Nature Nurtures Farm’s Social Contract
and Values Statement
Welcome to the Nature Nurtures Farm community. We hope the following will help you to understand our core values and the guidelines we follow to uphold those values. We ask that all members of the community read and understand this document, and work within its guidelines. We also ask members of this community take ownership of its culture and bring any concerns that NNF is not living up to these values to the NNF team. We strive to be continually improving, and we depend on our constituents to help keep us on track.
As an organization, Nature Nurtures Farm will always advocate for those who are in the greatest need, we will always make space for and encourage participation from individuals who represent marginalized cultures and communities, and we will always strive for positive and transparent communication. These are the bedrock values that all our programs are built upon.
The following is an extension of the three pillars of our mission: Empathy, Responsibility, and Hope. Under each of the pillars are the guidelines we have developed from them.
We are compassionate:
In our dealings with each other, we offer kindness, always endeavoring to move from our hearts. We ask questions so that we understand where the other is coming from and what their needs are. We use compassionate language, we give grace, and we assume the best of each other.
We are inclusive:
At the heart of our organization is love: to our participants, each other, and to our partners, stakeholders and community. We welcome difference, both of opinion and of culture. We examine our bias and limitations of understanding and strive to make changes whenever we identify a place we can improve- both as individuals and as an organization. We ask, “How can we be more welcoming to each other?”
We listen to our intuition, to our hearts. But first we learn as much as we can about the decision that needs to be made, consult stakeholders, etc. We listen to each other. The quietest voice, the unspoken opinion, is given space.
We take care of each other:
Work-life balance for all our people is important to us. Paying people properly and for the long term is important to us. Overwork is an occasional necessity but in the long term is symptomatic of the problems the world is facing and not part of the path to solving those problems.
We tell the truth:
Sometimes it’s hard, but we value honesty and we commit to clear and straightforward communication. We set and respect boundaries, both to meet the need the boundary serves, and to model that setting boundaries is a normal and healthy way to engage with people. We are vulnerable when we need to clearly express ourselves or our needs; and we are able to be vulnerable because we feel safe within our community.
We believe everyone brings something of value to the table. We work in partnership with other community organizations and believe in working together toward shared goals. We believe strongly in learning across differences and we encourage all people to get involved with our programs. We know that it sometimes feels easier to work alone, but we believe that we do better work, reach more people, and have deeper impact if we involve many individuals and organizations in this work.
We commit to people:
We see value in commitment. When we take in an animal from a neglectful situation it is always with a commitment to provide that animal a home for life. When we accept a student or participant into a program it is always with the intent of sticking with that individual, through the easy times and the rough. We recognize that not everyone starts from the same place and to provide equitable opportunities we must meet each individual where they are. This sometimes requires a deep level of understanding and compassion from other community members. We ask that of you, knowing that it isn’t always easy, but believing that a community where we work together to resolve challenges and support people who are struggling, instead of kicking people out of our group, is the kind of community we want to create.
We are hard workers:
We open ourselves to greatness – great work, great positive change, great achievements in our organization and communities – knowing at the same time that the path to greatness lies in the tiniest of continual improvements and with perseverance.
We are fun:
We also recognize that sometimes it’s not time for fun. But that’s rare. Usually it’s possible to have fun while getting stuff done. We remember we are human beings first. We celebrate whenever we can!
We are changing:
This requires us to evolve ourselves, not just our programs and services. Our systems, our company, the board, all must evolve as the world we are serving evolves. We follow natural principals of growth – we grow in the way that nature grows. We are a living system, and what worked in the past may not work in the future. Systems, processes, procedures and policies need to follow the natural growth and needs of the organization and its ecosystem of participants, partners, team, board, other stakeholders, and the planet.
We are meaningful:
At its root, our work is helping to create fundamental changes in the world – deep, powerful, lasting change. This means we also need to change and evolve, to stay connected to that meaning in everything we do.
We are empowering:
Our goal is to empower all children. We empower each other as well. We challenge and empower our team to take increasing and appropriate responsibility.
We keep trying:
Sometimes we’re scared. That’s okay. Failure happens. We pick ourselves up, learn as much as we can, and reinvent. We persevere. We recognize that failure is an inherent part of learning, and that as a learning organization we must fail at times, but we don’t quit.