Marshall Legacy Institute

Removing Landmines, Promoting Stability

aka MLI   |   Arlington, VA   |  http://www.marshall-legacy.org

Mission

The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1997 to alleviate suffering and promote hope, growth, and stability in war-torn countries. MLI emphasizes the importance of helping countries help themselves and implements the following Mine Action and Social Impact programs: 1) provision of valuable resources and training to hasten the pace of landmine clearance operations; 2) provision of medical assistance & vocational training to landmine survivors; 3) linking of American youth with students abroad to work together to help others; 4) supporting interethnic reconciliation by connecting children from different ethnic/religious groups and uniting them in a common cause; and 5) promotion of economic empowerment for women living in war-torn countries.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director

Ms. Elise Becker

Main address

2425 Wilson Blvd Ste 240

Arlington, VA 22201 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

54-1853093

NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

International Relief (Q33)

International Cultural Exchange (Q21)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

MLI's overall goal is to promote hope, growth and stability in conflict-strewn nations. The lingering presence of landmines and other explosive remnants of war present an immense challenge to the restoration of normalcy. Sadly, tens of millions of these hidden killers are strewn throughout over 60 countries around the world. Landmines injure and kill thousands of people annually. They instill fear and paralyze communities. By denying the use of productive land and other resources, farmers can't farm, refugees can't return home, and children can't walk and play in safety. Landmines inhibit social-economic development and threaten millions around the world. Innocent populations in severely contaminated countries like Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iraq, and Yemen suffer incredibly because of landmines. Both young & adult landmine survivors face long-term medical and psychological challenges long after their initial injuries.

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?

Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP)

The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) emphasizes local capacity-building and helping countries help themselves. MLI’s longest running program, the Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP), works to increase the quality and quantity of life-saving Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) in countries severely affected by landmines. MLI is the only organization in the world that donates highly trained MDDs to the neediest of countries, while also training & equipping local dog handlers to safely and effectively employ the MDDs in national landmine clearance programs. MDDs expedite the rate land is cleared, not only saving lives, but also positively impacting the socio-economic growth of fragile post-conflict countries. MLI has provided 273 mine and explosive detection dogs (MDDs and EDDs) to indigenous demining organizations in12 countries, helping them to incorporate dogs safely and effectively into their mine clearance operations. MDD teams can search land 30 times faster than manual demining!

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families
Children and youth
People with physical disabilities
Victims of conflict and war

Recognizing that a peaceful and secure future for the world relies upon promoting global citizenship and teaching young people about world cultures, diversity, team building, and the consequences of conflict, MLI’s CHildren Against Mines Program (CHAMPS) fosters a holistic education approach. Through service-learning projects that enable schoolchildren in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Yemen to interact regularly with American students through frequent, supervised video conferences, students work together to help landmine survivors. MLI’s ultimate goal is to expand CHAMPS to link schools throughout the world, enabling children to learn about each other and foster a sense of interconnectedness. Utilizing our canine ambassador to present simulated minefield demonstrations, CHAMPS inspires US children to explore the global issue of landmines and become part of the solution, helping raise funds to provide mine detection dogs and assistance to landmine survivors.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with physical disabilities
Victims of conflict and war

The destruction caused by landmines doesn’t end when the bomb detonates and the debris settles. The physical injuries of children who are hurt by landmines are often more severe than those of adults; their emotional trauma is greater; and their economic prospects significantly bleaker. For adult mine victims, the challenges can be overwhelming; they typically have great difficulty finding employment and are unable to support themselves or their family members. MLI provides medical assistance, prosthetics, vocational training, and mine risk education to survivors, especially children, offering renewed hope for their future. MLI’s Survivors’ Assistance programs and Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS) have helped thousands of individuals in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.

Population(s) Served
People with physical disabilities
Children
Adults
Victims of conflict and war
Self-employed people

At MLI, we believe that equipping young leaders with the tools and confidence to create local impact is the key to a peaceful and prosperous future. Through Peace Makers and Problem Solvers (PMPS), MLI equips educators with tools and resources to implement a curriculum that focuses on leadership development and problem solving skills and connects students in North America with students in conflict-affected countries, encouraging young people to work together to identify humanitarian issues and collaborate on a solution. Through PMPS, young leaders learn to identify a purpose for a humanitarian project, explore possible options, debate the issues from different perspectives, determine how to effectively utilize resources, and set goals to establish a course of action for the project. Students are encouraged to think critically about the world around them and gain real-life experience in conversing and brainstorming solutions to problems with their peers abroad.

Population(s) Served

Sports provide a powerful vehicle for shared experience, social change, community engagement, teamwork, and more, even across cultural barriers. Peace through Sport uses sport as a connector for young people in the United States and Lebanon to connect virtually while learning skills such as communication and problem solving. Participating students create a project to benefit their communities during an eight-week session in addition to participating in and implementing fun activities in their communities and hearing from sports leaders. Students from Lebanon and the US learn about each other's cultures through shared activities, discovering similar problems in each of their communities and working together to come up with solutions. Generously funded by the US Government and US Embassy of Lebanon, PMPS is an eight-week program offering eight sessions per year.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Young adults
At-risk youth
Victims of conflict and war
Students
Adolescents
Young adults
At-risk youth
Victims of conflict and war
Students

Where we work

Accreditations

Charity Navigator 2012

Charity Navigator 2021

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 Mine Detection Dogs donated to mine-affected countries.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of people provided assistive technology

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

Victims and oppressed people, People with physical disabilities

Related Program

Survivors' Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The number of landmine survivors receiving prosthetic devices and medical assistance in mine-affected countries.

Acres of land searched by certified Mine Detection Dog teams.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Acres of land searched by MLI-donated Mine Detection Dogs and cleared in mine-affected countries.

Number of overall donors

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Overall donors include the total number of private donors (individuals, schools, businesses, and private foundations). Government grants are not included.

Number of clients who complete job skills training

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

Victims and oppressed people, People with physical disabilities

Related Program

Survivors' Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our vocational training program provides landmine survivors in mine-affected countries courses in beekeeping, IT and computer science, poultry production and apple production, carpentry, and sewing.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

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

Children and youth, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of people in mine-affected countries that receive Mine Risk Education.

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.

The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) was founded by General Gordon R. Sullivan in 1997, the 50th Anniversary year of the Marshall Plan, to extend the vision and legacy of Nobel Peace Laureate George C. Marshall. MLI’s mission is to locate, secure, and apply skills and resources to alleviate suffering, restore hope, and create conditions that nurture stability in countries affected by conflict. For many nations, a primary obstacle to achieving sustainable progress and stability is the deadly legacy of landmines, deadly relics of armed conflicts that often ended long ago.

As Americans, fortunately, do not experience the everyday reality of living with the threat of landmines and unexploded ordnance, most do not know, understand, or appreciate the danger, death, destruction, and fear caused by these weapons. Thus, private citizens, schools, churches, community organizations, and corporations across America are unaware of the issues war-torn countries face and seldom get involved to become part of the solution. Through a variety of programs, MLI engages Americans in the myriad issues that are caused by war, encouraging them to become part of the solution. Thanks to these efforts, private Americans have sponsored over 270 life-saving Mine Detection and Explosive Detection Dogs. Through our education programs: Children Against Mines Program, Peace Makers and Problem Solvers, and Peace through Sport, MLI harnesses the unique opportunity to leverage the influential power of youth as an essential human resource. By connecting youth in post-conflict nations with U.S. youth, these programs broaden the horizons of students who may otherwise have limited opportunities to communicate with youth from other countries or even travel beyond their own villages. Taking a two-pronged approach, MLI works to alleviate mine contamination now through the Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program, while paving the path to a peaceful and prosperous future by elevating youth through education.

Over the next five years, the Marshall Legacy Institute plans to provide conflict-impacted countries with the resources and training to help them recover. MLI will continue to emphasize indigenous ownership, local capacity-building and long-term sustainability, with our largest programs: 1) providing valuable resources (especially highly trained dogs through the Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP) and training of local handlers to hasten the pace of landmine clearance operations; 2) providing medical assistance, prosthetic limbs, and vocational training to landmine survivors, and specialized training to doctors & local rehabilitation teams; 3) linking American youth with students abroad to work together to help others; 4) supporting interethnic & inter-religious reconciliation in post-conflict societies by connecting children from different ethnic/religious groups and uniting them in a common cause; and 5) promoting economic empowerment, hope, and dignity for women living in war-torn countries by providing education, training, and mentoring to enhance their job skills and employment opportunities.

MLI has been effectively initiating programs to help war-torn countries for the past 25 years in part due to our ability to maintain a small staff of talented individuals that are dedicated to helping others. Staff members meet with local leaders in the mine-affected countries to determine genuine need, then aggressively pursue awareness and fund-raising strategies to support our Mine Action and Social Impact programs. Staff identify private donors to sponsor life-saving dogs and support landmine survivors, and then win government grants to cover additional program and administrative costs.

MLI’s Social Impact Programs began as a way to assist communities in post-conflict countries live a more fulfilling life. With funding from private foundations and the U.S. Department of State, these programs help to rebuild peace, promote leadership among youth, and put a strong emphasis on the empowerment of women and the improvement of their role in society. Our Inter-cultural Reconciliation program was launched in Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2014, and it has fostered friendship and trust between youth within Bosnia’s three majority ethnic groups (Bosniak, Croat, and Serb). In 2017, MLI established our Women’s Empowerment programs, which launched with the implementation of a program in southern Iraq for war widows. From 2017-2019, MLI helped 80 vulnerable Iraqi women who were facing increased financial responsibility, due to the loss or severe injury of a male provider in their family, with the training, mentoring, and internship opportunities they needed to enhance and develop job skills and employment opportunities. Small grants were also given to the women to help them start their own businesses, significantly improving their position to support themselves and their family. Over the past two years, MLI has focused on expanding youth leadership development with two programs: Peace Makers and Problem Solvers (PMPS) and Peace through Sport. Both programs focus on building tomorrow’s global leaders, equipping educators with tools and resources to implement a curriculum in their classroom that focuses on leadership development and problem solving skills. PMPS has successfully empowered youth in Colombia and the U.S. to create and implement community-centric service projects, such as sanitation stations, mental health presentations, recycling initiatives, anti-violence campaigns, and other unique projects. In its inaugural year, Peace through Sport has exposed students in Lebanon and the U.S. to inspiring sports leaders and encouraged difficult conversations on equality and conflict resolution, encouraging them to think and communicate in new ways.

To support all of our programs, MLI focuses on forming private-public partnerships to accomplish our mission; senior officials at the US Department of State have frequently commented that MLI is among the best in the business at establishing and maintaining these partnerships.

MLI has donated 273 highly trained explosive-sniffing dogs to the neediest of countries; these dogs have searched more than 52 million m² of land. MLI trains local handlers to safely & effectively employ the lifesaving dogs, and none of our dogs have been injured or killed while working. MLI has successfully established and/or expanded indigenous explosive-sniffing dog programs in Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Eritrea, southern Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Yemen. In each country where MLI has developed an initial MDD capacity, the beneficiary countries have greatly expanded their MDD programs, recognizing the immense value that the heroic animals provide.

MLI adheres to international standards for training and certifying each of its dog-handler teams to ensure that the MDDs can safely, effectively & reliably locate landmines and other explosive remnants of war. MLI’s MDD teams typically search up to 30 times the amount of land that manual deminers can search in a given period time, without sacrificing safety or accuracy.

MLI also has extensive programs to assist landmine survivors and other victims of war. MLI has provided medical assistance, prosthetics, and vocational training for hundreds of survivors, offering renewed hope for their future. MLI has also implemented a mentoring and small business development program for war-widows in Iraq that helped nearly 100 Iraqi women find employment or start their own business in 2018! All of these programs aim to restore dignity and enhance quality of life for people living in conflict-impacted countries.

Additionally, for the past 18 years, MLI has implemented a robust children’s program called the Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS), connecting 10s of thousands of American youth with youth in mine affected countries and inspiring them to raise nearly $900,000 to sponsor life-saving dogs and provide medical care and prostheses for more than 1,600 landmine survivors. Through CHAMPS, MLI delivers landmine presentations and simulated minefield demonstrations with its K9 Ambassador (a retired mine detection dog) to engage students in the landmine issue. CHAMPS inspires American children to not only explore the problem, but to also become part of the solution.

Building upon the success of CHAMPS Bosnia, in 2022 MLI expanded the program to Colombia, focusing on schools in heavily mine affected regions of the country. In 2018, MLI launched PMPS in Colombia, an initiative that garnered great support and enthusiasm from both students and teachers in the country. In response to the request for more youth focused inter-cultural programing, CHAMPS will engage younger students than PMPS had previously and help promote youth participation in both programs as they work their way through school.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The majority of the people we serve are landmine survivors (men, women, and children) in countries affected by war and conflict. We also serve people who have been disproportionately affected by conflict, such as children, youth, women, and people with disabilities.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Youth Focus Groups,

  • 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 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?

    When a landmine survivor with a disability has a specific need or wish, we seek ways to provide them uniquely tailored assistance. Recently, due to feedback on our social media page, we have enacted a social media policy for posting survivors' pictures to ensure their privacy is protected. Additionally, we developed two education programs targeting older students - high school and college age, after feedback from younger students in our CHAMPS program that they would like to have options to continue with cultural exchange and mine risk education.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

    We work very closely with the people we serve, sometimes over many years. This relationship creates a large impact not only on their lives, but on the lives of others as they promote positive change in their communities. Being a larger part of our programs greatly empowers our beneficiaries. At MLI, we are consistently evolving and enhancing programs to better suit the needs of our beneficiaries. For example, while mine detection dogs are not currently active in Yemen, we are still able to provide survivors' assistance in the country. After seeing a need to help enable survivors to have their own financial stability, we began a partnership program with YALS (Yemen Association for Landmine and UXO Survivors) to provide vocational training and small business grants to the survivors.

  • 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 act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

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

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Marshall Legacy Institute

Board of directors
as of 04/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

GEN (Ret.) Gordon Sullivan

Association of U.S. Army

The Honorable Sherri Goodman

The Honorable Joe R. Reeder

Perry F. Baltimore III

Gordon R. Sullivan

William G. Foster

The Honorable Anthony Lake

The Honorable William Lynn

Elise Becker

MG (Ret.) Robert M. Dyess, Jr.

Dr. W. Travis Morris

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 3/11/2022

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/14/2021

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

Data
  • 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.
Policies and processes
  • 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.