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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sustainable Harvest International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Environmental Education, Food, Forest Conservation

Mission: Our mission is to preserve the environment by partnering with families to improve well-being through sustainable farming.

Results: +Worked with more than 2,543 families +Planted 3.8 million trees, restoring 15,100 acres of forest devastated by slash-and-burn agriculture

Target demographics: stop slash-and-burn farming and alleviate poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 550 families

Geographic areas served: Central America

Programs: locally-trained extension agents who assist small-scale farmers and communities with the implementation of sustainable land-use practices by providing materials, tools, and knowledge to willing participants. SHI helps plan and implement alternative power projects such as biodigesters and solar-powered water pumps. SHI also aids communities by helping to establish community loan funds and farmer cooperatives.

Community Stories

94 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Crystal6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to travel to Panama and volunteer with SHI in 2011. It was a wonderful experience and I was able to see firsthand how this organization has had an extremely positive impact on the participants in their programs. Many of those in the village in which I volunteered couldn't stop talking about how their lives had changed after participating in programs led by the local field staff. I have found that SHI combines two areas of importance to me: preservation of the environment and empowering people to overcome poverty. I will continue to donate to SHI and hope to participate in a Smaller World Tour again in the future.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I always balance my business instinct for due diligence, with my intuition. Call it a decision making marriage between my brain and my gut. Metrics matter, but Karma is king. And SHI plants Karmic seeds aplenty, while also ensuring they grow.

When my daughter and I started our research to identify the best possible charity to support for the service component of her Bat Mitzvah project, Sustainable Harvest International wasn’t even on our radar. There are simply so many other well known causes competing for attention that we almost missed the gem that is SHI. Thank goodness we didn’t.

We had set a high bar. We wanted a cause that simultaneously attended to rain forest preservation and economic empowerment for the rural poor. My daughter was equally passionate about saving the planet and directly improving people’s lives. Moreover, we wanted assurance that our efforts would strongly impact those in need, and we wanted to feel a connection to the organization and the people who run it. We had questions, and requests, and tight deadlines. The efficient, warm and responsive staff at SHI gave us concierge level attention, but with the twinkle you get from people who are motivated by mission instead of money. They were fast, thorough and endearing.

Give to SHI and know that your money will go far to help people (and plants) a world away, and your generosity will touch their servants right here in the USA.

J. Sheldon Snodgrass, MBA
The Steady Sales Group
89 South Street, Williamsburg, MA 01096
413-244-2294
Close More. Make More. Worry Less.
www.SteadySales.com

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I chose to support SHI because through their work, they captured the essence of what I believed was most important: A balance between preserving nature while creating better futures for the rural poor in Central America. They do incredible work and put such tremendous effort into the projects they start. I did a short presentation/house party a few months ago in which I showed the "Planting Hope" video, talked about SHI, and answered some questons. SHI made it easy for me to do this by sending me the video, and supplying me with brochures, envelopes, catalogs, etc. They even sent me a t-shirt and chocolate bar! Through this entire process, SHI has been incredibly helpful and supportive. I highly recommend this unique charity if you would like to help the earth and people at the same time. SHI is an outstanding organization that most definitely deserves our support.

sk789

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In full disclosure, I am a member of Sustainable Harvest International's small staff in the US. I have had the great pleasure of being a part of SHI's work over the years and can tell you with confidence that as a staff we are dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate about the programs we carry out in the field. We pride ourselves on organizational efficiency and work hard to ensure that funds are put to work contributing to valuable community projects ending poverty and deforestation in rural Central America.
SHI's local staff in Central America are experts in sustainable farming practices and give families the tools, training and support to improve their quality of living while restoring the environment. The organization's grass-roots approach is reversing cycles of poverty and slash and burn farming while empowering families to grow healthy food and strengthen communities. This is an organization I am proud to work for, work I am proud to do and I am especially grateful to all the generous volunteers and donors who make our programs possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While completing my thesis work in International Development I had the privilege to work with the Sustainable Harvest Honduras program for 6 months from 2010 to 2011. I worked both in the field visiting SHI participant families as well as in the office with local and international staff where I focused on monitoring and evaluation of SHI program effectiveness and impact. I was continually impressed by the personal and life changing stories I heard from farmers and their families throughout my time there. After working in development in West Africa, where I witnessed a great deal of failed projects and misguided development programs, my time evaluating the impact of SHI programs renewed my faith in the overall impact that small scale development programs can have on the lives of many.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of SHI for around 6 years. I find that they fulfill my liking to donate to environmental causes, but they also fulfill the humanist charitable donation also. They have recieved a score of 4 in the Charity Navigator for years, so I know that my money goes where it is needed. I get just enough updates over email (never so much, never too little to be forgotten), which always put a smile on my face. By supporting SHI I feel I am doing a really GOOD THING!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with SHI-Belize in 2009 while a student at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. SHI's deep commitment to restore forest while assisting farming families overcome poverty is most impressive and appreciated when interacting with the people in the field. The innovation of the field staff who work diligently working with makes a significance for every family either through family gardens, wood efficient stove, agro-forestry, composting or providing training to a local group of farmers and women. The three month experience helped me learn new skills, grow personally and professionally. SHI influenced my career and now I am studying for a M.Sc. in Sustainable Agriculture. I encourage more people to take the time to visit SHI's website: http://www.sustainableharvest.org/, participate or support them in any way possible.

Anita P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of working alongside the staff and board of the Panama program for more than a year and I observed and experienced an extremely high level of devotion to advancing sustainable organic farming practices and replenishing rainforests, while equipping poor rural farming families to change their own lives. I was continually blown away by their ability to accomplish so much for so many with so little. Donors can expect their gifts to be used to change lives and improve the environment. If you don’t believe me, just make a gift and SHI will invite you to go to Panama or to one of the other countries served where you will see your gift in action.

Review from CharityNavigator

Renée J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been amazed to see SHI really mature into a professional, growing organization and crystallize the focus of their work in Central America. SHI really sets a high benchmark for other environmental non-profits to reach, both in the field and administratively. Great work!!!

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Florence R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I knew I had dedicated myself to the right work after hearing a program participant in Panama explain that before working with SHI, she felt that she had no value in the world even to her own children who she was struggling to feed. She said that after just a few years working hard with SHI, however, she now feels that she is an importan person for her family, her community and our planet as a whole.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This charity is based on the premise that agriculture and particularly subsistance agriculture can be sustainable unlike the traditional slash and burn agriculture of the rain forest. Florence and her crew train farmers in subsistance agriculture and then have agents in place to help as they learn and apply the subsistance principles. This group supplies farmers with the seeds and techniques they need for a completely sustainable farm for individual subsistance as well as cash crops like cacao. A great way to invest your money in third world economic development

Review from Guidestar