Heifer Project International, Inc. HQ

aka Heifer International   |   Little Rock, AR   |


We work to end hunger and poverty in partnership with local communities. 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


President and CEO

Surita Sandosham

Main address

1 World Avenue

Little Rock, AR 72202 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Heifers for Relief



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.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now



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?

Strengthening Smallholder Livestock Value Chain Enterprises

The program primarily focuses on the goat meat and dairy value chains, connecting smallholder producers to markets. It will reach 125,000 families and 170 cooperatives, supporting farmers to scale up their businesses by introducing new technologies and increasing access to finance and business development services. By the project’s end date, families are projected to increase their annual income by 72%, earning $4,546 a year from all income-generating activities supported by the project. Adoption of new technologies is projected to reduce goat kid mortality by 50%. Farmers are joining cooperatives, increasing their power to negotiate fair prices for their products. The program also supports feasibility studies, marketing plans, product registration and product labeling. Support is also being given for backyard poultry and vegetable gardening to diversify farmers’ incomes.

Population(s) Served

The Future of Food was developed to improve the income and food security of 18,000 smallholder farming families in the Galapagos Islands, Azuay and Pichincha provinces. Participating farmers are projected to generate an average income of $182 per farmer per month by improving business practices and management of agroecological farms. The project promotes and supports strengthened agroecological practices in response to climate change, protecting biodiversity, soil, water of fragile ecosystems and a World Heritage Site.

Producer associations gain permanent access to agroecological markets, leading to an increase in socially and environmentally friendly food consumption. Farmers use new farming techniques to capture greenhouse gases and reduce chemical use, decreasing farm contamination. In doing so, they are expanding access to nutritious and healthy food produced in a sustainable way.

Population(s) Served

This program aims to support 6,250 spice producers in Alta Verapaz in three phases, enabling them to close the living income gap by 2025. Heifer Guatemala will promote the development of six spice value chains including cardamom, black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and annatto, encouraging agroforestry systems and product diversification based on national and international market demand. Through the project, spice producers’ organizations will be strengthened as production associations are developed and producers scale their businesses with reliable production and sales processes. As part of the Green Business Belt project, Heifer Impact Capital has invested in Nueva Kerala, a new spice processing and distribution company, selling directly to spice importers in the United States and around the world, opening new markets to farmers. Sales of over $21 million are projected by the end of this project.

Population(s) Served

In alignment with the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Heifer International is participating in the implementation of the Transformational Strategies for Farm Output Risk Mitigation Project (TRANSFORM). TRANSFORM is a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Cargill Inc., in partnership with Heifer International, Ausvet and the International Poultry Council (IPC) in Kenya, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. The project seeks to engage global market actors from the backyard and industrial farmers and their respective governments in sustainably strengthening the animal-sourced food system and enhancing global health security by preventing emerging zoonoses, transboundary animal diseases (TADs) and anti-microbial resistance (AMR) in major animal agriculture value chains. The proposed strategy takes a systems approach including policy, practices and data utilization.

Population(s) Served

Hatching Hope is a multi-country program developed to improve the nutrition and economic livelihoods of 100 million people by 2030 through the production and promotion of backyard poultry. Hatching Hope combines support from Heifer International, Cargill and other partners. Programs are currently active in India, Kenya and Mexico.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2017


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

COVID Cruisaders Award 2020

Indo-American Chamber of Commerce

Henry Spira Prize for Animal Wellbeing 2020

Humane Society International

Total Number of Families Assisted Through Heifer International's projects

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


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 39 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.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Heifer Project International, Inc.

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


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


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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Heifer Project International, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 11/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Randi Hedin

No affiliation

Term: 2020 -

Nikolaus Hutter

Tom Hadfield

Pete Kappelman

Doug Galen

Esther Cohen

Susan Grant

Josephine Oguta

Ramesh Singh

Mary Renwick

Chuck Warta

Nathan Hosler

Martha Brantley

Victoria Sekitoleko

Alberto Irezabal Vilaclara

Patricia Kisare

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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/30/2022

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


No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/07/2021

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 disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.