ACT Member Report 2008

College Park, MD (June 1, 2009)- The Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) is engaging in a comprehensive process to identify national and local successes in urban and community forestry. The idea is threefold. First, is to understand local successes and provide some measure of benchmarking for community organizers. Second, is to have a clear view of how local successes are being amplified as part of national trends and progress (to see the forest for the trees, if you will). Third, is to combine local success and national trends into a “Greenprint for the Future” of urban and community forestry, an agenda that can be pursued by both national and local organizations committed to city trees.

On a base benchmarking level, it is helpful to know what your peers look like and what kind of programs they operate. ACT members vary greatly, reflecting a diversity of missions. From serving one city to a whole state, or from an education-only organization to a strictly tree canopy oriented group, or from an all-volunteer group to a staff of over 100, there is no “typical” ACT member. However, here is a snapshot of the average ACT member:

  • Annual budget is $275,000.
  • Works in a mid-sized metropolitan area (pop. 50,000) with a 22% canopy cover.
  • Spends 60% of organizational resources to plant 4,734 trees annually.
  • Spends $275 per tree (including plant materials, staff time, and maintenance).
  • Spends 20% of resources caring for trees and 20% of resources on education.
  • Engages 5,000 volunteers annually.
  • Participates in 2 ACT-sponsored webcasts annually.
  • Most valuable partnership is local government followed by other nonprofits.
  • This information can be as difficult to come by as it is important in strategic growth. Through the open sharing of the urban forest community and the support of The Home Depot Foundation, ACT is able to provide this data. As they say, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” We hope this report has applicability to your everyday work.
    About Alliance for Community Trees
    Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) is dedicated to improving the health and livability of cities by planting and caring for trees. With 160 grassroots affiliates in 40 states and Canada, ACT engages volunteers to take action to improve the environment where 80% of people live – in urban areas. ACT member organizations have planted and cared for 14.9 million trees in cities with help from 4.3 million volunteers. For more information, visit
    About The Home Depot Foundation
    The Home Depot Foundation was created in 2002 to further the community building goals of The Home Depot. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to building affordable homes for working families that are healthy to live in and affordable to own. To make homes healthy and affordable, the Foundation encourages developers to incorporate responsible design and use durable and quality materials to ensure that homes are more energy and water efficient, have good indoor air quality, and provide a safe and healthy space to live. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted $120 million to nonprofit organizations and supported the development of more than 65,000 affordable, healthy homes. For more information, visit
    Related Resources:
    Member Report 2008
    2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study