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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Cheetah Conservation Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Protection of Endangered Species

Mission: CCF's mission is to be the internationally recognised centre of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people.

Results: Our progress reports are available online at http://www.cheetah.org/?nd=progress_reports

Target demographics: Everyone who must co-exist with wildlife in all cheetah-range countries (23 in Africa and Iran in the Middle East).

Geographic areas served: Africa, Iran

Programs: Research (population biology, health and reproduction, cheetah ecology, ecosystem research); Livestock Guarding Dogs program; contact with farming community; education activities; eco-tourism; international programs (Kenya, Iran, Botswana, International Cheetah Studbook); development & international fundraising; visitors to CCF; volunteer program

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

I worked with CCF since the 1980's and they started for all the right reasons but the money and fame have changed the organization for the worst. This organization does not help farmers any more- they judge us and push ideas that dont work. The head woman is not trustworthy, however she is very charismatic and people listen to her (and the foreign money pours in). Please be cautious before working with them. They say they do more than they do- Namibians know they just use their millions of US dollars to buy expensive cars and horses. They only let their friends secretly hunt on their land. They could do a lot of good for us but chooses not to . Please dont buy the hype they sell- there are other organizations that are legitimate and helpful.

Earth Endeavours Media

Donor

Rating: 5

A Foundation that integrates local knowledge and skill with global innovation and effort, to ensure a future for wild cheetahs. CCF's methods engage audiences near and far, educating and inspiring creative solutions that benefit both nature and us.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CCF has been working to save the cheetah for over 20 years now. It is a well-run organization staffed with professionals who are passionate about saving this wonderful cat. The Namibian headquarters delivers top quality vet care for the animals and leading science and research on the species. Well worth a trip to Namibia to visit and help them out.... or just visit their web site and make a donation -- it will be money well spent (www.cheetah.org).

Review from Guidestar

1 macko

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been following the CCF's activities for a long time, but longer, I have been watching videos on Dr. Marker's work with the Cheetahs. This work is necessary, and the CCF is best equipt to do it. I'd NEVER want to explain to my kids how a once majestic beast became extinct because of our complacence. I've found a tremendous source of spiritual and emotional comfort watching this group put their heads together to solve a very real problem in the ecosystem of the cheetah.

Review from Guidestar

Toni A.

Donor

Rating: 5

As with all big cats, I am very concerned with their survival. Their numbers have been declining at alarming rates. From a very young age I have loved cheetahs. I found the Cheetah Conservation Fund years ago and support them with a donation whenever I can. I plan to apply to volunteer in Namibia to work with them directly , hopefully next year. They have done amazing work for cheetahs.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Cheetah Conservation Fund addresses the big picture in the fight to save the cheetah species. They attack this goal on numerous fronts and therefore treasure the assistance of volunteers and try to utilize them to their strengths and ability. They operate with a lean staff to conserve resources, but with huge goals there is never a dull moment. As a volunteer in Namibia, I was helping with ecology studies (wildlife counts & camera trap studies), capture & release of cheetahs that were injured or caught hunting livestock, care of the captive cheetahs that cannot be released, medical work-ups on the wild & captive cheetahs, working with the livestock guard dogs & puppies that are given to farmers to protect their livestock, marketing (cheetah runs with tourists, marketing brochures), and international wildlife management course surveys to see how the class succeeded in teaching farmers from over a dozen African nations how to prevent wildlife & livestock conflict. We were also shown the Bushblok, which is a clean burning natural fuel log made of compressed chips from the invasive acacia shrub that in taking over all the overgrazed areas and injuring cheetahs. In two weeks, I was amazed by all that they do and the experience as a whole. I am fortunate that I can also sometimes help them locally with fundraisers & educational events in the US.

1 Elise W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to Namibia in August of 2009 to volunteer at Cheetah Conservation Fund as a zookeeper. I found the program on their website and was very excited about my trip. Little did I know the excitement that was to come. My first night there I got to sit next to Dr Laurie Marker for dinner. I did not even think I would get to see her there let alone have dinner with her on my first night. She is a incredibly wise woman and so passionate about saving the cheetah. The work that I did while I was there was very rewarding and increased my passion for the cheetah. I truly believe in the Cheetah Conservation Fund and the program that Dr Marker has built in Namibia. I would highly recommend taking a volunteer trip there so you can experience Cheetah Conservation Fund for yourselves. It is one trip that you will talk about for the rest of your lives. I do!!

Sandy S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been following the Cheetah Conservation Fund since it's conception. The work that has been done by Dr. Laurie Marker...and her wonderful people and volunteers and fund raisers is beyond amazing. The work that has been done to protect the species...and educate the local people as well as the people of the world about the plight of the Cheetah should be acknowledged. I am proud to know Laurie, and have great admiration for all the work these fine people are doing.

2 Anja B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My relationship with CCF began when I went to Namibia as a working volunteer. I was also there to conduct research for my undergraduate dissertation at the time, which was quite a daunting prospect. But I needn't have worried. The staff were incredibly friendly and made all of us volunteers feel very welcome, and we all worked together as a team. At a place like CCF you never really know what the day will bring. Some things stay the same - the orphaned cheetahs need feeding and exercising, there is always data to be entered and visitors come to look around and find out more about what goes on. But you never know what might happen next. On my first full day we were all called to the clinic as two adult male cheetahs had been caught and were having medicals so it was all hands on deck. And then the excitement of seeing these magnificent cats being released back into the wild. I spent much of my time working with the livestock guarding dogs, looking after a litter of puppies as they were weaned and then readied for their lives working on farms to protect livestock from predation. At this time all of the goats needed worming so all hands on deck once again as they were rounded up and medicated. I had the most incredible time at CCF and continue to be involved with the charity. The work conducted by CCF is very varied and the staff work together tirelessly to ensure everything gets done. Research continues to be conducted on cheetah ecology but the charity also looks at ways it can work with local communites, the country and abroad in other cheetah range countries. Passing on expertise and knowledge is what CCF does best, training future farmers, teaching schoolchildren about their incredible wildlife, running courses for professionals in other cheetah range countries and also improving the lives of Namibians. CCFs community-based conservation efforts have changed farmers attitudes to killing cheetahs, conservancis have been set up to protect cheetah habitat and wildlife prey species, CCF works with farmers to investigate, develop and implement livestock and wildlife management techniques, CCF participates in government forums and organizations in Namibia and around the world to help influence public policy through interaction and involvement, CCF supports sustainable, environmentally appropriate activities that assure the economic well-being of people living within the cheetah's range in the form of Bushblok, cheetah friendly beef and eco-tourism. And all of this is work is carried out with limited resources. It's such an incredible charity working towards the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems, which would not be possible without the generous help from donors. In supporting CCF you are not just helping to conserve the future for the cheetah but also you are helping change the lives and futures for all those living and working in cheetah range countries.

Amanda17

Client Served

Rating: 5

Absolutely a wonderful organization and cause! Striving to be a professional in the field as well as a hopeful volunteer with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in the near future, the dedication from those who have completed the programs is amazing. They are so willing to share their new knowledge with everyone, which allows us to spread the news to more people! The CCF keeps a completely positive outlook towards the people who live with wild cheetahs each and every day and make the time to hear their stories and concerns, instead of preaching at them. The CCF really wants those who interact with cheetahs to love them as well and work towards both the human and non-human futures together.

Donor

Rating: 5

Without the work of CCF the amazing cheetah may not stand a chance for survival.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Simply the most amazing experience I've had in my life. I first went to CCF in 2002 as a 3-month volunteer. I wanted to real African conservation experience and not just do a photo-safari through Kenya. It was more than I ever expected. I went there to work mostly on the business side of things, but was exposed to all parts of the organization: their conservation efforts, education with farmers and kids, outreach to various stakeholders, management of farms, husbandry of cheetahs, sheep, goats, dogs, horses and cattle, and random wildlife passing through, clinical work ups, you name it. I became close to the staff that worked at CCF, and went back many times over a five year period. I ran some of their programs worldwide, voluntarily, even when I wasn't there, and in particular I sent about 50 volunteers a year to help out in Namibia. Their feedback was always the same: they loved it. If you are thinking about participating in a worthwhile and well organized conservation project, consider CCF. They have been extremely successful in their projects, but of course, like any NGO, can always use more support in the form of donations and volunteers!

Leslie I.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was a former VSO volunteer placed in Namibia. I had never the opportunity to visit CCF but heard many stories about it. Coming from Asia, i know little of the history of the animals but i know that originally they were many in Asia and soon numbers decline until they were totally extinct from the continent. I worked with youth groups as a social worker in Opuwo in Namibia and most of the youth shared their wonderful stories about volunteering with CCF. A number of the youth recalled their favorite cheetah - Chewbakka. They shared that a parrot would always call on Chewbakka and he will run fast to the house of the Doctor Laurie where the parrot is located. Most of the former youth volunteers explained that they learned a lot about conservation and respect to animals. Since most of them grew up in villages with livestock as the main source of their livelihoods, wild animals are always a prey to them. The work that CCF had been doing in conservation had been very inspiring. I am now a volunteer based in Southern Africa and is planning to go to Namibia just to visit CCF. Presently i am facebook fan and had been sharing articles and pictures about CCF. Most of my FB friends became aware of cheetahs and are also planning to visit and see the animals given the opportunity.

Lynn12

Donor

Rating: 5

My family and I have been following and donating to the Cheetah Conservation Fund since 2008. We continue to be amazed at the huge impact CCF has made in preserving the cheetah species. They have made great strides educating farmers and providing them with trained Anatolian Shepard dogs that ward off straying cheetahs. These farmers used to shoot the cheetahs on sight. They also have released trapped cheetahs back into the wild. They are indeed an amazing group. Thank God for Dr. Laurie Marker and her team!

Michelle48

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Cheetah's a wonderful, beautiful creatures and groups such as Cheetah Conservation Fund does a great job at educating the public and raising funds for these beautiful big cats!

Donor

Rating: 5

I am both a donor and volunteer for CCF. I first got to know co-founder and CEO of CCF, Dr. Laurie Marker, on a safari around Namibia that she led in May 2007. I returned to Namibia in 2008 to volunteer, to contribute my scientific expertise in Genetics and to learn more about these magnificent animals. What sets CCF apart from many other animal conservation charities is Laurie's approach to the problem of imminent cheetah extinction. She strove to understand why the farmers were killing predator cheetahs and has developed a multi-pronged approach to reduce that centered on education. Her organization is an international model for similar animal conservation organizations. In addition to African farmers, CCF trains conservationist from around the world, removes thorny bush and makes logs used in European stoves, breeds Anatolian and Kangal guard dogs to keep cheetahs away from a farmer's livestock (they are donated to the farmers after the farmers are trained to make use of them), they provide a sanctuary for injured cheetahs that are treated and either reintroduced to the wild or housed in a large habitat. Their scientific research on the behavior and genetics of this animal is now allowing the reintroduction of cheetahs into the wild that previously wouldn't have been able to survive. They are also being successfully reintroduced into former habitats. This is only a partial list.. (Go to their website to learn more). I don't know why the ratings were originally low, but I'm certain now that they have achieved a 4-star rating, they won't drop below that in the future. One of Laurie's latest recognition was being named a Rainer Arnhold Fellow. These awardees are social entrepreneurs with promising solutions to the big problems in health, poverty, and conservation in developing countries. It is her entrepreneurial spirit that drew me to support her organization (I was an early employee at a successful biotech company). Once knowing her, I learned of her committment to encouraging the talent in her adopted country and continent to work towards the common goal. But it is really the impact this organization is making on worldwide animal conservation, serving as a model for how to approach this problem of animal extinction, that is makes this excellent organization stand out and be worthy of your financial support.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 4

I honestly don't understand the low rating. CCF is doing more to save the severely endangered cheetah than any other organization. They seem to care about the people in the cheetah's ecosystem as well as the cheetahs which is important to me.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 5

I'v met Dr. Marker. She works tirelessly and effectively against the extinction of the Cheetah in Africa, --not amassing a fortune as some other CEO's of NGOs. She is enirely dedicated to her work, using her teaching and negotiating skills to help the local population understand the value of environmental protection.

Review from CharityNavigator

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I know of no other conservation organization whose tireless effort does more for an endangered species than CCF. Dr. Marker and her staff scour the globe to educate the public of the cheetah's plight and invest heavily in the it's African habitat in hopes of stemming the loss of one of this planet's most gracious big cats. CCF's facilities may be modest but their deeds are invaluable and every dollar is put to good use.

Review from Guidestar

Save the Cheetah

Volunteer

Rating: 5

No organization has done more to help save the cheetah from extinction than the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). I had the privilege recently of meeting CCF's founder, Dr. Laurie Marker, and could see first hand how her tireless energy, enthusiasm and devotion has made CCF the worldwide leader in cheetah conservation.

CCF is unique in its integrated, community-based approach to cheetah conservation -- involving the Namibian farmers in their efforts -- working with them and educating them about ways in which they can live with the cheetah, thereby reducing cheetah mortality. This includes their innovative program of breeding and providing dogs to guard the farmers' livestock and educational programs for the Namibian locals on land management and the value of conserving the cheetah.

Additionally, CCF conducts long-term studies to understand and monitor the factors affecting the cheetah's survival, has initiated an innovative bush project, whereby a fuel product is harvested from the bush and marketed, restoring the cheetah's habitat at the same time.

Equally important, CCF cares for fifty or more orphaned, old or injured cheetahs that cannot be released back into the wild as they do not have the skills or physical capability to survive.

These are just a few of the very important projects that CCF has going. When I found out about the great work that they were doing, I just had to help. I set up my own fund raising website for CCF through First Giving, established an online store, the profits of which will go to CCF, and started a "Save the Cheetah" page on Facebook to raise awareness about the plight of the cheetah and to let people know about CCF's work.

Review from Guidestar