SustainUS, Inc.

Rating: 4.8 stars   45 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Environment, International, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: P.O. Box #4 Quincy MA 02170 USA

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
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

My experience with SustainUS over the last 3 years has reinforced my interest in environmental law and policy. Consequentially, I am now pursuing a legal education.

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

enroll more scientists and engineers.

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Rating: 4 stars  

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.

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

Sustain US has given young people a platform from which to engage with international environmental issues, and played a unique role in helping raise awareness of pressing global challenges.

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

give it more resources with which to scale up its efforts.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

As a member of SustainUS I gained a true sense of the international negotiation process which helped me garner both new career opportunities and professional skills. I

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

give them more money to do more great work!

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Seeing their work firsthand at the Commission for Social Development.

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

...find ways to help it expand and grow exponentially!

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Rating: 4 stars  

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.

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

the capacity as a Board member, but the reports back for committees and conversation with alumni have been very impressive and encouraging.

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

want there to be better capacity to collect, store, and disseminate the work that SustainUS does, for others to learn about this organization and its benefits.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

many ways! See above.

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

Give it the funds to host an expenses-paid conference for its current and past members to learn from each other.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Currently serve on the Board of Directors.

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

Expanded resources and budget - they do a lot with very few resources.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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

Networking national and international youth to articulate compelling policy platforms that thoughtfully consider the needs of present and future generations.

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

provide a large endowment to ensure that the low income youth delegates have the same means to attend international meetings as the self-funded delegates

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Seeing them help to lead the creation of the youth constituency (www.youthclimate.org) at the UN climate negotiations, among many other examples.

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

Convince more funders of the opportunity they are missing by not supporting SustainUS's work.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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