International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security


New York, NY


Runa Foundation looks for new ways to value tropical forests that benefit local people and the forest ecosystem.

The Andes-Amazon region is one of the most biodiverse places on earth. The average acre of rainforest is home to over 2,000 different species of plants and over 5,000 species of animals. Science has only barely begun to understand what exists in these rainforests and the value these ecosystems have for the world.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of understanding of the value of these forests, many tropical countries have looked for economic gains by replacing rainforests with intensive agriculture of a single species such as the soy fields of Brazil or the palm oil fields of Indonesia. However, the upper Amazon is one of the few places left with large expanses of rainforest and a strong presence of indigenous people who sustainably manage these resources.

Nevertheless, agricultural investments are a critical driver of economic growth in developing countries – and are proven to be twice as effective as any other tool. But, tropical forests are being clear-cut to make way for mono-crop agriculture, and this deforestation is the leading driver of climate change in tropical countries.

In the face of these challenges, Runa Foundation answers two key questions:
1) How can we create sustained value for tropical rainforests?
2) How do we ensure that local communities benefit from this new value?

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Mr. Eliot Logan-Hines

Co Principal Officer

Eliot Logan-Hines

Main Address

315 W 36th Street Suite 6050

New York, NY 10018 USA


Amazon, Indigenous people, Fair Trade, forests, environment, value, community development, agroforestry, research, education, volunteering, organic agriculture, envirmonental management





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

International Agricultural Development (Q31)

Forest Conservation (C36)

Voluntarism Promotion (T40)

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

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

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Plant Research

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Charting Impact

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Runa Foundation works with Amazonian communities to support indigenous livelihoods and protect the Amazon rainforest. As of 2012, our goals are:

Hectares of organic certified forest gardens under sustainable management
3-year 150 5-year 500 10-year 2,000

Hectares of new formalized conservation areas created
3-year 10,000 5-year 50,000 10-year 100,000

Annual income generated for rural farmers from new economic activities
3-year $500,000 5-year $1,000,000 10-year $5,000,000

Percent of women leaders in decision-making roles throughout guayusa value chain
3-year 10% 5-year 20% 10-year 50%

Percent of youth leaders in decision-making roles throughout guayusa value chain
3-year 10% 5-year 20% 10-year 35%

Guayusa farmers with bank accounts and credit lines
3-year 5% 5-year 20% 10-year 50%

Guayusa farmers with land titles
3-year 5% 5-year 15% 10-year 30%

Income for communities generated from other sources
3-year $10,000 5-year $20,000 10-year $50,000

Fair Trade social premium fund investment in community projects by cooperatives
3-year $50,000 5-year $100,000 10-year $250,000

Guayusa research and investigations
3-year Finalize guayusa domestication guide 5-year Two scientific papers published 10-year Five scientific papers published

Public policies based in Runa Foundation research
3-year Three policies proposed 5-year One policy implemented 10-year Two policies implemented

Public-private partnerships for guayusa production
3-year Formalize Mesa de Guayusa 5-year Propose two partnerships 10-year Implements one partnership

Runa Foundation partnerships with other NGOs
3-year Three partnerships 5-year Five partnerships 10-year Seven partnerships

Through our three program areas: Livelihoods, Landscapes and Plant Research we work in partnership with indigenous communities and producer cooperatives to provide resources such as new scientific research, land management techniques, and technical and financial trainings.

Examples of near-term activities in these program areas include: dissemination of the best practices manual for the cultivation of guayusa, mapping of producer farms and conservation areas, planting native trees on farms to strengthen agroforestry systems, and training of producers and cooperative members in sustainable agricultural practices and financial literacy.

These activities all strengthen our unique approach to conservation and development in the Amazon.

At Runa Foundation we have received funding from several generous organizations including:
- MacArthur Foundation
- The Open Road Foundation
- The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA)
- The Development Bank of Latin American (CAF)
- resonsAbility Investing
- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- The Rufford Foundation
- Fundación CRISFE

Our advisors include:
- Yolanda Kakabadse, Expert in conservation and nonprofit development
- Ann Veneman, Expert in international trade and agriculture
- Doug Hattaway, Expert in communications and public relations
- Michael Conroy, Expert in certification systems
- Jacob Olander, Expert in conservation finance and payments for ecosystem services
- Florencia Montagnini, Expert in tropical forestry and agroforesty systems

Our team includes:
Executive Director - Eliot Logan-Hines
Regional Director - Ian Cummins
Director of Evaluation and Development - Sydney Nilan
Assistant Program Manager - Raine Donohue
Administrative Assistant - Carlos Tunay
Local Field Extension Technician - Leonidas Narvaez
Local Field Extension Technician - Enrique Dahua
Accounting and Administrative Assistant - Ana Lucia Arizo

Our partners include:
Ministerio de Coordinación de la Producción, Empleo y Competitividad
Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Acuacultura y Pesca
Ministerio del Ambiente
Global Citizen Year
Amazon Conservation Association
University of Pretoria
Universidad de San Francisco de Quito
Yale University

All indicators reported on for 2014

Investment and business plans written with associations and community enterprises - 11
Partnerships with indigenous Amazonian groups - 3
Technical assistance partnerships with associations and community enterprises - 4
Women's participation in decision-making - 42%
Total guayusa and native timber trees donated to producers for forest gardens - 120,000
Community partnerships for integrative landscape management planning - 3
Number of hectares of agroforestry management systems - 900
Number of hectares of sustainably managed forests - 2,000
Number of hectares of formal conservation - 22,500
Number of organic certified farmers - 2,300
Market Access Partners for non-timber forest products (NTFPs) - 4
Total average income per farming family - $1,640
Average income from guayusa per farming family - $120
Annual Fair Trade Social Premium Fund payment - $28,018

Runa Foundation conducts interviews and surveys in the communities in order to monitor several of these key indicators. We also work closely with the producer cooperatives and associations in agricultural and financial trainings and we track their progress.

Runa is listed on the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) Registry and uses IRIS metrics to measure certain indicators.

In 2014 Runa Foundation published the Guayusa Best Practices Manual for small-scale farmers that summarizes the findings of our research for the past five years. In 2014, Runa's Guayusa Trail was named one of the "Worlds Hottest New Experiences for 2015" by The Lonely Planet Guide. We are collaborating with two organizations: Rios Nete in Peru and Naku in Ecuador, to build centers that will help share the healing power of the Amazon and use these traditional methods to address health problems facing the global community today. We have carried out the planning process for creating a new guayusa value chain in Peru; we are carrying out a Pilot Project with six communities in the Peruvian upper Amazon. In the first half of 2014, Runa Foundation provided Fair Trade training workshops to guayusa producer association leaders. These workshops focused on transmitting knowledge and providing tools to support producer compliance with Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) standards. In the second half of 2014, Runa Foundation expanded training processes into the associations themselves. By strengthening association constituencies, alongside leaders, more robust organizations can be fostered.

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Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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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?



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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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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
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
The Runa Foundation is committed to supporting the hiring, retention and promotion of indigenous staff members. This is done through an internship program that creates a pathway to permanent employment for people of color.