Heifer Project International, Inc.

Rating: 3.3 stars   33 reviews

Issues:

Location: 1 World Avenue Little Rock AR 72202 USA

Mission:

Heifer International''s mission is to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth using gifts of livestock, seeds, trees and training in sustainable agriculture community development projects to help millions of people become self-reliant. Since 1944, Heifer has helped transform the lives of more than 13 million families (70 million people) by giving them gifts of cows, goats and other livestock. Along with the animals, families receive training in animal care and conservation for environmentally sound agricultural development. There is also training in community development, gender equity, sharing and caring, strategic planning and other subjects as needed, including literacy. The process takes several years and is not declared successful until the community shows sustained improvement in nutrition, income and self-reliance. Each family that receives an animal agrees to Pass on the Gift by sharing the first-born female offspring of their animal with another family in need, so each gift of livestock starts a chain of self-reliance that spreads throughout  entire communities.


Programs:

 The Farmer Organizations Growing Hope project will support 550 families

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Community Reviews

Rating: 2 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

I have supported Heifer International for a number of years now, however I was somewhat disturbed and disappointed to get a call this past weekend from a paid solicitor trying to get me to make a donation. I don't know the finanacial details, of course, but telephone solicitation is, I bleieve, an expensive way to get donations. I do hope that Heifer Int'l abandons telephone solicitations, as I won't be giving any money that way.

Was your donation impactful?

No

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

My 7 gift cards to be sent to receipients did not include the extra specific message. One was written as if the receipient made the donation to her last name from her first name. There is no email access for answering questions. Telephone personnel was very uninformed. Had to give the complete order twice and was read back the messages and they still did not appear. I will NOT dionate again.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Heifer Foundation locates needy people in needy countries and teaches them how to raise animals AND share them with their neighbors, allowing them to earn enough to pay school fees for their kids and eat better and even, sometimes, afford medical attention. Did I forget something? And Betty's slide shows about the people who are involved in their homes makes the whole deal very real. Thank you Betty.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

My sisters and i have donated funds to this organization for several years. We use it as Christmas gifts to each other as we do not need more stuff. I had to write, email, and finally call them to get them to stop sending me solicitations for funds. It was redundant in my case for them to try to convince a donor to donate. Finally I yelled at them on the phone and the solicitations stopped. I still donate and plan on sending a little more this year as one of my sisters went to Kosovo on business and got to eat a meal with a woman and her daughter who had received a cow. As most people know a lot of men were killed in Kosovo and so the women were left to farm on their own. The lady told my sister that the cow literally saved their lives. The milk products and the hope the gift inspired.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I always recommend this charity to others. The objective is to provide a sustainable life, mainly to women and children. I have given since 2003. They produce a magazine that I read from cover to cover about conditions and solutions in various areas of the world. I am a much better educated person about the difficulties in the world due to their information. I then leave the magazine in doctor's offices or my university to pass along the information to others. Since the work is meant to be self sustaining, the impact of my contributions lasts beyond the animal given. I consider it more than a one time gift. That being considered, there is more impact per dollar than a gift of clothing or food. I will continue to donate in the future.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

After researching Heifer International, it seemed it was a reliable place to use my money to help people. I proceeded to donate money. I felt excited that rather than using money for my own material goods, I'd be helping people in an impoverished part of our planet. I donate to many charities, but this seemed to really get to needy people more directly to help themselves. I envisioned donating money and marking a map to show where my donations where used. I hoped to cover the map with my donations. I didn't want to know a specific person receiving the donation, but rather what country/region where my funds were used. I thought that was a reasonable expectation: Where was my donation used? I asked Heifer International roughly where my donation was used so that I could start marking my map, and continue to donate. What Heifer Internation stated was they couldn't tell me where my funds were used. Furthermore, they didn't even provide me any message (card/email/letter) to provide me of proof that I even had made the donation. They told me to print my own statement from the website. In fact, they seemed surprised I asked. The whole experience left me wondering if indeed they even used my donation to help people? Why couldn't they tell me where my funds were used if it is a honest organization? Just how honest is Heifer International ? Sure they show a few key places in their brochure where donations were used, but shouldn't they have to account for every dollar?

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 4 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

I have been donating to Heifer for a number of years now; it is the main charity that I donate to each year. I believe in its mission and its approach. However, the one thing that always causes me pause every year is the ratio of money donated to money that actually gets spent on the program - it is "only" about 73%. The biggest problem I see is that they spend far too much money on fundraising, mostly in the form of about 5 or 6 glossy catalogs I receive each year. I would like NOT to receive this, and just get emails instead, to save the money for the actual program. Unfortunately, there is no way to opt out of not receiving all the mailings. I consider this a problem for the charity.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Heifer International's goal is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. When I first heard about Heifer International, I read the information, saw the YouTube videos, and participated in a Heifer project at my church. I knew they sponsored projects in the US and abroad. They gave animals to families to improve nutrition and health (such as heifers that provide milk). Part of their program included training for families in animal husbandry before they received the animals. Each family that received animals was expected to "Pass the Gift," or give the first born animal to the next family in need, after training that family in animal husbandry. This all sounds very good and sounds like an organization I could and would willingly support. But I am one of those people who want to know for sure this is what the organization does. So I travelled for 21 day with Heifer International in the Philippines. I met and talked with people in communities with whom Heifer works. I listened to their stories, and I watch the respect they showed to the Heifer workers. I watched the care they gave to their animals and how they taught others to care for the animals, so they would be ready when their animals came to them. And I am here to say that "HEIFER INTERNATIONAL DOES WHAT IT PROFESSES TO DO!" I listened to parents talk about the malnourishment their children suffered before Heifer came into their lives. Parents shared with me how they were able to send their children back to school, because they sold the extra eggs, milk, etc. their family did not use. I guess one farmer truly put it in perspective for me. He said, "If I die, my children will weep. If my water buffalo dies, my children will starve." For me that was the turning point in my relationship with Heifer International. I am now a regular donor and have added Heifer International as a beneficiary in my will. I volunteer for them whenever they need me, working with schools, civic organization, and churches to introduce them to Heifer and / or assist them with their Heifer projects. In my book, HEIFER INTERNATIONAL IS THE REAL THING!

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

I think the plan they follow works well and I can't think of anything that I would change.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I would like to respond to the review written in October 2011 from the person who thinks Heifer recipients treat animals as a commodity. They don't sell the animals because they can't feed them. Before they receive an animal from Heifer, they receive training from Heifer about caring for their animals, using the bi-products of the animals (milk, manure, muscle, etc) to bring their families out of hunger and poverty and to educate their children. They have a CAHV worker (Community Animal Health Volunteer) in each community or a nearby community that is trained by help families when their animals become sick, need vaccinations, give birth, etc. They teach families that all members within the family have value and are equal. They sponsor projects for women, who, in many countries, are considered less valuable than men and are not allowed to own land or animals. As far as being a religious based group that inflicts their religious values on the projects' participants, that is not true. They would with community members who are Catholic, Presbyterian, etc., and at no time did I witness Heifer trying to convert the Filipino natives toward any specific religion. That is not the mission of Heifer. Their mission is work with communities to end hunger and poverty and doing it in a manner that cares for the earth. So, before making statements about an organization, especially one that does so much to help millions of people in the US and abroad, you might want to check your information. Having seen Heifer doing their work up close and personal in the Philippines, I know those statements to be untrue. And by the way, their pride in their animals is very apparent. The animals are cleaner than any animals I have seen on farms in NC. I have watched them wash and care for their animals with great compassion. The animals that end up in US supermarkets should be so lucky!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

I became familiar with Heifer International in 2000 when I made a donation to the organization. In 2004 I travelled with several volunteers and staff members to the Philippines to see if Heifer did what it said it did with the funds it received. I visited Heifer projects on the island of Mindanao, Cebu, Bohol, and Luzon. I stayed in project participants' homes and talked to them one on one. I can say, with all confidence, that Heifer International does exactly what it says is its goal: "To end hunger and poverty while taking care of the earth." The project participants were some of the poorest people I have ever met, but they were the first to offer us the best they had to give. One man said some thing to me as he tried to express to me the importance of Heifer in his life and the lives of his family, "If I die, my children will weep. If our water buffalo dies, my children will starve." I will never forget those words and the profound meaning they had for me. I finally understood what Heifer meant to these people and what a change Heifer had made in their lives. I became a volunteer for Heifer in 2004 and have continued my work as a volunteer, speaking at schools and organizations about Heifer international.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I became involved with Heifer Projects International in 2005 when I travelled for 21 days with Heifer in the Philippines. Being my first trip out of the US, I had no idea what to expect. What occurred for me was a life changing experience. I had the opportunity to see Heifer projects in action. I talked to the people participating in the projects and listened to them explain how Heifer had helped them to change their lives and the lives of others in their community. They explained how Heifer had provided them "a hand up, not a hand out" and had equipped them to help other members of their community by "Passing on the Gift" of animals, knowledge, and know-how. One man really put in perspective for me what Heifer meant to his family, "If I die, my children will weep. If my water buffalo dies, my children will starve."

Since that trip I have also been a volunteer for Heifer, going into schools, churches, community events, etc., and speaking about Heifer. Heifer does what it says it does, "Heifer works with communities to end hunger and poverty and protect the Earth." I know this to be true. I have seen it for myself.

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

Since my trip to the Philippines, I have also been a volunteer for Heifer, going into schools, churches, community events, etc., and speaking about Heifer. Heifer does what it says it does, "Heifer works with communities to end hunger and poverty and protect the Earth." I know this to be true. I have seen it for myself.

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

I can't think of any changes I would make in this organization.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

My trip to the Philippines with Heifer Projects International.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Your donations are used as Heifer says it uses them. You can rest assured that your money is having an impact in the US and around the world. The people who work for Heifer within the countries are native to the area and understand the problems faced by the communities and villages.They can identify with the people and the problems and are welcomed into the communities. They take a personal interest in the people and work tirelessly to help them end hunger and poverty, and do so without damaging their pride and self-esteem.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I give monthly to Heifers, and while they do have some "office" problems whenever there is a money issue, their work makes them worth my time and money.

In my opinion, it is more beneficial to work on long-term, sustainable means of subsistence so that impoverished people are give a way to earn their living, as opposed to short-term solutions. While it is very important to treat the immediate 'symptoms' of poverty, and I am not impugning those charities in any way, I like that Heifer treats the 'disease' behind the problem.

I know the President makes over $250,000 but this is hardly obscene considering she is running a huge organization at a fraction of what other CEOs would make.

In short, I am a big fan of this charity and would happily recommend it to anyone.

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

I really enjoy the reports they send about individuals they have helped who have then 'passed the gift on' to other families in need.

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

Get them a better accounting/computer system.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 2 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

I have long admired the work that Heifer does and was happy to contribute after the Haiti earthquake with funds designated for that effort. I began receiving requests for additional donations immediately. I currently receive solicitations via phone, email and US mail at least once per week. This is far too much time and resources spent on fundraising.

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

Far too much time and resources are spent on fundraising.

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

Change the fund-raising company and limit the number of solicitations directed towards donors

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Review from CharityNavigator