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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Seacology

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Forest Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission: Seacology is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization with the sole purpose of preserving the environments and cultures of islands worldwide. We implement solutions by asking islanders to identify a communal need Seacology could support, such as an elementary school or fresh water delivery system. In exchange the village agrees to establish and manage a marine or terrestrial reserve. Our innovative win-win model is inexpensive, maintains indigenous land ownership and improves the entire community.

Geographic areas served: International in scope, Seacology supports island environments and cultures worldwide.

Programs: Seacology supports island villages and ecosystems around the world. To date, Seacology has launched 210 island-based projects, saving 1,012,686 acres of marine ecosystems and 159,312 acres of terrestrial habitat. In return for establishing island marine and forest reserves, Seacology has helped islanders build facilities such as schools, community centers, solar energy systems, and other critically-needed structures, and funded programs providing scholarships, vital medical services and supplies for island communities. Seacology has projects in 44 countries on 100 islands around the globe. A list of all our island projects can be found at www.seacology.org.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor Member of Full Circle Fund

Rating: 5

Amazing work protecting islands. I've met their staff and they are devoted and knowledgeable.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family has been involved with Seacology for over 10 years. We have supported Seacology for that long because they continually impress us by their organization's single minded focus on protecting some of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. It is run by a group of smart and passionate people who have a track record of finding innovative and sustainable solutions.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology is a conservation organization that has a truly unique model. This non profit approaches local communities to find out what they need. Seacology then funds a school, medical clinic, or other key need in exchange for the communities commitment to protect an area of the local environment. In this way both the environment and local people benefit. Seacology’s work is protecting island rainforests, coral reefs, and more – some of the most beautiful places on the planet. Check out their fantastic web site for more information.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a well run, efficient organization that funds projects that are "Win Win" in their results. The villagers get that they need and in exchange the organization is able to preserve coral reefs and rain forests. A great solution to the demands that development has in these remote islands in the world.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Every time I take a flight I make a donation to Seacology to help preserve areas of the world that are still untouched. I am proud of their innovative work. And they are so heartfelt in their thanks for our donations. I highly recommend them.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

It is with great confidence and pleasure that I make a yearly donation to Seacology. More than any other organization that deals with remote problems, I know that somewhere in the world Seacology will be changing the daily lives of people who live in areas challenged by their proximity to our planet's ever-changing seas. The ways in which Seacology works with the local people, solving local problems, are varied, imaginative and impressively successful!

Laura Tietz

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to numerous foundations and Seacology is the one I am most proud to donate to. The work they do is not only unique, but helps truly make the world a better place. It feels good knowing you can help as well! I highly suggest donating and learning more about Seacology and the great work they do.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology may be the most cost-effective environmental nonprofit in the world! Working with field representatives in island nations around the globe, Seacology's small and dedicated team has saved hundreds of endangered species, coral reefs, and rainforests. To see their work in action, take one of the several island expeditions Seacology offers each year. The trips are a lot of fun and it is really rewarding to see the huge difference Seacology has made in people's lives.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology does what every nonprofit should, and few actually do - rather than imposing their own assumptions on people they help out, instead they ask them what it is they need, and how they can help. In addition to this, they manage to directly help groups of people in need while also helping them preserve local environment. This kind of work should serve as a model for all nonprofits.

1 Craig T.

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology performs incredibly valuable work all over the world in the most productive methodology I have witnessed. By partnering, educating and self-empowering people, and providing incredibly valuable, tangible, physical community benefits, they are preserving the very ecosystems that these peoples need to survive on and improving the planet's environment at the same time.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been scuba divers for more than twenty years. During that time we have been disheartened to see the marked decline that has occurred in island environments around the world. In searching for ways that we could help prevent that decline, we ran across Seacology. As we investigated the organization, studying its Form 990 and checking donors' comments on various web sites, we became very interested in the organization, so decided to start out with a moderate donation.

The thing that initially interested us most about Seacology is their win-win approach in which they provide funding for some resource, such as a community center or a water filtration plant needed by the local island people, in return for a pledge by those people to protect some endangered part of their island environment. Rather than just giving money away or going in and telling the people to protect the environmnet, Seacology gets buy-in from those people through this quid pro quo approach.

After becoming donors, several things immediately impressed us about Seacology. For one, they did not constantly hound us seeking additional donations as other organizations have done. Second, they did not waste our contribution on slick publications that have little real content, or on cheap trinkets such as address labels or stuffed animals that do nothing to protect island environments. Instead, Seacology sends out a nice, but not overly slick, annual report that provides details about where the organization has focused its efforts and distributed its resources during the preceding year.

After giving increasing amounts to Seacology each year, my wife and I finally decided this past year to join Seacology on one of their trips. These trips usually involve some scuba diving since many of the donors, as well as the organization's director, are avid scuba divers like us, and a visit to at least one of Seacology's project sites. Our trip was to the Philippines where we visited several project sites.

For us, this trip really confirmed our belief in Seacology's activities and cemented our commitment to the organization. We got a chance to meet and spend considerable time with other donors as well as the organization's Director, Duane Silverstein, and the Field Representative for the Philippines, Ferdie Marcelo, both outstanding highly-committed individuals. However, the real highlight for us was a chance to visit project sites and see first-hand how our contributions were being put to good use. The thing that was especially rewarding for us was to actually sense the gratitude the island people have to Seacology for providing the resources they needed, and the people's commitment toward fulfilling their part of the bargain by protecting their island's natural resources.

In the future we intend to increase our support of Seacology. We would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in protecting and sustaining the world's natural environment to do the same.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

What I like about Seacology is that while saving ocean and island environments, their projects often have a big educational component, so islanders (especially school kids) understand and are inspired to save their own habitats. Seacology understands that this is the only way to create lasting social and environmental change.

Previous Stories
9

Donor

Rating: 5

There is no "fat" and no pretention to Seacology. This is not an organization of First World folks having their own agenda for islanders around the globe. No, this is an organization of people who listen to what the needs of local people are - and find a "win win" solution to problems so that islanders in poor countries can improve their lives and save their environment at the same time. Also, really important to me is that Seacology gets huge bang for it's bucks. I know these people. They are smart, innovative, dedicated, and sound

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology is an excellent non-profit to donate to because they've always come up with innovative ways to save islands. That's why I like donating to them - they stick to their focus, yet find extraordinary ways to incorporate new trends in geopolitics and environmental science in their projects. As an ex-islander, I appreciate what they're doing and will continue to support them.

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology is a prime example of how a few people with a brilliant idea can do so much. I give sparingly to organizations because I like to feel like I know where my support is going. But I will always give to Seacology because their approach is so very different. What I love is that they look at the whole picture, not just the reef although that is important, but the people as well. They look at the needs of the local people as they try to find ways to save ecosystems. This organization does amazing things with a small staff: read their excellent newsletter and find out more! Hey, it's a great idea to give a donation to Seacology as a seasonal gift!

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology epitomizes the community-based approach to achieving meaningful conservation and fills an important niche within the broader realm of conservation work. I like their focus on providing institutional and legal strength to existing relationships local people have with specific, biologically rich natural resources. Real conservation requires building and honoring sustainable connections between people and nature. In the world today where strong economic forces are pressuring even the most far-flung natural places, supporting the connection indigenous cultures have with their natural world and empowering them in the face of these forces will go a long way towards preserving their and our world. I support this work by Seacology as well as more "traditional" conservation organizations because both serve critical needs.

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology is such a great organization with the best motives and goals. The idea of buying an acre of coral reef or rainforest is so unique and worthwhile. It's great to be able to help the environment in such an important way. I am giving some of my "green" friends the gift of saving a coral reef for Christmas and I know they will be so impressed with this conscientious and thoughtful gift. Thanks Seacology for offering this opportunity to the public.

Donor

Rating: 5

Gave 5 stars for many reasons. Their projects are very special and effective in saving islands and rain forests around the world. I have donated before and I was very impressed by how the staff let me know exactly where my money went to. This was part of the save an acre program and I look forward to donating more soon. Keep up the good work!

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been donating to Seacology for over 7 years now, and I have continued to be impressed by their win-win projects. Whether they're building a school and saving acres and acres of forest at the same time or providing villagers with a new boat and preserving coral reef environments, Seacology finds ways to make the most out of every donation they receive.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have nothing but praise and admiration for the work of Seacology. I stumbled across the organisation as the author of a non-commercial website about the Cook Islands (www.cookislands.org.uk). I read about their work to protect Lake Tiriara in the south Mangaia and kindly let me share details and photos of it on my site. They've done a fantastic job there and I'm also going to support (and promote) their fund raising efforts tor Muri lagoon on Rarotonga. It is a unique location and I am so pleased to learn of their involvement and that their efforts will extend to helping the local community centre and health clinic.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

Seacology has been a great organization to work with and has played an important part in fulfilling the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation’s mission by being a force for good throughout the world. The foundation has been involved in and seen the results of countless projects Seacology has done and recognizes the invaluable service they are providing by protecting threatened island biodiversity throughout the world. The Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation continues its ongoing partnership with Seacology to improve the education and environment of young islanders.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

Beginning life with big dreams but limited resources, Seacology has proven itself to be an environmental organization that delivers major results. Idealistic yet always practical, Exec. Dir. Duane Silverstein, his staff, and the Seacology Board work diligently to pinpoint projects that will benefit ecological and human communities around the world. I have seen their accomplishments firsthand and was impressed by how Seacology can make so little money go so far... And, sometimes unusually for an NGO, Duane and his team manage to treat the local people with whom they work, as well as their donors - regardless of the amount of their contribution - with respect and appreciation. Small and unpretentious, Seacology has set as its goal nothing less than the global conservation of island and coral ecosystems - a task it's fighting valiantly to accomplish. Seacology certainly deserves to be a part of the Green Choice Campaign!