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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

EcoLogic Development Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Environment, International, International Economic Development, Microfinance, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: EcoLogic empowers rural and indigenous peoples to restore and protect tropical ecosystems in Central America and Mexico.

Geographic areas served: Mexico and Central America

Programs: Rural communities lead in the creation of a sustainable world for both people and nature. We believe that the preservation of biological diversity, ecosystems, and natural places is critically important to the survival of us all—people, plants, and animals alike. In addition to the intrinsic value of nature and wildlife, biological diversity and healthy ecosystems provide humankind with many of the things that sustain our lives, including clean air and water, fertile soil, a stable climate, food, medicines, materials and technologies, and a diversity of genes and species—not to mention recreational opportunities and natural beauty.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

While the group makes good things happen for deserving people and places, they proceed with a high level of inefficiency and much less cost effective than many of their peers in $/impact. Overhead rate is chroncially high, dollars translating into concrete change on the ground has become a diminishing portion of total expenses with US staff related expenses likely absorbing half of total expenditures.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

At CoreSpace, giving back to the community is a big part of our culture here, we stand behind the work that Ecologic is doing and we are constantly impressed by their continuous achievements. The staff that I have met is dedicated, hard-working and inspirational individuals who care deeply in EcoLogic's mission to preserve the environment and the much important culture.

Ecologic does an excellent job proving its progress based on quantifiable achievements while showing tangible accomplishments throughout the year and we can't wait to see what they will do next! Keep up the great work and thanks for the important reminder of how cultures and nature are all tied together and dependent on each other for success. We will happily be a long term donor to Ecologic.

Barrie C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EcoLogic Development Fund serves as a model for small to medium sized nonprofits around the world. The organization focuses on empowering local communities and local leadership, and is successful because of the passionate and talented staff both in Cambridge and Central America. EcoLogic is one of the most well run and impactful nonprofits I have had the opportunity to engage with, and I highly recommend their cause, people, and current and potential impact!

Caitlin L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My time as an intern at EcoLogic was wonderful. I greatly appreciated working and learning from staff who are so passionate about community based rural conservation and development. EcoLogic is a one of a kind organization who believes in on the ground environmental projects at the community level specifically with Indigenous peoples. EcoLogic is one of the only NGOs in the northeast doing this kind of work and it was an honor to work with them. The skills and things that I learned there were invaluable. My work with Dave Kramer allowed me to help the organization branch out through the introduction of new networks based on my background in conservation and rural development. If you don't know about know about the organization yet please learn and get involved.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

EcoLogic is a great organization with wonderful staff and an exceptional commitment to working with local communities to protect and sustain the environment.

Nell T.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I had been looking for awhile for a place to volunteer and since I have always been interested in the environment and saving trees and forests. When I heard about Ecologic through a friend of my families it peaked my interest. I have been volunteering here 1 day a week since August. It has been a lot of fun to listen to the everyone here talk about what they do with a smile. It is also fun learning from people who know what they are talking about and are always willing to answer questions.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a college student studying environmental issues and sustainability through the lenses of biology and politics. EcoLogic puts what I study into action and creates positive, meaningful change. EcoLogic is unique in its ability to address issues sustainably in every sense of the word, especially in giving local people the tools and knowledge to make a difference in their communities long after a project is over. One of the best things about EcoLogic is the people--this is a small organization with tons of passion. Every member of the team gives 100% and believes in the organization's mission and goals. EcoLogic is building long-lasting connections and does an incredible job of connecting people to opportunities and to each other.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

EcoLogic is an incredible nonprofit organization that works to educate and strengthen sustainable and fair labor and societal practices in Central America. As an intern last fall, I worked with the Institutional Development Team and got a hands on look at the inner workings of such an agency. Not only does the staff enjoy their work, but they strive to surpass their goals each day and are some of the most driven, hardworking people I've ever met. EcoLogic is unique in its mission and the people that carry that mission out everyday. I am honored to have worked with such an organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

EcoLogic Development Fund is a non-profit committed to implementing effective and comprehensive conservation and development programs in Central America and Mexico. As a donor, I feel confident that EcoLogic directs my donations to the greatest need to produce the most efficient results. Their focused, pointed approach to development gives me confidence that they are working intimately with rural communities and basing their projects on community desires and needs. This aspect is what is most important to me when I consider organizations to donate to.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

EcoLogic is an amazing nonprofit with a wonderful mission. As an intern, I have truly enjoyed my time working with EcoLogic staff. It is incredibly gratifying to work with an organization that is such a positive force for development and conservation in Central America. As a student studying sustainable development in Latin America, it is really inspiring to be a part of a group that is implementing conservation and development concepts that I have learned about in the classroom. The staff of EcoLogic are an inspired, enthusiastic and driven group of people and I have already learned so much from them in my short time working here!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

EcoLogic is an incredible organization which is working to empower marginalized communities in Central America and Mexico. Since beginning to volunteer here in September I have been extremely impressed with their holistic approach to conservation, as well as their respect for community sovereignty which enables them to work with, not in place of, local communities in Central America and Mexico. The people who work at EcoLogic are driven, thoughtful, and compassionate. This is truly a wonderful organization, both in terms of what they do, and who they are.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We (Small Planet Institute) share office space with Ecologic's Cambridge, MA office. We interact with their staff daily and also collaborate on projects whenever our work overlaps in theme. Our director, who is an author and leader in the food movement, touts EcoLogic, both in print and in person, for empowering communities to become stewards of their land.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EcoLogic is an organization I know better than any other environment/development group I support. They have hosted my students as interns, and some members of their staff have participated as invited speakers in my courses here at Brandeis. I have attended their fund raisers and sought out their staff for advice on my own project ideas in Nicaragua. One of my former students is full time there, and her experience there, now keeping in touch with me as a true insider, has only strengthened my impressions: EcoLogic has strong leadership, the morale and skill set of the staff make for an effective and enthusiastic team, and the culture of the organization is such that they are consistent in approach to the projects they choose to take on.

I studied ecology for decades in Costa Rica and lived there for over 2 years, and I often now travel to Nicaragua, so I am somewhat familiar with the kinds of environments and challenges and communities that EcoLogic has chosen to focus on. Their approach of working with in-country groups on projects that link social benefits to local environmental services (water, carbon, forests, biodiversity, among others) is not just a good approach among several options, it is the only way we know truly works over the long term.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A fantastic organization that truly understands the holistic nature of sustainable development in rural areas of Central America.

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As someone who has lived and traveled in Central America, especially Guatemala, over the past 30 years, I think EcoLogic does terrific work. Their philosophy of finding local partners to collaborate with makes all the difference. Working where there is an intersection of valuable biologically diverse environments AND a local, often indigenous population, EcoLogic concerns itself with not only conserving precious natural resources, but making local people's lives better and more sustainable in the process.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

As the global environment continues to deteriorate, one questions with increasing urgency: What can we who live in relative affluence do to help slow and even reverse the devastation in the many remote environmentally sensitive and high priority biodiversity areas of the planet? What can we do that will have an immediate and lasting impact both on those threatened environments in the less well-off parts of the world and on the people living there? Is there any question? It’s EcoLogic Development Fund that answers that challenge!

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a retired librarian with a great interest in environmental sustainability. I hold this organization in very high regard because I know Shaun Paul, the founder and head, spends a lot of his time implementing EcoLogic's mission, serving local communities and really knowing the people who benefit from the sustainability work they do. This is a small organization with high integrity and great local effectiveness.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

EcoLogic is an impressive nonprofit that truly walks the talk in realizing its mission, making every dollar count. EcoLogic understands the complexity of environmental issues like no other nonprofit that I've worked with--and their attention to detail is excellent. It has been a pleasure working with EcoLogic during the past 4-5 years and I look forward to our continued collaboration.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been pleased to share the work of Ecologic with members of my Philadelphia community and raise money for several projects in Guatemala in particular. Because of the collaborative way in which Ecologic works to support local culture and local leadership while improving economic life in threatened habitats, over the years I have seen amazing successes in rural communities in Central America. Success in protecting waterways and forests while supporting economic sustainability. We know when we give our hard earned money to Ecologic they will deliver the respect, knowledge and support needed to make these cross cultural partnerships productive from the perspective of both the indiginous communities and the donars. I believe they have evolved a way of working cross culturally that is truly commendable! With deep respect I encourage eveyone to find out more about the serious and challenging work Ecologic is doing. They live up to their mission statement!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have really enjoyed my time spent at EcoLogic. Through the work I've done, I feel like I have helped to make a difference. The team at EcoLogic is very passionate about their projects and work well collectively to reach their common goal. I've especially observed this during their regular team meeting and workshops. I also admire EcoLogic's efforts to stay current with environmental issues through their lunch discussions drawn my weekly chosen environmental articles. I really not seen anything that would raise criticisms of the organization. They seem to be making real progress and their system seems very efficient.