Mission: Heifer International is a global development organization on a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way.

Heifer International believes ending global hunger and poverty begins with agriculture. For 77 years, it has invested in more than 36 million small-scale farmers and their families around the world, providing livestock, training, and access to a wide range of farmer-focused services.

Working with rural communities in 21 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income.

Heifer International is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1999, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  https://www.heifer.org

 One World Avenue
Little Rock AR 72202 

  P.O. Box 8058
Little Rock AR 72203

  855-948-6437


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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Good

This charity's score is 83.71, earning it a 3-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2020, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

74.9%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

5.3%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

19.6%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

13.5%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.20


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

1.72 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

1.55%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Partial

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Pierre Ferrari, Chief Executive Officer

$459,810 (0.37% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Gifts or grants to individuals (other than scholarships) (BMF activity code: 561)

Foreign organization (BMF activity code: 911)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Heifer International reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Sent

  • Balance Sheet


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

- We took measures to reduce overhead costs in early 2020 in the face of an uncertain donor landscape and to ensure continued support to programs. - Program spending reduced significantly, as countries implemented national lockdowns. Staff continued to provide targeted services including access to animal management services, connections to suppliers of animal feed and medicines, and access to markets, but in-person meetings and trainings were not possible, slowing program spend rates. - In addition to work directly with smallholder farmers to improve production and productivity, we invest alongside farmers and cooperatives in infrastructure to benefit large numbers of farmers. This includes milk chilling hubs, spice dryers, market infrastructure, and more. Progress on these projects slowed due to restrictions on movement of people and goods. - Fundraising investments performed better than expected throughout the year and year-end giving results exceeded projections.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

- Heifer International’s community-based development model focuses on working with communities to build social capital, prior to investments in agricultural inputs or farming infrastructure. The model relies heavily on in-person activities including workshops, group sessions and on-farm activities. Many of these have not been possible in the last year due to restrictions on movement linked to COVID-19. - Many of the communities we work with have been heavily affected. Some program participants and staff have been critically ill, and others have lost their lives. Disruption to food and farming systems from field to market has been severe. - We have provided food aid, PPE and farming inputs to partner communities. We have also invested in transportation so farmers can continue to get their products to market – feeding consumers and ensuring a continued source of income for local farmers and food producers.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

- Field activities continue to follow local and national safety guidance. U.S. based staff continue to work from home apart from those designated as essential workers. - COVID information has been shared widely in program communities through existing networks, partners, and the media. - Technicians and transporters continue to work with farmers to ensure they can deliver quality products to markets with safety protocols in place. Where group project activities are possible, social distancing is adhered to and masks and hand washing equipment is made available. - In countries that are hardest hit, Heifer is providing emergency cash grants and food supplies to communities. Our program staff also help to procure hard to get items. - Prior to the global pandemic, Heifer International had already started to refocus its programs, building a smaller portfolio of larger programs focused on scale, permanence of impact and partnerships. This work has continued during the pandemic.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

- In April 2020, the municipal government of Quito approached Heifer Ecuador to respond to the food security crisis in low-income neighborhoods. The strategy was to establish short and direct chains between urban areas with poor access to fresh produce and farmers in surrounding provinces. - Heifer Ecuador created a marketing and distribution network with producers and neighborhood collectives in the capital in charge of receiving the orders and delivering them door to door. - We kept more than 4,000 families from leaving their homes during the most critical period of the pandemic, with 200 producer families benefiting from the sale of their products, with crops their main source of income. - We have worked with the government and other stakeholders to increase demand for products since lockdowns have lifted. The municipal government is expanding agroecological fairs and opening a first permanent agroecological and organic marketplace benefiting consumers and farmers.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
8/3/20212020 83.71
2/1/20202019 83.58
2/1/20192018 84.01
4/1/20182017 84.71
7/1/20172016 84.34
6/1/20162015 85.15
Rating Version: 2.0
12/22/20152015 82.51
6/1/20152014 78.72
5/1/20152014 78.64

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

12/22/20142013 81.76
7/1/20132012 75.33
4/1/20122011 85.66
12/23/20112010 87.14
9/20/20112010 86.24
Rating Version: 1.0
10/1/20102009 82.68
9/1/20092008 85.25
9/1/20082007 85.06
11/1/20072006 85.01
6/1/20062005 85.04
4/1/20052004 82.17
3/1/20042003 79.68
10/1/20032002 77.11
10/15/20022001 82.40

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Heifer International cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Heifer International reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$64,871,791

Spent in most recent FY

71%

Percent of program expenses


INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: SUSTAINABILITY: HEIFER PROVIDES GIFTS OF FOOD AND INCOME-PRODUCING LIVESTOCK, AS WELL AS EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR CARE AND FEEDING, TO FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES  ... (More)


$25,383,092

Spent in most recent FY

27%

Percent of program expenses


INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: EDUCATION: HEIFER WORKS TO EDUCATE PEOPLE OF ALL AGES IN THE UNITED STATES AND ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WORLD ABOUT THE ROOT CAUSES, THE CONTRIBUTORS TO AND THE CHALLENGES OF GL ... (More)


$1,072,336

Spent in most recent FY

1%

Percent of program expenses


INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: AGRO-ECOLOGY: HEIFER PROVIDES GIFTS OF SEEDS, GRAINS AND TREES AND TEACHES FARMERS AND FAMILIES GEOGRAPHICALLY APPROPRIATE AND RESOURCE-SOUND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES THAT ENH ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Heifer International is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


Heifer International is a global development organization on a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Heifer International believes ending global hunger and poverty begins with agriculture. For 76 years, it has invested in more than 36 million smallholder farmers and their families around the world, supporting them to build businesses that are economically and environmentally sustainable. Working with rural communities in 21 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


A world without hunger and poverty where smallholder farmers can meet demand for food through climate-friendly farming practices.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Support 10 million households to reach a living income by 2030

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.


Goal Two: Promote and support collective action and the formation of farmer groups and farmer owned cooperatives

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Goal Three: Build inclusive and effective value chains

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Heifer International has invested in a new People Department to better meet the needs of the organization and its staff at local, regional and headquarter levels. The People Department is strengthening development policies across the organization and providing clearer guidance and support to leaders in formal and informal leaderships roles. In October 2020, Heifer International provided anti-racism training to all US staff, as part of a wider, ongoing DEI initiative covering all of the 21 countries it works in. In the past 12 months, efforts have also been made to strengthen learning circles, with more tailored support provided based on needs identified by staff and their managers. We have continued education in diverse market systems, emerging technologies and impact capital, and are planning for belonging labs focusing on employee engagement and inclusion. Senior leadership is engaged in a two-year process of intentional development, focused on key competency areas.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

- Building social capital is a core part of Heifer International’s Values Based Holistic Community Development model which focuses on strengthening communities through training on activities including Heifer International’s 12 Cornerstones, informal savings and loans, animal management, and a wide range of business and management training. - Staff regularly present at industry-specific conferences and events. - Work is regularly published and shared in traditional media and on social media channels. We also have a comprehensive, multi-channel marketing strategy. - Research projects regularly published in academic journals. - Member of InterAction and other international development platforms. - Wide range of institutional and corporate partnerships – see annual report for more information.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


The global pandemic impacted communities around the world, hitting many of the world’s poorest people hardest. The local farmers and food producers we work with saw demand disappear overnight, as markets, hotels and restaurants were forced to close, and costs skyrocket, with restrictions on movement making access to animal feed, seeds and farm labor especially difficult. Many farmers saw their incomes drastically reduce or completely disappear, with limited opportunities to generate additional income. Farmers that were on a pathway toward living income regressed, with the income gap widening. Poverty and hunger are again on the rise, meaning support from Heifer International is needed to build resilient livelihoods providing protection to farmers in emergency situations, now more than ever. When the pandemic hit, our field teams provided immediate support to the communities they work with, sharing information on how farmers could protect their families from the virus, as well as masks and hand-washing equipment. As communities went into lockdown, farmers found it increasingly difficult to get their products to market and get access to farming inputs. Together with farmer cooperatives and other partners, we have invested in trucks, motorbikes and other distribution systems so farmers could continue to sell their produce, while working with governments and other local actors to ensure farmers could access medicines, feed, and important support services for their animals. As the pandemic continued, we began providing cash grants to communities for healthcare and other household needs and worked with local governments to procure supplies for community health clinics. Throughout the pandemic, we have kept in place strict protocols across the organization to minimize safety risks for our staff, providing flexible work schedules and paid health leave, as needed.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Pierre Ferrari

President and CEO

Randi Hedin

Chair

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Heifer International is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


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Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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