Foundation for Sustainable Development

Rating: 4.83 stars   143 reviews

Issues: International, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: 1000 Brannan Street Suite 207 San Francisco CA 94103 USA

Mission: FSD supports the efforts of grassroots development organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America that are working to better their communities, environments, and the economic opportunities around them. We believe economic development begins with community development and is only sustainable if it comes from and is supported by the members of these communities. Also, through our programs, we aim to raise international awareness of the economic challenges in developing countries and support cross-cultural communities in finding more effective solutions to development issues.
Geographic areas served: Latin America, Africa, Asia
Programs: Capacity building in community-based development programs; training in community development for student and professional volunteers who work with our partners; grantmaking to community partners; engaged phlianthropy through giving circles
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

26 people found this review helpful

FSD is a worthwhile and much needed organization that effectively brings education and support at a grassroots level to the most deserving and underdeveloped countries around the world. Instead of providing only financial support, they take a different approach and provide a dedicated and knowledgeable workforce of hands-on professionals who travel to remote locations and donate their time and talents to work alongside local residents to educate and promote projects that will bring an improved quality of life for them in the future.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They have a fresh, unique, and more productive approach to helping the world than many other organizations. It's direct, person to person, and very "hands-on". They get real results in changing and improving lives.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

Incredible organization. They give great opportunities for college students to get started in the humanitarian and environmental field. They also accomplish many many practical projects to combat poverty and environmental degradation. They sponsored my budding humanitarian program until I was ready to go own on my own.I have been associated with them for 5 years.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Knowledgeable and competent staff. Organized and friendly and they have excellent international contacts and experience.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

The programs offered by FSD do a fantastic job of both assisting sustainable development organizations overseas and providing individuals with the ability to gain development experience while making a direct impact. FSD staff is full of excited, energetic individuals who are a pleasure to work with. My experience with FSD was a vital step in my education and I appreciate the all that it taught me.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how many people they guide into the world of development and the great support they provide through intellectual capital (interns) to their partner organizations. FSD always earns a general appreciation from those associated with them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the focus on communication with partner organizations. The impact of interns sent to host organizations could be much improved with accurate knowledge about the interests and needs of the organization.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the learning experience provided to me. Their opportunity will help me plan my career.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all very skilled, motivated, and pleasant to work with.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

implement a program to take hundreds of thousands of students overseas to expose them to the world abroad, giving them a chance to be more informed and hence contribute better to society.

Ways to make it better...

FSD had provided more guidance and structure to the initial stages of my time with my host organization.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keeping their efforts focused as they grow.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

I worked as a microfinance and livelihoods intern with an NGO in Udaipur, India through FSD. Unlike other organizations, FSD's whole approach from recruitment to placement and on-going training was extremely involved. The organization has evolved organically and its core beliefs of sustainable development keep its operations true to its cause, heavily involving the in-country nationals as partners in their work. My program in India was extremely immersive and very expansive in the range of learning and 'doing' opportunities given to me. Their standing as a well-respected NGO in the field allows the partner organizations to form meaningful work and cultural relationships for their interns.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the quality of interns/volunteers it places within NGO, and the resulting work they produce.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly diverse in professions and motivations, but bound together by a common set of ideals.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

issue more grants to volunteers, to reduce the cost of their program fees, especially for longer assignments.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-5-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

All in all this was an amazing program and provided me with an incredible experience. There were some issues with my placement but FSD handled them well and had excellent staff in country to provide assistance.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the freedom the organization provided me with. They were hands-off and allowed mt time in Africa to take it's own path. I made the decisions and was ultimately responsible for my own experience but I always knew that FSD was there if I needed help or support.

Ways to make it better...

FSD had changed my placement when it became clear that the clinic I was supposed to be doing HIV work in was going to be significantly delayed. Instead my HIV counseling skills were wasted since I spent my days vaccinating children.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

FSD works around the world with local community-based organizations to find solutions to some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. In addition to donating financial resources and human resources, FSD has specifically supported projects that include organic agriculture, sustainable water management, reforestation, biodiversity, renewable energy, as well as environmental education and advocacy in the local communities.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

increased community awareness and participation in sustainable development and environmental conservation throughout the world.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The passion and energey of the staff, volunteers, and communities.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

truly passionate, dedicated individuals, committed to making the world a better place.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

scale up and be a global leader in sustainable international development, improving the environment and communities in thousands of locations.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

FSD puts all of its energy toward making sure that its interns have a positive experience in the field, that they have the support they need to be successful, that it is receiving constant feedback on how to improve its support and placement services, and that its local partner organizations and the communities they serve are involved and invested in the process. My experience with FSD changed my perspectives on a lot of things, and I am thankful that they are around to provide this opportunity for collaboration and growth.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the appreciate of people in the community who have seen the results of proactive past interns.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

offer more extensive support to the partner organizations to help them with the stresses of supporting interns and to help mitigate the waves of financial input and external influence as interns come, stay and go again. I think interns are rather demanding on their host organizations, and there may not always be mechanisms in place to support them effectively.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the personal growth I achieved.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

understanding, supportive and motivated. The fellow volunteers were just like me - young and trying to find their way through the confusion of international community development.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand to serve more communities, provide more extensive local support to its volunteers, develop its educational materials to help interns better learn how to successfully implement projects, provide a greater base of funding for grant proposals so that more than $1000 could be requested, and help to fund the volunteers so that no one is inhibited by the cost of the program.

Ways to make it better...

the local organization I worked with better understood the problems of culture shock and how to help interns find their way around the organization.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

differences in business practices between Westerners and locals in the field that may slow down progress on a project for a short-term intern.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

23 people found this review helpful

I can't imagine a better idea... better actuated! This is how we need more organizations to be concieved and run in the future!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Assisting the helpless in the right way.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

I intern with another non-profit that works closely with FSD and I have been tremendously impressed with the efficiency and professionalism, and more importantly their wonderful mission and work.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

awesome!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

22 people found this review helpful

As an new intern for FSD I am amazed by the organization and efficiency of the non-profit. The interns are all great people with very interesting backgrounds and the FSD staff is top-notch. I've had exposure to numerous non-profits and FSD easily takes the cake for its vision and quality contribution to sustainable development, particularly in the space of promoting a more green planet.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

drastically change the face of poverty in Latin America. This organization is well run and has a great vision for the future.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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