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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

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

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

Donor

Rating: 5

I think Trees, Water & People is great because it is hands-on progress. No one is trying to convince anyone of anything here....it's clear that clean water, healthy trees, and people living joyfully are all related. And that the sun is a huge free energy source. This is one group that is really making it happen. Progressive change should be this direct more often!

Donor

Rating: 5

I first learned about Trees, Water & People thru Care2. This organization not only saves lives but eye sight and the future of children. TWP improves lives by supplying solar energy to individual homes. A simple step that should become the right of all individuals in the world. This means that the people no longer die of smoke inhalation or from fires. Parents can spend more time at home instead of looking for firewood or oil. They can save a little money to improve their lives. Children can study by actual lights instead of a candle or kerosene lamp giving them the world through education. In addition they work with and teach native Americans how to start renewable green business. Best of both worlds they help here and abroad.

Donor

Rating: 5

Helping both Native Americans and central Americans to utilize solar energy and to live healthy lives is a superb cause that I heartily believe in.

Donor

Rating: 5

Combatting soil erosion and limiting respriratory ailments can go a long way towards building a future for rural people.
In a way that makes sense to the people of Central America, TWP helps tackle these and other problems.

Fran L

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Trees, Water, and People is.a unique organization. They are small enough To have personal contact with The projects they sponsor and large enough to make a real impact through careful planning and collaboration with local groups. I'm excited about the new garden initiative on t he Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I have seen in person how these projects can raise self esteem AND conserve energy on the part of the people receiving help from TWP. I participated in an Ecotour to the reservation sponsored by TWP.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen Trees, Water, People's work first hand on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This organization works WITH the Lakota people, empowering them to help themselves. Henry Red Cloud operates a renewable energy center with the help of TWP. He trains Lakota men and women to construct and install solar heaters. Hundreds of reservation families are now warmer while honoring the Earth by reducing their dependence on fossil fuel.

Trees, Water, People also has projects in Central America and Haiti. These help to address the loss of forested land by replacing inefficient and unhealthful cooking stoves with ones requiring 70% less wood, while producing less smoke. Local women are consultants to assure that the type of stove matches the style of cooking in the area. Local entrepreneurs are encouraged to set up factories using local materials. TWP stove owners are delighted with the lower cost of cooking and cleaner air. In Haiti especially the ability to boil water to combat disease is critical.

I highly recommend this organization.

Review from Guidestar

CBer

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor to TWP my experience is from a distance, but due to the reports via FB I feel connected to a wonderful organization that is making a difference in the world. It is my hope that my donations from afar will assist in keeping the great staff going forward with their outstanding work.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The more I learn about TWP the more impressed I am with the impact their approach to helping communites in need to manage and conserve their natural resources. I became a part of TWP through a gift donation and will continue with personal contributions. The success that TWP is exhibiting is due to their sustainable efforts in the communities they are working. I am excited about their future because it means we all will have a future due to their efforts.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Trees, Water & People for several years now and have been very impressed with their mission, programs and how they administer them. We have focused on reforestation and tribal renewable energy but all their programs are excellent and would highly recommend this non-profit organization.

Gingerbuttons

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been involved with TWP for the last three years and have been extremely impressed with the many programs they are supporting. They have touched so many lives with their approach of sustainable energy, clean cooking, carbon offsets, etc. I have donated to these various programs for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts and "in memory of friends" I have lost. I will continue to look to Trees, Water and People to provide opportunities for me to help the peoples of our earth.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 4

Trees, Water, People (TWP) has provided me and many of my friends with the vehichle for providing support to sustainable projects that will truly make a difference in people's lives. I have purchased "carbob offsets" for Christmas gifts to my family and friends who are thrilled to be part of something bigger than just themselves. I have purchased stoves and contributed money to the efforts in Haiti. When working through TWP I always think of Margaret Meads memorable quote, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK!!!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Trees, Water, People is great in that it supports projects that have positive effects on so many different levels-- poverty, the environment, building communities. By implementing environmentally friendly energy sources into disadvantaged communities it helps the people in these communities AND is good for the environment at the same time. With projects both in the U.S. and abroad, Trees, Water, People lives up to it's slogan of "Helping People and the Planet."

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family believes that our natural world is sacred, a gift from our Creator. Many of us are involved in environmental work. I am a retired psychologist who volunteers on the Board of a local land trust in western Massachusetts. I admire and support the work of Trees, Water & People. They are in the forefront of our fight to create a more balanced relationship between humans and our natural world. Thank you! Robert

Donor

Rating: 5

There are many great things to say about Trees, Water & People. In addition to the important work they are doing to help improve the lives of people in developing countries, I think they are also excelling in the way that they communicate with the public, donors, and volunteers. Through their skilled marketing team, they are using social networking and website development to communicate events, specific people's stories of help and improvement, as well as keeping the community of TWP connected and committed to the organization. They are a great example of maximizing the affect a non-profit can have when using technological means to communicate and help connect to the community.

Review from Guidestar

Ann S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first became interested in this organisation because of the name which
included three of my main interests. Reading their literature and later meeting some of the people when they came to NYC, I was impressed with their straightforward, no frills devotion to carrying out their goals..their direct person to person , step by step approach, doing what they said they would, with humor and humility, bringing more and more people into their work. I appreciated their commitment to spreading their knowledge and having the people in the communities where they are working take over the work and train many more to join in.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

When the earthquake struck in Haiti we needed an organization we could trust to deliver the necessary services to help the victims. TWP had people on the ground and access to fuel efficient stoves that not only helped those in need but conserved precious fuel for a country in peril. They are a wonderful organization and we are proud to support their efforts.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

They are helping save the planet and the people. I have donated over the years to twp. This year I will be traveling to help install stoves.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

In the developing world, which unfortunately includes American Indian Reservations as well as other third world nations, environmental issues have a great impact on the local economies, resources as and the health of the people. The efficient stoves, water supply programs and solar electrical systems provided and promoted by TWP go a long way towards helping inhabitants take care of themselves and their environment thus improving their quality of life. I believe my contributions aid this process.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

TWP is a wonderful altruistic organization that is accomplishing very meaningful and practical success in their endeavors in Central America, with their sustainable stove and reforestation projects. I have affiliated with TWP for several years by including their Honduras partner, the Honduras Association for Development (AHDESA), in my annual study-trip itinerary in Honduras, each spring, for Oklahoma State University. I have seen the fruits of TWP's labor, funding, leadership, and human development support in Honduras, first-hand, working side-by-side with AHDESA promoters in rural communities. Stuart Conway and his staff are caring folks, and they have both their heads and hearts in all of their projects. They truly make a difference in empowering villagers in all of their project communities toward higher quality lives, in a more sustainable environment. I have encountered several NGOs in my international experience, and TWP is right at the top of my list as regards their ability to effectively channel their resources, funding, and expertise to result in consistent excellent results at the appropriate scale, to achieve positive results. They truly make a positive difference in the lives of so many people!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with TWP ability to help so many people & the environment with their stove. What a resource & blessing.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We're so impressed with what this organization is doing. They are addressing real environmental and societal problems. Their stove is very innovative.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 4

I am impressed with the clear focus & technical expertise of this organization.Their ability to energize a large vanguard of volunteers for a particular cause project is truly inspiring.

Review from Guidestar

Michelle G.

Donor

Rating: 5

Trees Water People is much like it's name, concerned with the most essential values, our natural resources and people. I am consistently impressed and inspired by their work to protect and preserve natural resources and empower communities to thrive while doing the same. From solar heating to stove furnaces to tree planting, their approach to global problems has been innovative and effective. Their cost efficiency for running the organization and it's programs is outstanding and a true testament to their commitment to helping as many people as possible with the finances they have available. I only wish they had more visibility to gain greater support and have further reach in their work.

Review from Guidestar