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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Blacksmith Institute Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Health, International, International Human Rights, Pollution Abatement & Control, Public Health

Mission: Blacksmith institute is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to solving life-threatening pollution issues in the developing world.

Programs: The organization's objective is to ensure that we provide a clean and hospitable place for future generations. Our focus is on pollution-related problems in developing countries in particular. We provide strategic, technical and financial support to local champions of organizations in developing countries as they strive to solve specific pollution-related environmental issues.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Blacksmith is a very great nonprofit with a clear, well focused and necessary mission of helping and bringing attention to children and people in developing countries fight pollution to improve their healths. Coming from a developing country myself in South America (Lima, Peru), I have seen first hand the struggles of many of these poverty stricken people who are left to fend for themselves with no avail in many cases to fight pollution. In many instances, they have no alternative because the source of pollution is their only source of income. I have not seen or heard of any other nonprofit that does this kind of work, that links environmental consequences to health. I think that many people still do not consider how important the link between environmental pollution and human health is and this nonprofit does exactly that, show the links and try to bring a solution to both parties. I have volunteered at this nonprofit and I'm glad to see that their staff is very dedicated, knowledgeable and believe firmly in this cause which is something I have seen lacking in other nonprofits and companies alike. They do strive to make a difference and do not get discouraged when things get tough.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Blacksmith Institute is a great organization. It does marvelous work in tremendously challenged environmentally endangered densely populated areas in the emerging world. Leveraging the expertise of thought leaders in their field who are on their board of advisors, buy in from federal/local governments, on the ground blacksmith personnel and the leverage of monies raised in conjunction with additional funds from countries and household name ngo's. Their record of success is inspiring.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This highly effective group helps to address the sadly overlooked problem of life threatening pollution in the developing world. This is a problem on the same scale as other, far better known concerns - malaria, AIDS, and others - but receives only a fraction of the resources. It is also a problem that disproportionately effects those least in a position to help themselves - children and the poor in particular. Leveraging donor dollars with expert volunteers, development bank and national funds, and use of local labor, this group delivers an impressive return on contributions in terms of bettering lives. Further, Blacksmith solutions not only clean up existing sites, but also seek longer term solutions to the economic conditions with drove the actions causing the pollution in the first place. This is an organization I'm proud to be associated with.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Blacksmith Institute is highly effective in saving and improving the lives of impovrished people, especially children, at very low cost. Given the cost/benifit ratio, it is amazing and very unfortunate that more organizations are not involved in this type of work. Blacksmith has great success stories in numerous developing countries and are a leader in bringing the attention of governments and NGOs to this critical need.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In the developing world the legacy of contaminated and abandoned industrial sites poses serious health risks to local populations, especially children, and also threats to the environment and water sources. Once a contaminated site is abandoned nobody seems to own the property or deal with the problem and in the majority of cases neither the local authorities or national governments have the resources or the expertise to remediate the sites and dispose of the contaminated soil or waste materials in a safe and responsible manner. And yet these are the very issues that the Blacksmith Institute tackles on a global basis, sometimes working alone, but often with other international agencies and experts. Furthermore, the Blacksmith Institute also ensures that local communities are either fully involved in any "Clean Up" operation or are aware of the remediation work and how to avoid any further contamination once the project is complete.............. Brian Wilson, ILMC Program Manager

Board Member

Rating: 5

Blacksmith does extraordinary work, in a field that is severely under served. They serve the poorest, most disenfranchised people, those in industrial area poisoned without their consent. They really get it done. Kudos Blacksmith.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Blacksmith Institute is doing important, cutting edge work identifying and promoting the cleanup of dangerous environmental hazards that endanger human health. Sharing information, building networks, promoting individual projects all over the world, Blacksmith and it's head, Richard Fuller, are, step-by-step, working to make the world cleaner and safer. It is incredibly be exciting to be part (even in a small way) of an organization that I am certain will continue to grow into one of the world's leading environmental NGOs.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a founding Board Member of the Blacksmith Institute I have watched the organization grow over a decade. On two levels Blacksmith is an impressive organization. First, Blacksmith is the only organization I know that is gathering information on polluted places around the world, and setting priorities for their mitigation. Using a filter that looks at the human health impacts of the toxic wastes found at a site, Blacksmith has developed an objective filter for both identifying and cleaning up the global equivalent of SuperFund sites. But Blacksmith doesn't stop there -- they actually go out and catalyze the clean up of these sites, working on the ground with local partners, governments, and industry to do the right thing. Small, efficient, and driven, Blacksmith created this niche and is rapidly growing to fill it.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a global organization addressing the needs of children's health and environmental pollution. It is extraordinarily cost effective. And the capital committed is leveraged with NGOs into significant clean up efforts that are prioritized by the underlying research. It is a high quality significant integrity capable organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Blacksmith is a highly effective organization in finding solutions to many areas of health threatening pollution around the world using their access to leading expertise in analysis and subsequent cleaning of highly toxic environmental situations that, simply put, save lives, particularly of children whose bodies are more susceptible to its dangers. Often the world's quest to support itself economically yields dangerous by products of toxic waste which causes severe health crises that only Blacksmith seem to be able and willing to tackle.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am concerned about industrial and toxic pollution in India. Blacksmith Institute is the only NGO with both expertise in remediation and international connections that is working on this issue. I particularly like the fact that Blacksmith works at all levels: it starts with a community that is affected with, say, hexavalent chromium resulting from tannery waste, and gets them organized. It works with the state pollution control board to ensure the toxic is safely removed. It works at the national level to assist the government in having appropriate policies in place. AND, it has the ear of multilateral institutions like the World Bank that have the wherewithal to fund large-scale pollution clean up. Blacksmith Institute is a relatively small organization that punches well above its weight.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I have come to know some of the people at Blacksmith Institute over the past year as a result of working with another "helping others" organization. I have found the Blacksmith Institute team to be compassionate and totally dedicated to their effort. That is the real issue here. I have learned that Blacksmith Institute has identified a world wide problem and has developed an efficient program to remediate pollution sites that are killing children. It seems that this major issue has not reached the press as much as other health issues and therefore does not receive the attention that it deserves. It is also an issues that is typically thousands of miles away so we do not relate to it as well. Blacksmith Institute does a very good job of identifying polluted sites, and then remediating them efficiently. This is why I have chosen to support them. They are working to address a major health issue and a larger percent of my donation dollars are going directly to the effort.

Review from Guidestar

6 donald-jones

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Blacksmith Institute (BI) has a specific mission to address the world's worst polluted places. Legacy and on-going pollution, particularly in the developing world, result in death, reduced life expectancy, and an inability to work and provide support for families. As a 30-year environmental consultant, this was an area that I had always wanted to be involved with. I just did not know how. I responded to a notice in a professional society newsletter and went to NYC to meet the founder of BI, Richard Fuller. I was full of excitement after spending time with this charismatic visionary. I have helped BI ever since by being a member of the Technical Advisory Board. I have been blessed to travel to Mexico to work with the government and an NGO to remediate lead-contaminated workshops and encourage the switch to the use of lead-free glazes in the ceramics. I have also been to Senegal to assess and remediate lead-contaminated soil in a community where at least 18 infants died from lead poisoning. The source of the contamination was the improper "recycling" of used lead-acid batteries, an epidemic throughout the developing world. When I consider what I have been directly involved with in the past year, I can hardly believe it. This is one of few great NGOs that actually spend donor money on direct community-based results that save lives and provide alternatives to adverse environmental practices. I volunteer my time, donate money and provide technical expertise and support.

Review from Guidestar

9 jackcaravanos

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Blacksmith Institute since 2006 when a former student recommended they contact me for some environmental advice. As Professor of Environmental Health at Hunter College School of Public Health, I'm contact often with these requests and freely offer my professional guidance to NGOs. My specific role as "science advisor" continues and I've been asked to provide technical assistance in the area of env sampling, assessment, biological monitoring and hazard evaluation. They are always receptive to following scientific protocol and implementing all my recommendations. Volunteering with Blacksmith, I've traveled to many countries assessing toxic waste sites and truly experiencing the dreadful conditions that exists worldwide. Ultimately the visions, stories and data from visiting toxic sites are integrated into my graduate courses where students are made aware. They are shocked when they see the conditions and motivated to pursue public health.

Review from Guidestar