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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Nonprofit Management

Mission: he dZi Foundation works in partnership with remote communities in Nepal to create lasting improvements in their quality of life. We accomplish this through implementing community-driven programs that improve public facilities, public health, income levels and educational opportunities while preserving community unity, the natural environment, and indigenous culture.

Results: The sum of our impact is greater than the parts. The projects we implement range from the formation and training of Parent Teacher Associations at local schools, to medicinal plant farming, construction of thousands of toilets. All of our projects are innovative and exhibit extremely high levels of local contribution. By addressing the complex needs of communities, all of our projects compliment one another as part of a system of change that leads to an increase in unnati – or overall well-being.

Target demographics: to create lasting improvements in the quality of life.

Direct beneficiaries per year: build 3 drinking water systems, one school, two irrigation systems, 1061 toilets, 55 farmer's group with 1161 farmers and 26 students through scholarship.

Geographic areas served: partnership with remote communities in Nepal


Revitalize A Village (RAV)encompasses the majority of our work in Nepal. Based on an innovative model ofrural development — a model that excels in areas where no other governmental orinternational organizations have worked before — RAV encourages poor communitiesto discover their own abilities and skills to create permanent change forbetter educational opportunities and facilities, basic health and hygiene, andincome generation.  

All projects are communityassessed, determined, and implemented — this insures high levels of localcontribution (occasionally exceeding eighty percent of total project costs) andlocal investment in long-term maintenance. 

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I have been a donor to dZi for almost 20 years - I continue to be impressed by their dynamic and worthwhile deep development strategy. They are all about helping the Nepali people to help themselves!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Several friends started the dZi Foundation. As I learned more I realized that this was a very special NGO. Its development model relies on community involvement and absolute transparency and accountability at all stages. IT is not just providing water and sanitation and building schools and improving agriculture, it is growing the capacity of poor villages in Nepal to identify and solve their own problems. It is the only truly sustainable development model I have ever seen.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I was initially drawn to dZi Foundation because of their work in a part of the world that I deeply love and want to preserve. As I have gotten closer to the work and values of the organization I have come to respect and learn from their approach in the villages that they serve in Nepal. They have attracted a dedicated team and are building a world wide community to support their impactful efforts. I work in the area of corporate culture and there is so much for companies to learn from the model of high involvement, accountability and commitment. dZi is settling the example of how development should be done. dZi's thoughtful and progressive model is providing best practices for world wide relief programs. We can all learn something from dZi. I am proud to be associated with this amazing organization.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I met Jim Nowak and the dZi Foundation on my first day at Marmot Mountain LLC. almost 18 years ago. From that point on I built a Marmot corporate giving program around dZi as well as a personal giving program to dZi. I traveled to Nepal and India in 2008 with dZi in order to see and participate in the project work including nutrition clinics, eye care clinics, and school-building. I was exceptionally impressed with dZi's ability to work seamlessly with local people as well as put almost all funding into project work. The staff at dZi works very efficiently and spends little on themselves in order to put the bulk of funding into the projects that support the people of Nepal (and previously India as well). dZi has an extraordinary business model that supports the local people establishing their own needs and priorities, and also has the local people putting their resources and time into projects with dZi supporting them with seed funding and knowledge. This results in sustainable advances for the people of Nepal because they have "skin in the game" from Day 1.
A couple of years ago I joined the dZi Foundation's Board of Directors in order to further support the cause, and I have been tremendously impressed and inspired by the board's constant efforts to support the people of Nepal in every way possible. Aside from supporting Nepali daily life with agricultural, water and sanitation projects, dZi quickly and efficiently supported people in the project areas of eastern Nepal immediately following the Nepal 2015 earthquakes, providing temporary shelters as well as permanent school buildings. dZi is perfectly positioned to efficiently work with locals and the Nepal government in order to handle virtually any needs in their project areas. From my perspective, dZi is one of the most exceptional non-profit organizations in the world.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I decided to join Dzi Foundation for two simple reasons: its very effective execution of where every dollar goes (for example building an earthquake resistant schools for less around $25,000 is very impressive, especially when almost all the materials have to be carried by men) and second, how the deep development program involves the local partners to create self-sustaining projects (very often the local partners provide the labor so they not only have a "skin in the game" but also, they can continue to maintain the project).