Executive DirectorPCC Farmland Trust
As Executive Director of PCC Farmland Trust, Kathryn Gardow led the nation’s only organic farmland land trust through the non-profit’s huge growth period. PCC Natural Markets, itself the largest grocery cooperative in the United States, started the Farmland Trust in 1999 when one of the Markets’ key suppliers’ farmground was destined for conversion to residential development.
During Kathryn’s four-year tenure as Executive Director, PCC Farmland Trust’s annual fundraising tripled to $1 million. Kathryn succeeded in tripling fundraising from 2006 through 2010– during one of the worst economic crises in modern times. Philanthropists, family and community foundations, small-scale donors, and businesses comprised the 1,500 new contributors to the Trust. Having doubled the number of donors, the Trust’s 3,000 contributors ranged from $25 to $100,000 per year.
She guided the process to expand and deepen capacity of the Board. Growing from five to nine directors, new representation included a major technology company executive, a real estate development attorney, a James Beard award-winning restaurateur, and a marketing and sales representative from a second generation Washington winery.
Kathryn grew the organization from a one- to six-person office. She expanded its capacity with numerous operational and administrative initiatives. That included data management projects and introducing Salesforce, as well as launching an internship program and employing AmeriCorps participants. She also successfully navigated the migration of all the organization’s banking accounts and relationships from a large, yet failing, Seattle-based financial institution.
Kathryn strategically broadened the Trust’s visibility and supporter interactions, including creating a new platform for farm tours. With a fee-based model, invited donors visited a Trust-conserved farm to learn about the challenges and joys of farming. In a work-based model, donors donned work gloves to plant hedgerows, construct high tunnels, and remove debris after flood events. Kathryn also led the creation of the Local Chef for Local Farms event, an educational and fundraising dinner featuring celebrity chef-prepared meal from local farms to support new farmland conservation.