Intended Date of Award


Degree Name

Master in Nonprofit Management (MNM)


Kim McKeage, PhD, Hamline University

Committee Member

Ann DeLaVergne

Second Committee Member

Robert L. Routhieaux, PhD


Growing food has become an increasingly common activity for nonprofit organizations, and doing so offers many opportunities to confer benefits to individuals and communities. Through a qualitative methodology, this research project uses a grounded theory approach to explore the challenges, opportunities, and issues faced by nonprofits in the Twin Cities that conduct food-growing activities as part of their mission. The study found three main categories of themes relevant to this sub-sector: Food Philosophy and mission prioritization, business model and economic concerns, and integrated program design characteristics. These factors are discussed from a nonprofit management lens, and implications for leaders are explored. Finally, an analytical/descriptive model is proposed to describe relationships between these factors and as a potential framing tool for organizational leaders.