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Katy TX | IRS ruling year: 2014 | EIN: 46-2022575
Rainforest Connection's mission is to develop and leverage conservation technology that empowers partners to protect threatened ecosystems from illegal activities an ... (More)
Rainforest Connection's mission is to develop and leverage conservation technology that empowers partners to protect threatened ecosystems from illegal activities and monitor for biodiversity. (Less)
This charity's score is 96%, earning it a Four-Star rating. If this organization aligns with your passions and values, you can give with confidence.
We recognize that not all metrics and beacons equally predict a charity’s success. The percentage each beacon contributes to the organization’s overall rating depends on the number of beacons an organization has earned.
Use the tool below to select different beacons to see how the weighting shifts when only one, two, or three beacons are earned.
Rating histories are available for a growing number of rated organizations. Check back later to see if this organization has a rating history!
The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Accountability & Finance score for Rainforest Connection is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.
Rainforest Connection has earned a 95% for the Accountability & Finance beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of a charity's financial health (financial efficiency, sustainability, and trustworthiness) and its commitment to governance practices and policies.
This Accountability & Finance score represents IRS Form 990 data up until FY 2020, which is the most recent Form 990 currently available to us.Learn more
Charity Navigator looks for at least 3 board members, with more than 50% of those members identified as independent (not salaried).
The presence of an independent governing body is strongly recommended by many industry professionals to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other organizational matters.
Source: IRS Form 990
An Audit, Review, or Compilation provides important information about financial accountability and accuracy. Organizations are scored based on their Total Revenue Amount:
|Total Revenue Amount||Expectation to Receive Credit|
|$1 million or higher||Expected to complete an audit|
|$500,000 - $1 million||Expected to complete an audit, review, or compilation|
|Less than $500,000||No expectation (removed from scoring methodology)|
Source: IRS Form 990
Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a conflict of interest policy on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.
This policy protects the organization and by extension those it serves, when it is considering entering into a transaction that may benefit the private interest of an officer, director and/or key employee of the organization.
Source: IRS Form 990
Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has this process in place as an accountability and transparency measure.
An official record of the events that take place during a board meeting ensures that a contemporaneous document exists for future reference.
Source: IRS Form 990
Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a document retention and destruction policy per the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.
This policy establishes guidelines for the handling, backing up, archiving and destruction of documents. These guidelines foster good record keeping procedures that promote data integrity.
Source: IRS Form 990
Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a whistleblower policy per the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.
This policy outlines procedures for handling employee complaints, as well as a confidential way for employees to report financial or other types of mismanagement.
Source: IRS Form 990
Charity Navigator looks for a website on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency metric.
Nonprofits act in the public trust and reporting publicly on activities is an important component.
Source: IRS Form 990
The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990). This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and/or long-term sustainability.
|Liabilities to Assets Ratio||Amount of Credit Received|
|Less than 50%||Full Credit|
|50% - 59.9%||Partial Credit|
|60% or more||No Credit|
Source: IRS Form 990
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.
|Program Expense Percentage||Amount of Credit Received|
|70% or higher||Full Credit|
|60% - 69.9%||Partial Credit|
|50% - 59.9%||Zero Points for Program Expense Score|
|Below 50%||Zero Points for Both Program Expense AND Liabilities to Assets Scores|
Source: IRS Form 990
No Data Available
Revenue and expense data is not available for this organization. This data is only available if this charity has at least one year of electronically-filed Form 990 data filed within the last six years.
No Data Available
Key Persons data is currently unavailable for this organization. This data is only available if this charity has at least one year of electronically-filed Form 990 data filed within the last six years.
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
Activity data not reported from the IRS
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)
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)
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 search for this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available). Simply enter the organization's name (Rainforest Connection) or EIN (462022575) in the 'Search Term' field.
This organization was impacted by COVID-19 in a way that effected their financial health in 2020. This normally would have reduced their star rating. 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, and doing this pauses our revision of their rating. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.
Rainforest Connection reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:
Due to the inability to travel to international project sites, we were challenged with not being able to physically deploy our system and train our on-the-ground partners in person. Given the physical nature of climbing tree-top canopies and installing our devices in canapy locations that best suit the device's ability to gain solar power and collect soundscape acoustics, our experts are best suited for the first phase of deployment until local partners can be trained. This challenged our ability to launch projects, and therefore, affected the amount and scope of projects we were able to take on. Smaller scoped projects and less projects resulted in lower grants and project funding. Additionally, with global financial uncertainty, corporations and individuals were more weary of donating.
How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:
Due to supply chain issues, getting parts for our Guardian Devices was challenging and slowed down our ability to produce as well as ship the items needed for project sites. In addition, given an inability to travel to international project sites, we were challenged with not being able to physically deploy our system in tree canopies, and we weren't able to train our on-the-ground partners in person on how to use our guardian system once deployed, or how to fix the devices if environmental factors affected the service. This limited the efficiency of being able to launch and maintain project site proetction, as well as being able to quickly fix some devices that needed attention.
How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:
The challenge: We needed to train Malaysian forestry officials on how to install and troubleshoot the Guardian, as well as the need for “walking through” and training local tree climbers on the actual installation in the tree-tops. Historically, this process has been done in person by RFCx team members, as it requires quite literally some physical and manual guidance. Additionally, we also needed to find qualified tree climbers to install the Guardians. The Accomplishment: Thanks to video conference technology, large screens, and the exceptional communication and partnership between RFCx, Huawei, the Malaysian Forestry Department, and the Forestry Commission, we worked together to not only find the appropriate tree climbers, but we were able to provide capacity training to prepare these climbers.
Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:
We now know that our Remote Installation Protocol is successful, and if needed, we can deploy our Guardian system even from the other side of the world. We intend to continue this protocol for less complicated installations or emergency relocation or device fix needs.
Not Currently Scored
Rainforest Connection cannot currently be evaluated by our 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.
No 990 Program Data Found
Rainforest Connection has earned a 100% for the Culture & Community beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves.Learn more
30% of beacon score
This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. 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.
Who are the people you serve with your mission? Describe briefly.
Partners on the ground, local rangers, indigenous people, local governments, local conservationists, and scientists.
How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?
Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Suggestion box/email, Other means
How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?
To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, 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
With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?
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 with them or shifted power - over decisions, resources, rules or in other ways - to them?
We create a partnership with those we serve. We don't simply provide the technology. We also train and provide continual support. We empower our on the ground partners with the tools and services to better protect and monitor their local natural areas. Their feedback and partnership to better our support and services is the only way we can do our job properly. They know the area and the issues best. We tailor all projects to their needs and the needs of the diverse areas we are monitoring and protecting.
What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?
We don't have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is difficult to get honest feedback from our clients
Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.
One of our project sites where we deployed a set of guardians wasn't covering as large an area as we had intended. The rangers on the ground had let us know there were some blind spots. We then worked with the local partners and rangers to go back on site and reassess deployment sites to better protect a larger portion of that forest.
70% of beacon score
This organization's score of 100 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 12 Equity Practices. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective equity policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.
Equity Practices (5/7)
We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and/or portfolios.
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization/'s programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
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 disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured
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.
Equity Policies and Procedures (7/7)
We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
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.
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Rainforest Connection has earned a 100% for the Leadership & Adaptability beacon. See the metrics below for more information.
This beacon 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.Learn more
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization's mission
We harness the power of sound in creating the technology and human connections that accelerate the protection, preservation, and understanding of the natural world. We leverage acoustic technology, AI, and machine learning to monitor and protect remote forests, enabling real-time interventions. We provide conservationists, scientists, and supporters with data drive insights that will expedite and automate ecosystem conservation and species protection.
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.
We envision a future where anyone, anywhere can connect with and protect the natural world, everywhere.
Source: Nonprofit submitted responses
The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.
Goal One: Measure Collect mass amounts of audio data from all over the natural world, for as many species and acoustic variables as possible.
Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.
Goal Two: Evaluate Empower the use of collected data to create actionable insights that enable conservation decision making.
Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).
Goal Three: Recommend Use actionable insights and experience to inform a focused, customized effort towards achieving specific conservation outcomes.
Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.
The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development
3 of our top execs (Director of Marketing, Director of Business Development, Founder) were sent to Glasgow for COP26 to learn more about the technological and political updates directly related to our industry, build our network, learn about the media process, and present the our mission.
The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.
Networks of Collective Impact Efforts
We work with local governments, other nonprofits, corporate partners, indigenous tribes, and on the ground rangers and partners to use our system to protect and conserve their local natural areas. We train and provide continual support on the use of our Guardian system and monitoring systems at our project sites all over the world, to support their conservation efforts and/or biodiversity monitoring projects. Our technology, science, and acoustics are open source and free to all to access and use. We often engage in thought leadership activities by presenting at conferences and web summits, our scientists are continually publishing their research as found on our website, we contribute and attend industry workshops within conservation tech and biodiversity monitoring networks. Our marketing activities focus on pushing our mission forward and aim to create awareness of the importance of conserving the vulnerable resources and species of our natural world.
The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.
COVID has presented challenges not only with financial limitations as many had less income that could go toward individual donations, but it also created a challenge for our team to be able to travel and deploy our Guardian System in person at our project sites around the world. We adapted by creating a process for training the local partners virtually via whatsapp and video conferencing. This is a complicated situation as we not only have to train local partners (rangers, etc) on how to use the alert technology and platform for optimal threat detection and prevention of illegal logging and poaching, but we also had to virtually source and train local tree climbers on how to install our Guardians high in treetop canopies. We often had one of the tree climbers hold the phone up when on video conference so that we could communicate and demonstrate live, exactly how to install our hardware in the treetop. The outcome of this virtual deployment was successful, and the process that was created to adapt to the need of virtual deployment will allow us to scale and deploy our system at more project sites and decrease the need for more team members to travel to project sites as often, and therefore, less overhead.