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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Economic Development, Environment, International, International Economic Development, Microfinance, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: SustainUS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of young people advancing sustainable development and youth empowerment in the United States. Through proactive education and advocacy at the policy-making level and at the grassroots, we are building a future in which all people recognize the inherent equality and interdependence of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. We strive to reflect our values through the diversity of members and projects, our ongoing commitment to educating ourselves and others, and the way we live our lives.

Target demographics: youth 13-26

Geographic areas served: United States of America

Programs: Sustainus agents of changes delegates attended the united nations cop19 conference in warsaw, poland to bring youth voices to the international climate negotiations. Our total donations for this event were $3,396. We provided stipends to youth attending retreats and planning sessions in preparation for the conference.

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

To me SustainUS is synonymous with two important qualities. First, giving youth an unprecedented voice at International forums. Second, providing a nurturing support system to explore opportunities in sustainable development and the environment.

My first brush with SustainUS was as a delegate to United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in 2007. Coming from a staunch engineering background, I was a little apprehensive venturing into the policy arena. However, SustainUS worked with me and before long I was at ease. I loved this experience so much that ever since I have been actively involved with SustainUS and the organization has lived up to its potential and beyond. SustainUS is a fantastic motivated group of people who are a pleasure to work with.

I would highly recommend SustainUS to any individual passionate about environmental issues and who is eager to make a contribution not just locally or nationally but globally.

Board Member

Rating: 4

Sustain US is run entirely by volunteer members, and brings together a unique group of committed young people to work on some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Board Member

Rating: 5

SustainUS is a great organization that does inspiring work for youth in the USA, and beyond. I have been involved with SustainUS since 2004 and have found that everyone involved in the organization is passionate about ensuring a more sustainable future.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Working with SustainUS is inspiring. I have advised and supported the organization since its early beginnings and watched it grow to become a successful voice for youth in many United Nations processes. SustainUS attracts people that are truly out to improve the state of the world - and the organization provides them with an opportunity to connect with others and advance sustainability.

Board Member

Rating: 4

The amount and quality of the work that SustainUS produces is quite high, particularly since it is largely a volunteer led organization. I've had the opportunity to talk with previously engaged individuals and they uniformly provide clear examples of how their engagement with SustainUS helped clarify or enhance future professional goals. SustainUS's efforts have also been helpful with give capacity to groups around the globe.
One area where SustainUS is working on, and needs further institutionalization, is capturing what it acheives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It's not an overstatement to say that being involved with SustainUS changed my life. As a SustainUS delegate to the Commission on Sustainable Development in 2005, a world of smart, motivated, amazing young people doing world-changing work was opened to me that I had never really seen before. I went on to serve as a delegation leader for another CSD conference, as the program coordinator for the Agents of Change program, and then as the president (or 'steering wheel') of the organization.

To this day I have yet to see an organization that does so much with so few financial resources. SustainUS is a shining example of a new kind of organization, one that uses technology to bring together people who are passionate about sustainability not just to sign a petition but to operate programs that have a real impact. I love the fact that SustainUS is run by volunteers and by people who are actually youth (26 and younger).

SustainUS isn't run by experts, doesn't have the biggest budget, and isn't the biggest youth-oriented sustainability organization, but its emphasis on 'learning-by-doing' and focus on allowing young people real access to policy processes means that the organization offers incredible opportunities to its members. I know I personally was very empowered and inspired by my experience as a part of the organization. It's also worth noting that SustainUS not only benefits those who are a part of the organization, but also fills a vital role and makes a real impact on advancing sustainability, particularly in regard to the various United Nations policy venues. All in all, an amazing organization.

Review from Guidestar

Michael G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a youth volunteer in 2004, SustainUS provided a phenomenal leadership opportunity, direct access to political processes important to me, and the best support group personally and professionally I have ever had.

Now I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors, and I'm always amazed at the generations of talent and leadership that continue to find the organization just as empowering.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

SustainUS is one of those organizations that is so grassroots and real and necessary that it grew organically without any top-down control. In 2001 I saw the collective voice of US youth come together and, seeing that they were unrepresented in the bickering over sustainability and the future of humankind, and that it was THEIR future that all the bickering was about, they decided to do something about it. And they used the internet to make it happen, forming formal and informal networks responsive to the needs of the times until it grew into what it is today: an incredible nonprofit organization that provides youth with a formal voice, access, and representation at international meetings and affairs related to sustainability, while also providing youth with experience and training in advocacy and organizing. It is a wonderful nonprofit to support!

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

SustainUS gives youth a voice for their future like no other organization. I have been a member of SustainUS since 2002 and a leader in the organization since 2007. I am proud to now serve on SustainUS's Board of Director. SustainUS empowers young people to advance sustainable development in a nonpartisan and inclusive process that brings in young scientists, policy makers, social and environmental justice advocates, business students, and youth from other countries working or studying in the U.S.A. It's role in helping to build youth power, especially at international negotiations, is impressive.