Animal related


Saving a Species Through Education

aka The Orangutan Project-USA

Santa Monica, CA


To save endangered wild orangutans through conservation education, outreach initiatives and innovative collaborative programs that inspire and call people to action.

Ruling Year



Dr. Gary Shapiro

Co Principal Officer

Mr. Leif Cocks

Main Address

2461 Santa Monica Blvd #828

Santa Monica, CA 90404 USA

Formerly Known As

Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative/SEE


Orangutan Caring Foundation, Orangutan Caring Scholarship, LP Jenkins Fellowship, Community Education & Conservation Program, Tree planting





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Management & Technical Assistance (K02)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Orangutans are Asia's only great apes. Closely related to humans (97% genetically), orangutans are critically endangered due to direct and indirect killing. Orangutan habitat, the tropical rainforests on Borneo and Sumatra, has been converted to large scale agriculture and for other uses. In the process, hundreds of thousands of individual orangutans have been killed over the past two decades. While protected by law, orangutans are still being killed as pests and for the illegal pet trade. Conserving the orangutan through legal enforcement or the rehabilitation of confiscated orangutans has not been an effective measure to ensure their future existence. Our organization is focused on saving orangutans holistically through formal and informal education, conservation programs, and other community-based initiatives that inspire and enroll local people to take action to protect and conserve orangutans and their rainforest habitat.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

1 3 4 5 6 10 13 15

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Community Education and Conservation Program

Orangutan Caring Scholarship

LP Jenkins Memorial Fellowship

Tree-planting Program

Domestic Outreach

Where we work

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The main goal of the Orang Utan Republik Foundation and its partner, The Orangutan Project, is to ensure the long-term survival of individual and populations orangutans through the stewardship of Indonesian people. Only if the needs of people living near the orangutans are met will orangutans be valued enough to be saved. Only if students are educated in biology and conservation will they come to appreciate the importance of the species for the health of the forests they also depend upon. Another goal is to promote the institutional capacity of Indonesian conservation organizations to provide education and higher education opportunities for local people in need of information or resources. Another goal is to save and manage existing forests or restore degraded forests through partnerships in Indonesia. Finally, another goal is to support the conservation activities of other orangutan-focused organizations working in other parts of Borneo and Sumatra.

The strategies we take to achieve our goals include the following: Educating Youth: Local conservation educators are supported to plant and nurture the seeds of knowledge for a new generation that will be respectful and caring of orangutans and rainforests so as to value the species and their habitat in the years ahead. Improving Livelihood of Villagers Near the National Park: Just educating villagers about orangutans is not enough. We provide them with options and alternatives that will improve their livelihood so they shift from destructive practices to sustainable ones. Reducing Human-Wildlife Conflict: Understanding the levels of human-orangutan conflict near habitat areas is key to developing strategies to reduce that conflict. That is the goal of the Community Education and Conservation Program. Engaging in Policy: Participating in the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) enables OURF to have a voice in the policies needed to make this global commodity less onerous to orangutans. Investing in Higher Education: Supporting college education and research in the natural sciences: biology, forestry, and veterinary science will build an educated citizenry that will advocate for orangutan survival. Creating Partnerships: Leveraging the power of other organizations in the common mission of conservation education is leading towards a sustainable population of orangutans and enlightened communities that ensure their survival. Capacity Building: Providing our NGO partners with the funds and support needed to implement the programs as well as move towards independent operations. Facilitating Outreach Events: Spreading the message of our organization requires using the technologies available (website, Facebook, Twitter) as well as person-to-person approach typical of outreach events.

The Orang Utan Republik Foundation partners with numerous organizations, including The Orangutan Project, and relies on volunteers to administer and manage our various programs. Because of this, we operate as a lean organization with little overhead. Through our partnerships, we leverage funding to optimize our performance. Foundation leadership has a long record of creating and overseeing programs and projects in Indonesia. Since our founding in 2004, we have established and are currently supporting the following programs: 1) Orangutan Caring Scholarship Program. We raise funds and partner with implementing organizations in Indonesia to annually offer Orangutan Caring Scholarships, to college-bound or college students from orangutan range provinces (N Sumatra, Aceh, W. Kalimantan, C. Kalimantan). The students must seek degrees in the fields of biology, forestry, or veterinary science. The scholarships are competitive and provide basic support (tuition and thesis write-up, internship for vet students). The awarded students are obligated to work and participate with the implementing nonprofit to understand the issues impacting orangutans and methods being taken to help ensure their survival. 2) L.P. Jenkins Memorial Fellowship Program. We provide an annual fellowship for post-graduate students conducting research on orangutans or rainforest ecology through the LP Jenkins Memorial Fellowship program. Better understanding the orangutan and its challenges within the dynamic rainforest ecosystem can provide information and improved protocols to advise wildlife managers. 3) Community Education and Conservation Program. We provide funding to support operations and capacity-building of the Indonesian-based Yayasan Sumatra Hijau Lestari (Sustainable Green Sumatra Foundation). YSHL and its staff carry out the Community Education and Conservation Program (CECP) to provide conservation and basic education to villagers along the border of Gunung Leuser National Park, home to the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan. The program is holistic and seeks to improve the livelihoods of local communities as well as better understand the level of human-wildlife conflict and to teach methods to mitigate the conflict. Additionally, the program includes tree-planting and ecosystem restoration activities in partnership with local communities 4) TOP-USA Support Program. As the USA chapter of The Orangutan Project (TOP-USA), we provide fiscal sponsorship to TOP, the largest orangutan support organization in the world. As such our collective organization can support one another as well as the efforts of dozens of other organizations working to save the species.

The Orang Utan Republik Foundation conducts assessments on a periodic basis to measure progress both in terms of output and in the outcome. We seek quarterly reports from our Indonesian partners administering the Community Education and Conservation Program, and biannual reports from our Indonesian partners administering the Orangutan Caring Scholarship program. Additionally, we seek an annual report from all our Indonesian partners that summarizes the achievements and challenges of their programs during the year completed. With this information, we are able to assess our progress and report to our funders as well.

The Orang Utan Republik Foundation has a website where the accomplishments are listed and updated. Interested readers can find the information at The foundation plans to add a new implementing partner to the 2021 Orangutan Caring Scholarship program as the last orangutan range province is added to our other provinces. We anticipate reaching and crossing the 200th scholarship awarded in 2021.

External Reviews




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

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity