EDUCATED CHOICES PROGRAM

Educating for a Better World

Lawrenceville, GA   |  www.ecprogram.org

Mission

The Educated Choices Program educates middle school, high school, college students, and other community members about the impact of their food choices, inspiring them to make decisions that are consistent with their own values as related to human health, the environment, and animals. By providing factual, mainstream information, and promoting respectful dialogue, participants are encouraged to think critically about their food choices.

Ruling year info

2015

CEO

Lorena Mucke

Main address

1561 Green Oak Circle

Lawrenceville, GA 30043 USA

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Formerly known as

Ethical Choices Program

EIN

47-5137685

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

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

Changing food choices is the single most impactful action that an individual can take in the efforts to mitigate climate change and therefore improve the health of our planet and the variety of life that inhibits it. Over 100 million Americans live with diabetes or pre-diabetes and heart disease remains the leading cause of preventable death. The incidence of childhood obesity is more than triple what it was in 1970. These chronic diseases and others can be broadly traced back to the Standard American Diet. Modern industrialized farming methods used to meet the demand for animal products can be distressing for workers and animals, alike. With new food technologies quickly developing and becoming more mainstream, it is within our power to reduce the demand and therefore improve upon these conditions. With all of these facts in mind, it is critically important that young people are aware of the power they have to shape the future of our planet through their food choices.

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?

Educational Presentations

The Educated Choices Program is dedicated to inspiring this generation to realize the importance and responsibility of being informed and to understand the power and influence they wield to make the world a better place through their food choices. By helping students understand the realities behind their choices and the many benefits of healthy eating, students can make informed, responsible and compassionate decisions for themselves and other beings.

ECP offers five engaging, interactive presentations that encourage participation and critical thinking. Using age-appropriate videos, activities and open-ended questions we challenge students to identify widespread assumptions about human health, the environment and the use of animals.

By providing only current, mainstream research and information about these issues, we give students legitimate facts that inform their food choices in a non-judgmental, honest and respectful way. Our goal is for students to learn about and consider food choices that improve their health, benefit the environment and consider animals with compassion.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Young adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

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

Young adults, Adolescents, Preteens

Related Program

Educational Presentations

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We pivoted quickly and created digital presentations during COVID school closures to ensure continuation of our work and impact. The resulting 2020 numbers are slightly lower but still successful!

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.

A healthy, sustainable and more compassionate world will require thoughtful, critical thinkers. Communities have the tools to solve global problems. The Educated Choices Program is dedicated to inspiring others to realize the importance and responsibility of being informed and to understand the power and influence they wield to make the world a better place through their food choices. In understanding the realities behind these choices and the many benefits of healthy eating, people can make informed, responsible and compassionate decisions for themselves and other beings.

As an academic program, ECP offers five engaging, interactive, and educational presentations that encourage participation and critical thinking. Using age-appropriate videos, activities and open-ended questions we challenge students to identify widespread assumptions about human health, the environment, the use of animals and how it relates to their food choices. Presentations topics include Healthful Eating, The Environment and Modern Agriculture, Modern Animal Agriculture, The Ethics of Eating, and Cell Based/Plant Based Technologies – The Future of Meat and Dairy.

By providing only current, mainstream research and information about these issues, we give students legitimate facts that inform their food choices in a non-judgmental, honest and respectful way. Our goal is for students to learn about and consider food choices that improve their health, benefit the environment and consider animals with compassion.

Utilizing the experience and expertise of our leadership team in the fields of education, sustainability, business management, sociology, and health; we are able to design programs that support State academic standards, convey the information in a age specific relatable manner, and accurately address the effects of food choices on many aspects of our world. We also invest a significant amount of time and resources to the training and managing our our Field Educators. Initially, all newly employed educators attend a intensive 4-day training program covering policies and best practices, field responsibilities, topic knowledge, attitude models, communication and professionalism and evaluation of participants to assure we have a good fit. We also provide educators and staff with opportunities for continuing professional development as well as wellness and mindfulness courses. Most importantly, the infrastructure of our field model allows for constant communication and evaluation of our
educators, assuring that our program "product" is the most professional and effective effort we can offer.

As of June of 2021, over 1,900,000 students have viewed our presentations with over 50% of those surveyed making statistically significant reductions/eliminations of animal products from their diets. By utilizing our Living Lab to experiment with educational content and delivery, we are able to continually improve our presentations to result in improved impact.

An online component of our learning program was launched as part of our COVID response to ensure that we continue to reach as many students as possible during each school year, even when our educators cannot safely be in the classrooms. Our leadership team created a virtual experience consisting of professionally narrated versions of our presentations, along with lesson plans offering activities and quizzes for teachers to utilize in their distance learning classrooms. The information shared in these virtual presentations is identical to our in-person versions but with adaptations made to the interactive components. Going forward, we will offer these new online presentations to areas of the US and Canada in which we do not yet have staff educators as well as utilize a newly developed global version to expand internationally. This will multiply our efforts and increase our outreach into the future while keeping our cost per student low.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Middle school, high school and college students, teachers and professors as well as other community groups.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Each year we make visual and written changes to our presentations based on participant responses to specific verbiage and/or images used to illustrate different concepts. We take not only written suggestions and responses directly related to the material into account but we also measure our impact before and after changes made to ensure proper communication and understanding with our target audience. We have also incorporated area specific slides showcasing food resources for each locality to ensure inclusion and concern for those participating who may have challenges accessing healthy foods as well as leaving additional resources behind with teachers in the event that students need them. This was done when our educators found a need in their communities for this additional information.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It has given us valuable insight into what information was new to participants, what they found most interesting and how it shaped their decision making moving forward. This valuable information helps us to better communicate our message in a way that our audience identifies with and finds most useful. This makes us a more impactful organization and therefore will always be a part of our conversation when creating new programs and/or updating existing ones. We feel that making their voices heard further empowers young people to speak up and make a difference in the world!

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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 act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

EDUCATED CHOICES PROGRAM
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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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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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.

EDUCATED CHOICES PROGRAM

Board of directors
as of 6/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Patricia Priest

Stephen Kaufman

Nancy Williams

Kip Andersen

Matthew Eckmann

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/03/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability