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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Trees, Water & People

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Pollution Abatement & Control

Mission: Trees, Water & People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to improve people's lives by helping communities to protect, conserve and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends.

Results: Nationally, TWP is actively involved with helping to improve the lives of Native American families living on the reservations of the Great Plains. There, where the winters are extremely long and harsh, Native Americans commonly spend more than half of their income on their exorbitant utility bills. Together with our reservation-based partner, we have built 850 economic solar heating systems, saving tribal families 20-30% on their annual heating bills, and trained more than 175 tribal members in residential and facility-scale renewable energy applications. We have also planted trees and shrubs around the home sites for more than 160 additional families, further lowering heating costs and associated emissions by acting as an important wind blocks during the frigid winter and providing much-needed shade during the sweltering summer. Internationally, TWP works extensively in Central America and Haiti. Together, with our country-based partners, we support 8 community tree nurseries that produce over 650,000 trees annually to aid in reforestation efforts, planting over 4.3 million trees to date. We have built 47,800 clean cookstoves. Each cookstove decreases a family’s need for firewood by 50-70%, as compared to standard open fire cooking, and reduces carbon emissions by at least 1.5 tons per year. When vented to the outside of the home, these improved cookstoves also decrease indoor air pollution, which is responsible for the death of 1.9 million women and children globally every year.

Target demographics: low-income, rural and peri-urban communities in Central America, Haiti and on Native American Reservations in the U.S.

Geographic areas served: Latin America and U.S. Native American Reservations

Programs: Clean Cookstoves Program, Reforestation Program, Solar Energy Program, Tribal Renewable Energy Program

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

Feeling the need contribute to the well being of others I researched and followed several organizations until I found TREES WATER PEOPLE. I am not very wealthy so I needed to feel my small offerings were getting a bang for the buck. Combining technology and local communities dedicated to improving peoples lives this non-profit is rocking it. In the central highlands of Honduras clean cook stoves improve lives by producing a lot less smoke in homes and reducing the tedious labor of gathering wood. Water cisterns made by a simple, and extremely durable design ease families through the dry months. The appreciation and gratitude the village people showered on us was very touching. I will be with TWP for a long time.Tamara Winter Nelson, Boulder, Colorado

Netta G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Volunteers and staff of Tree's, Water, People are true examples of what it means to be "community minded". They have worked along side me in some new future projects for another Non-Profit locally and truly have done so out of the kindness of their hearts! I can honestly say that in watching their work, the contributions to conservation and natural awareness education is one of the most selfless acts of concern I have seen in a very long time! I am very proud to have them in my world!!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a nonprofit professional, I look to TWP as a model for a thriving organization that keeps evolving viable programs and engaging more citizens. I've also joined their Eco-Tour and found it personally and professionally very rewarding.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Trees Water People is an amazing organization. I have had the pleasure of meeting many other staff members over the years and can't say enough good things about who they are and what they do. The services that they provide in the developing world are essential and hard to find in the international aid community, Especially their work with improved cook stoves.

Review from Guidestar


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Trees, Water and People is a top-notch conservation organization and a true community partner that has gone above and beyond to help our organization get off the ground in Fort Collins, Colorado. I have heard nothing but good things about TWP in the 12 years that I've known them.