure neighborhoods, Giving Grove, Inc. is poised to transfer its model of sustainable orcharding to other cities. Our model includes:
  • Partnering with an established gardening organization so the new local program can share equipment, leverage community contacts and tap seasoned personnel;
  • Requiring that a steward and apprentice be trained and commit to long-term management of each orchard, so the viability of each orchard is assured; and
  • Using organic methods and disease-resistant varieties suited to the region, so that fruit production is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

In 2017, Giving Grove, Inc. identified two nearby cities as potential replication sites: St. Louis, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska. In the fall, we partnered with St. Louis' Gateway Greening in planting trees in Ferguson, our first orchard planted outside the Kansas City metro area. Omaha's The Big Garden started planting in the spring of 2018.
Impact Statement
Top achievements of the last year: Giving Grove, Inc. now has three affiliate locations: our original five-year-old Giving Grove-KC (a program of Kansas City Community Gardens) and two new affiliates, Giving Grove-Omaha (a program of The Big Garden) and Giving Grove-St. Louis (a program of Gateway Greening).  Successful Pilots: Replication of our program required 1) establishing partnerships with two growing organizations in two cities, 2) training program managers in our national office and on-site in partner cities, 3) providing educational curriculum at no charge, 4) sourcing tree stock and soil amendments, and 5) developing communication and data collection systems.  Accomplishments of our Affiliates: Our flagship program and laboratory, Giving Grove KC added 19 more micro orchards in fall of 2018, and 14 orchards spring of 2019 for a total of 175.  The St Louis and Omaha affiliates trained a total of 38 stewards using Giving Grove materials and, using GGI plant stock, planted at 15 sites in St. Louis and 4 sites in Omaha in 2018.
Our goals for fiscal year 2019 (10/1/18-9/31/19) include: 1) identifying three additional cities in which to replicate the Giving Grove program based on similar growing zone, substantial urban food insecurity, and established growing organization; 2) establishing partnerships within those cities; 3) onboarding our program to those cities using our professionally packaged curriculum, horticultural and community engagement best practices and tested processes; and 5) hiring, training, and officing GGI staff to implement the expansion (Chief Operating Officer and National Horticulturist).
Needs Statement
Staffing: As the national organization replicates and scales its operations, we will need additional personnel to support both our own organizational functions (marketing, technology support, horticulture expertise and curriculum development) and the local start-up programs (training the trainer in stewardship and project management).
Communications/Public Relations: In order to successfully expand, we must design a communications strategy that markets our approach to potential partners (cities, allied organizations and funders) and delivers our program to those partner cities.
National Alliance Building:  Expansion will be facilitated by our ability to partner with organizations with related missions.  For example, in Kansas City, the local program partners with Habitat for Humanity to add fruit trees as an option for new homeowners.  Developing this relationship on a national basis would give new homeowners ready access to Giving Grove support. Likewise, establishing relationships with national suppliers can ensure the best pricing for each site's horticultural needs.
Revenue Generation:  The pace of replication will also be directly impacted by our ability to attract funders interested in having a national impact on hunger, sustainable food sources, and neighborhood stability.
Service Categories
Food, Agriculture & Nutrition NEC
Community & Neighbourhood Development
Pollution Abatement & Control
Areas of Service
Geographic Area Served Narrative Giving Grove, Inc. targets urban areas in growing zones 5 through 9 across the U.S. where the numbers of food insecure people are greatest and where an established urban agricultural organization already flourishes.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
From the onset, 'empowerment' has been a core value of Giving Grove, Inc.  To empower is to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights. Giving Grove, Inc. empowers individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities to achieve greater food security by growing, harvesting, and sharing their own fruits, berries, and nuts.
When we partnered with our first elementary school, a group of curious kindergartners gathered around me. After sharing a fresh pear with the group and not knowing exactly how to engage the 5-year-old children in planting, I asked them to sit on the grass while I shared the story of the Giving Grove. One boy, who lived nearby, politely raised his had and asked, " my mom has to pay for this at the grocery store, and you are telling me that I can walk across the street and pick some fruit...for free?" The expression on his face and the wonderment of the entire group was priceless.
This early experience demonstrates that, while we are focused on providing free healthy food to communities of concern that often go without, food security is only where the wonder begins. Neighbors meet neighbors for the first time at a harvest celebration. Weddings and community events begin to take place among the blossoming or fruit-filled orchard. Children on their way to school stop by for a snack. No supply chain in required to support this food system. No heavy chemicals required. Located most commonly in neighborhoods where refrigerators frequently go without, it works because the individuals committed to supporting their community orchard care about their community. We call these volunteers orchard stewards and apprentices.
As our vision unfolds and begins to take root in many cities across the nation, I remain optimistic that food security for our entire country can one day be achieved.  The key to success is empowering families to grow their own sustainable healthy food, while building strength and resilience among neighborhoods.           Rob Reiman, CEO

The Giving Grove program is designed to be implemented through already-established growing organizations in food insecure urban areas. The GGI program provides the selected pilot cities with:

  • Proven processes for procuring, storing, planting, and maintaining tree stock;
  • Tested community engagement strategies for recruiting stewards, bringing neighbors into the orchards, and ensuring long-term neighborhood involvement;
  • Necessary curriculum for training stewards in holistic growing practices;
  • Needed resources, from tree stock and enrichments to seed money and local development assistance;
  • Evaluation tools for measuring produce amounts, community influence, and environmental outcomes;
  • Channels of communication with GGI and between pilot cities;
  • Marketing materials for use in recruiting neighborhoods in to the program; and
  • Ongoing mentoring and support via site visits, training conferences, sharing between pilot cities and program updates.


Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Hunger Action
Population Served At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
The empowerment of our partnering cities will be evidenced by:
  • Dedicating full time staff to the Giving Grove program;
  • Staff attendance at GGI trainings, workshops and conferences;
  • Meeting the mutually-set goals for number of orchards planted;
  • Providing steward/apprentice trainings to volunteers using GGI curriculum;
  • Using GGI materials to promote the program in the community;
  • Communicating regularly with GGI staff; and
  • Supplying data as requested by GGI.
Long-Term Success

Food insecure neighborhoods in cities with a Giving Grove program will move toward greater long-term food security. Giving Grove, Inc. will establish the Giving Grove program in 17 cities across the nation. This investment of resources will allow us to impact nearly 15% of the nation’s food insecure by creating sustainable local food systems in their own neighborhoods.

Program Success Monitored By

Giving Grove, Inc. will develop and use a CRM system using Salesforce to help partner cities track anticipated and/or actual yields per orchard, workshop attendance by stewards and apprentices, and how communities are using their harvests. GGI will use site visits, pre- and post-workshop knowledge surveys, and annual steward surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of the education program. GGI will also select and work with a third-party evaluator to measure improvements in food security in Giving Grove cities and communities, particularly among minority and low-income populations experiencing health disparities due to food insecurity.

Examples of Program Success

In 2017-2018, GGI successfully piloted its Sustainable Orchard Education program in two additional cities, St. Louis and Omaha. Giving Grove-KC remains our founding affiliate, flagship, and laboratory boasting over 163 orchards with more than 2700 trees whose projected yearly production is over 660,000 lbs. Onboarding two new affiliates demonstrates our capacity to successfully disseminate our program to other organizations.  Together, these new affiliates have added 19 orchards, nearly 200 trees, and a projected yearly production of 42,000 lbs. In St. Louis, an orchard planted on land made barren by anti-Semitic threats, transforms hate to love. In Omaha, an orchard at a local elementary school encapsulates the wonder of children eating food they have grown. We have used the experiences and feedback of our affiliates to strengthen our processes, refine our materials, and improve our mentoring system.

CEO Comments

Emergency food providers are more advanced than ever – with sophisticated warehousing and supply chain systems, strong community and volunteer support, they distribute more and more food each year.  The largest feeding organization in America touts a jaw-dropping 4.3 billion meals in one year.  Yet, I frequently hear from pantry leaders that their charitable food has transitioned from emergency food assistance to an ‘institutionalized’ safety net.

There is tremendous opportunity to transform emergency food assistance to engaging communities in creating systemic change. Giving Grove, Inc. offers a sustainable long-term solution that equips and inspires neighborhoods to learn how to develop their own alternative, nutritious food system. But we are also a grower of community, curiosity and connection to nature. This is urban agriculture at its best. An engaged neighborhood approach does not rely on the desire to help ‘others’ but on the intrinsic desire to help each ‘other’ by living in a neighborhood where mutual support re-frames how people engage with each other. As people get to know and rely on each other, a true community support system develops.

The economy is strong.  But we know there will be hard times ahead (there always are). By empowering communities to grow, harvest and share their own fruits, berries and nuts – they create systems that can endure the tough times ahead.    If you are of kindred spirit, and share in our interest in creating grassroots, community powered change in America – celebrate with us by joining or supporting our movement.     Rob Reiman, CEO
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Robert Reiman
Term Start Oct 2017
Experience Rob Reiman has led the Giving Grove from an idea conceived by three founding board members volunteering for a local hunger relief ministry to an award winning local program to a national initiative.  Previously, Mr. Reiman retired from Deloitte consulting after 27 years of providing management consulting services to multi-national companies and public sector agencies at the state and local levels. As Executive Director for the Kansas City program, Rob supervised program development to create a unique model for sustainable food production and developed partnerships to establish 163 Giving Grove orchards in the Kansas City area. He is now leading the effort to replicate the program nationally. Rob holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial Administrative Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Iowa State University.
Paid Full-Time Staff 1
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Paid Contractors 2
Volunteers 1
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
Caucasian 3
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 2
Male 1
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaboration is in our organization's DNA. Our initial decision to become a program of Kansas City Community Gardens instead of forming a separate organization was foundational. We were able to jump start our activities by sharing facilities, equipment, networks, and staff expertise. That collaboration with a well-established growing organization became a key component of our national expansion plans. In St. Louis, we are partnering with Gateway Greening, a 34 year old gardening organization with sufficient staff and resources to comfortably add an exciting new orcharding program.  Our partner in Omaha, The Big Garden, serves a three state region and also has the sophistication needed to successfully expand its programming. In addition, every orchard is a collaboration between the Giving Grove staff and the neighborhood. In every sense of the word, the neighborhood owns the orchard---from physically owning the land where the orchard is located to making the critical decisions about produce distribution. We are their partners in planning, planting, tending, and harvesting the food from their orchard. Collaboration is truly the heart of our business model!
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Kevin Birzer
Company Affiliation CEO Tortoise Capital Advisors
Term Oct 2018 to Oct 2019
Board Members
Kevin Birzer CEOTortoise Capital Advisors
Gordon Braun Managing DirectorProviviti, Inc.
Greg Finkle PrincipalFinkle + Williams Architecture
Jill QuigleyCommunity Volunteer
Ben Sharda Executive DirectorKansas City Community Gardens
Oscar Tshibanda Managing PartnerTshibanda & Associates LLC
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 1
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 92%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 67%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End Sept 30, 2019
Projected Revenue $1,370,000
Projected Expenses $1,370,000
Form 990s
Audit Documents
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 9/30/18: Financial data reported using organization's audited financials.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$75,733----
Administration Expense$2,987----
Fundraising Expense$9,155----
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.38----
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$34,037----
Current Assets$34,037----
Long-Term Liabilities$387----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$33,650----
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets1%----
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Other Documents
Organization Name The Giving Grove
Address 300 E. 39th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Primary Phone (816) 912-0594
CEO/Executive Director Robert Reiman
Board Chair Mr. Kevin Birzer
Board Chair Company Affiliation CEO Tortoise Capital Advisors
Year of Incorporation 2017