Planet Aid, Inc.

For the Environment, For People

Elkridge, MD   |


Planet Aid’s mission is to inform, mobilize, and inspire individuals and communities to work together to bring about worldwide environmental and social progress.

We collect and recycle textiles to protect the environment, reduce waste, and increase the efficient use of vital resources. The proceeds from our clothes collection go toward funding sustainable development projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

We embrace the principles of equality and self-determination in all that we do and foster cooperation and understanding among peoples across the planet. Disadvantaged populations are our priority, and we seek to empower them to create lasting positive change.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Fred Olsson

Main address

6730 Santa Barbara Court

Elkridge, MD 21075 USA

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NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Recycling (C27)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Keeping textiles out of landfills, which can improve the quality of the climate, while fighting poverty and helping the poorest of the poor in developing nations to overcome the hurdles that stand in their way.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education and Training

Teacher Training

Planet Aid supports primary school teacher training for rural schools at colleges in DR Congo, Guinea-Bissau, India, Mozambique, and Malawi. Many developing nations suffer from a shortage of well-qualified teachers, especially in rural areas. Resources are few, and many teachers are expected to handle classrooms with upwards of 70 students. They also face challenges that are unique to the developing world, and often lack the support they need to manage these challenges. The colleges Planet Aid supports utilize a pedagogical approach suited to rural developing areas, one that inspires teachers to become self-driven and effective catalysts for change in both the classroom and the community. The colleges are also each approved by their respective ministries of education as institutions offering accredited programs.

Early Education

Planet Aid helps bolster the development of young children through preschool initiatives in Mozambique and South Africa and through support of Step Up Centers in India. Planet Aid supports children in northern India through its Academies for Working Children (AWCs). These academies provide access to education for children who are forced to work due to economic circumstances and are therefore unable to attend formal schooling. This two- to three-year program enables youth to complete their elementary school education through grade eight, either through classes offered at the AWC itself or by re-entering the mainstream school system.

Vocational Training

The vocational schools Planet Aid supports cater to young men and women from rural areas who are eager to make a better life for themselves. The students are trained in a variety of subjects, which include (depending on the school) commerce and administration, financial accounting, construction, tropical agriculture, carpentry and joinery, motor mechanics, electrical engineering, hotel and tourism, and animal husbandry.

Students also gain work experience by apprenticing at a business. Companies enlist the students, and their teachers’ are involved in guiding them and assessing their performance. This kind of experience makes it possible for students to have a broader and a more practical understanding of their field of study and of the real situation in the work place.

Population(s) Served

Planet Aid collects and processes 50,000 tons annually of used clothes, shoes and textile in states from Maine to California.  Collecting unwanted clothes saves landfill space and reusing already manufactured clothing and other textile saves millions of gallons of water and reduces the use of fertilizer and pesticides (in cotton production). Recycling or reusing one pound of clothes saves on average 3.6 lbs of CO2. Annually, Planet Aid saves 360 million pounds of CO2 through its recycling efforts - a significant contribution in the fight against climate change.

Planet Aid also conducts recycling and education programs in cooperation with public and private schools and through participation in events in communities where Planet Aid is active.

Population(s) Served

Child Aid

For children to grow up and fulfill their potential their families must understand the importance of nutrition and hygiene and be assisted in providing a healthy environment for their children. Planet Aid supports Child Aid community development programs in Africa and Latin America. As families enroll in the program they receive training in health and hygiene, they are assisted in generating more income, running pre-schools for their children and making general improvements to their communities such as installation of water points, latrines or repairing dilapidated infrastructure.

Planet Aid works closely with non-government organizations in a number of developing countries to assist them building staff capacity and move towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

People must be mobilized to combat disease and take health into their own hands.

Poor communities are besieged by deaths and illness from preventable diseases. Planet Aid supports a number of programs that are fighting the spread and effects of epidemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Through education and simple community-based initiatives people learn how to protect themselves and their families. They create vegetable gardens for better nutrition; they clean their neighborhoods and are assisted in accessing health services that already exist.

Population(s) Served

Planet Aid helps subsistence farmers in Africa and the Americas form Farmers’ Clubs to increase their production and crop variety through improved farming methods, conservation farming and access to water.  The farmers and their families experience greater food security, better nutrition and significant higher income. The Farmers’ Clubs program train the farmers, organize them in self-help groups and assist them in developing and marketing their products. The whole community benefits from the higher yields and greater variety of products.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

InterAction - Member 2009

InterAction - Member 2010

InterAction - Member 2011

InterAction - Member 2012

InterAction - Member 2013

InterAction - Member 2014

InterAction - Member 2015

InterAction - Member 2016

InterAction - Member 2017

InterAction - Member 2018

InterAction - Member 2019

InterAction - Member 2020

Global Campaign for Education 2021

1% for the Planet Nonprofit Partner 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total weight of materials recycled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Clothing Collection and Recycling

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To address climate change through textile recycling. To provide the poor and disadvantaged in the developing world the chance to lift themselves up from poverty, and make a better life for themselves and their families.

By collecting textiles and ensuring they don't end up in a landfill in the U.S. or internationally. And by supporting projects that motivate and mobilize local communities in developing countries to improve the conditions of their lives, and by providing resources to help leverage impact and create the momentum needed for sustainable improvements.

Planet Aid collections tens of millions of pounds of textile waste every year and ensures that it's recycled. Planet Aid successfully leverages partnerships and large-scale development programs to improves people's lives.

Improving the availability and accessibility of donating textiles. And, internationally, Planet Aid has conducted a variety of programs. One flagship program is Food for Knowledge which improves child literacy and multi-lingual fluency through coding skills, combined with nutritional support to improve learning. In the area of health, future focus will heavily emphasis combating HIV/AIDS.


Planet Aid, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Planet Aid, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mikael Norling

No affiliation

Eva Nielsen

Mikael Norling

Eric Newman

Jytte Martinussen

Fernando Binhafta

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.