Heifer Project International, Inc. HQ

Ending Hunger and Poverty and Caring for the Earth

aka Heifer International   |   Little Rock, AR   |  https://www.heifer.org

Mission

We work to end hunger and poverty in partnership with the communities we serve. Our programs support entrepreneurs around the world, creating lasting change from the ground up. It begins with a seed investment of livestock or agriculture, followed by mentorship to help project participants build a business, and ultimately to gain access to supply chains and markets. These families are able to earn a living income and continuously lift up their communities as they train the next generation of leaders. By supporting and training the world's farmers, ranchers, and female business owners, we're investing in a new breed of success.

Ruling year info

1999

President and CEO

Mr. Pierre Ferrari

Main address

1 World Avenue

Little Rock, AR 72202 USA

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Formerly known as

Heifers for Relief

EIN

35-1019477

NTEE code info

International Agricultural Development (Q31)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At Heifer International, we invest in farmers and business owners around the world, because we know that having a secure source of income can be truly transformational for families and their communities. When we start working with a community, together, we set a living income benchmark using data gathered by the farmers themselves. This is an amount that’s specific to a district or region of a country, and tailored to the local context. We then work with communities to close the gap between current income levels and living income, helping them to expand their businesses in a sustainable way and take them to scale. We work with local people to create opportunities throughout different value chains. We’re serious about ending hunger and poverty in a sustainable way, and we know working at scale is vital for doing it.

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?

Rural Entrepreneurs for Agricultural Cooperation in Haiti

With hunger and poverty still impacting many Haitians in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, we launched the Rural Entrepreneurs for Agricultural Cooperation in Haiti (REACH) project – a comprehensive plan to restore rural livelihoods by promoting sustainable food production.

For decades, Haitian farmers have grappled with poor quality soil, a lack of tools and expertise to grow their farms, and poor roads, limiting their ability to get their products to markets. Before the REACH project began, there were only 75 registered veterinarians in the whole of Haiti and no veterinary schools. As a result, demand for meat and dairy far exceeded domestic supply.

Over a five-year period, the REACH project supported farmers as they learned and adopted modern farming practices, improving the productivity of their farms in a sustainable way, protecting local resources like soil and water.

Communities organized themselves into self-help groups that identified needs within their community and then set about agreeing plans to address them. With women and youth among the most vulnerable to disasters, we focused on equipping them with the skills they needed to build modern, successful farms that provide them with a reliable source of income.

Working closely with the self-help groups, we identified, recruited and trained 120 new animal health workers who live and work within farming communities. This created new, local jobs, giving farmers access to a wide range of expertise to make their farms more productive.

We set up 75 local animal breeding centers to improve the quality of breeds on local farms and create more local jobs. And our experts worked with farmers to expand crop growing on their farms, producing locally grown nutritious food that also gave them another source of income.

Population(s) Served

In 2012, we launched the first phase of this ambitious, market-oriented project, with the goal of improving the livelihoods and nutrition of small-scale goat and dairy farmers. The six-year, $27.1 million project supported 107,000 families across 28 districts to increase their incomes, working with 77 implementing partners.

Building on the success of the initial stage of the project, we have now launched a second phase that sees us working with farmers to meet demand for goat milk and meat, with the goal of ending poverty for half a million families by 2023.

Training is also provided for people within the villages to provide basic veterinary services such as vaccinations and deworming, with 308 community animal health workers trained in the first phase of the project. This gives farmers local expertise they can call on when they have a problem, at a small cost, and also creates a source of income for other people in their community.

Securing access to formal markets has been fundamental to increasing incomes through this project. We have supported women as they organized into thousands of self-help groups and more than 180 farming cooperatives to achieve shared goals such as constructing goat sheds and milk chilling centers, and learn about money management, gender equality, and entrepreneurship.

Trade alliances help farmers to more effectively reach wholesale and retail markets, enabling them to secure prices that are 25-30% higher. Cooperatives unite communities and earn families an average of $114 more each year – helping to bridge the living income gap.

Families that were part of the project’s first phase sold 63% more goat meat per year than those who did not, with our initial investment leveraging additional resources from local and regional governments and other NGOs to sustain community development in the long-term.

Population(s) Served

By helping more than 230,000 dairy farmers scale their businesses, the East African Dairy Development Project has emerged as one of the leading market-oriented development initiatives in the region.

From 2008-18, we worked with farmers to implement a sustainable system that would improve the quality and quantity of their milk production and connect them to reliable markets. armers in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda received training to improve the health and yields of their cows, as well as guidance to improve their feed.

The project also supported the creation of a network of milk hubs, where farmers can get their milk tested for quality control, measured out and then chilled before being transported by the hub. The milk hubs are managed by farmer’s cooperatives, which sell directly to major dairy companies in the area. Because each cooperative provides a guaranteed supply of milk that passes quality tests, they are able to negotiate higher prices for farmers.

Through the milk hubs, farmers can borrow money against the milk they already delivered and use it to pay their monthly bills. Not only do the hubs bring together hundreds, even thousands, of farmers in each location, they also provide additional sources of income for other people within the villages. Some started to provide transportation options to farmers who are required to get milk to the hubs every morning, while others have built successful businesses by purchasing milk and turning it into products like yogurt and cheese.

Throughout the course of the 10-year East African Dairy Development Project, Heifer worked with partners including TechnoServe, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), African Breeders Services, World Agroforestry Center and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2017

Awards

Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize 2006

Conrad Hilton Foundation

World Service Medal 2012

Kiwanis International

Former President Jo Luck, co-laureate, World Food Prize 2011

World Food Prize

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Total Number of Families Assisted Through Heifer International's projects

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Total Families Assisted is the number of families assisted and receiving ongoing support as part of the active projects in our program’s portfolio.

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.

We’re on a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way by supporting and investing alongside local farmers and their communities.

• Community Mobilization — When we start a project, participants form a local self-help group, together with other people from their community. In some places, these groups already exist, and the group members decide to link up with one of our projects. Each group contains 20-25 people and meets at least once a month. Together, they save money and build a central fund that’s used to invest in the growth of each other’s businesses. As the savings increase and the groups strengthen, with specialized support from our field staff, members agree on rules about how to run the group and identify business areas with potential to boost their incomes. Our teams and partners work and invest alongside the farmers as they grow their businesses. Support from Heifer can include the provision of seeds, livestock and other agricultural supplies, or connections to financing and animal wellbeing experts.

• Training — While subsistence farming provides goods and nutrition for a time, an active marketplace creates incomes, savings, education, employment and opportunities for communities to retain their people and develop new skills and further earning potential. We provide training and support from local experts as farmers scale up production and sales. Scaling up production can bring extra costs and greater risks for smaller businesses, but with the right training and support, new processes can be adopted that make better use of available resources. For livestock projects, improved animal management is a key part of increasing yields.

• Access to Markets — We connect farmers to robust markets so they can sell their goods for fair prices. At the beginning of any project, farmers identify opportunities to increase their incomes within different value chains, together with our local staff. Private sector partnerships also play an important role. In Mexico, our country team connected farmers in our Rural Entrepreneurs project with restaurant group Toks, providing them with a stable market for their free-range eggs.

Since 1944, we’ve worked alongside more than 35 million families as they build sustainable farming businesses. Our work has always focused on farming, because we believe ending poverty begins with agriculture. Cows, goats, chickens and seeds can provide nutritious milk, meat, eggs, food, fodder and so much more for communities living in hunger and poverty.

We work in 21 countries around the world alongside local farmers and business owners. We support farmers and their communities as they mobilize and envision their futures, provide training so they can improve the quantity and quality of the goods they produce, and connections to market to increase sales and incomes. Our model serves as a platform for other partnerships and support.

Our work areas include:

Economic Development — We work with farmers and their communities to identify opportunities that deliver living incomes, creating solutions to local challenges that are designed to build inclusive, resilient economies. And we partner with local NGOs to maximize our impact and interface with local governments to unlock additional funding as a leverage to our investment, and the investments made by communities themselves. Additionally, we deploy our own capital and technology, alongside farmers and private sector partners who share our values.

Environmental Sustainability — We promote agroecology and work with farmers to protect local ecosystems and biodiversity, deploy soil and water conservation techniques, and reduce carbon footprints. Our expert staff work with farmers as they integrate climate-smart agricultural practices on their farms to increase resilience and crop production.

Food Security and Nutrition — We work with farmers to improve productivity, diversify their businesses and increase incomes. With a living income they can provide quality food for themselves and their families.

Risk Mitigation and Resilience — We help people forge the first connections so that they can shift from subsistence to sustainability – from reliance on others to resilience. We test new technologies, assess their impact and share them with communities, through farmer-to-farmer connections and the work of Heifer Labs. Our commitment to monitoring and evaluation enables us to draw learnings from across all our projects.

Women's Empowerment and Social Capital — We support women to improve their products and sell them for higher prices. We work with them to build their confidence so they can find new markets for their goods, and make their voices heard in their communities. And we connect them to other farmers, business owners and entrepreneurs to build inclusive markets that create new opportunities for others. Because when they have their own sources of income and can decide how their money is spent, the impact on their families and communities is truly transformational.

Since 2015, we have focused our work on supporting farmers to build businesses that provide them with a living income. In the last five years, 3.39 million families have reached a living income or are on the pathway with our support. We work in 21 countries around the world alongside local farmers and business owners. We support farmers and their communities as they mobilize and envision their futures, provide training so they can improve the quantity and quality of the goods they produce, and connections to market to increase sales and incomes.

Several of our country programs have determined living income benchmarks for their regions, providing important lessons and helping develop a replicable model for the remaining country programs to use. Though we are still in the process of defining living incomes for all program areas, staff have already begun identifying strategies for helping farmers achieve living incomes and incorporating those strategies into program design.

Financials

Heifer Project International, Inc.
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Heifer Project International, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/10/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Pete Kappelman

No affiliation

Francine Anthony

George Petty

Jay A. Wittmeyer

Nikolaus Hutter

Tom Hadfield

Pete Kappelman

Jerry Jones

Doug Galen

Esther Cohen

Susan Grant

Arlene Withers

Ashley Stone

Josephine Oguta

Thomas Kemper

Tom Nickell

Ertharin Cousin

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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • 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? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes