Heifer Project International


Heifer International combats hunger, alleviates poverty, and restores the environment by providing appropriate livestock, training, and related services to small-scale farmers worldwide. Heifer helps people utilize livestock as an integral component of sustainable agriculture and holistic development. Heifer's projects strengthen rural families and communities through improved nourishment, increased production and the dissemination of skills and knowledge for self-reliance. Care for the earth's natural resources is emphasized through training in livestock management, pasture improvement, soil conservation, forestation and water harvesting.

Heifer'skey concept is that each recipient must pass on to others some of the offspring of the farm animals they receive. This principle, called "passing on the gift," assures that each participant in the program becomes a donor, enhancing dignity and participation in each project. Passing on the gift also helps communities to become self-sustaining.

Projects are selected on the basis of meeting Heifer's twelve "Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development." The International Programs Department staff provides services to Heifer's program personnel and partner organizations for monitoring and evaluation of all programs. Heifer has field offices in major program areas around the world that in turn work with a large network of local nongovernmental and grassroots organizations. Most of the field staff are nationals of the country and have a variety of technical skills that help project participants to confront the challenges and problems they encounter.

Contact information

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 8058
1 World Ave (72202)
Little Rock, AR 72202-2863

Website: www.heifer.org

Phone: (501) 907-2600

Email: info@heifer.org

Organization details

EIN: 351019477

CEO/President: Ms. Jo Luck

Chairman: Mr. Steve Mondora

Board size: 26

Founder: Mr. Dan West

Year founded: 1944

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Heifer animals (and training in their care) offer hungry families around the world a way to feed themselves and become self-reliant. Children receive nutritious milk or eggs; families earn income for school, health care and better housing; communities go beyond meeting immediate needs to fulfilling dreams. Farmers learn sustainable, environmentally sound agricultural techniques.

Over one billion people will go to bed hungry tonight. With more than 50 years experience, Heifer has a proven approach to helping people obtain a sustainable source of food and income.

Success Stories: Families benefit through Heifer's approach because they gain a means of producing a steady source of food and income. Project families gain new skills and self-esteem from the training and support they receive in caring for their animals. Children have the chance to grow strong and healthy from better nutrition. Many families use income from their animals to educate the children, offering hope for a better future for all.

Community: Heifer works with grassroots community groups, who determine their own needs, and train and prepare for their animals. They also decide who will benefit first from the gift of livestock and how the animals will be passed on to other families.

Environment: To end hunger effectively, food production must be sustainable and kind to the environment. Heifer trains farmers to manage grazing, plant trees and crops and use natural fertilizer in ways that improve the environment.

Women: Heifer funds more than 80 Women in Livestock Development projects, which provide women with food- and income-producing animals, as well as training in leadership, community development and environmentally sound farming.

Mission statement

Heifer uses the following to express its mission:

Heifer animals (and training in their care) offer hungry families around the world a way to feed themselves and become self-reliant. Children receive nutritious milk or eggs; families earn income for school, health care and better housing; communities go beyond meeting immediate needs to fulfilling dreams. Farmers learn sustainable, environmentally sound agricultural techniques.

Statement of faith

Heifer uses the following to express its Statement of Faith:

Heifer Project International was founded in 1944, by Church of the Brethern educator, Dan West. His vision of a worldwide program to end hunger and poverty was born of his Christian faith. From the beginning, this vision has encompassed all spiritual paths and all people who understood that to serve God, we serve our brothers and sisters. Today, Heifer comprises people of Faith working together around the world to realize its vision.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Relief and Development

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating565 of 59365 of 68
Fund acquisition rating553 of 59365 of 68
Resource allocation rating434 of 59359 of 68
Asset utilization rating513 of 59363 of 68

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$11,162,700$7,595,698$7,601,215$6,180,137$6,753,197
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$57,722,430$61,723,313$54,434,513$47,458,932$60,790,579
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$43,988,821$44,932,716$46,518,000$48,327,088$49,029,156
Other long-term assets$136,324,328$124,242,028$113,728,373$85,958,150$81,945,294
Total long-term assets$180,313,149$169,174,744$160,246,373$134,285,238$130,974,450
Total assets$238,035,579$230,898,057$214,680,886$181,744,170$191,765,029
Payables and accrued expenses$11,152,167$8,351,807$8,048,355$7,401,679$7,850,566
Other current liabilities$13,148,048$10,152,192$3,030,721$1,179,586$590,311
Total current liabilities$24,300,215$18,503,999$11,079,076$8,581,265$8,440,877
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$5,133,259$9,770,000$10,985,000$12,155,000$13,285,000
Total liabilities$29,433,474$28,273,999$22,064,076$20,736,265$21,725,877
Net assets20192018201720162015
Temporarily restricted$139,385,924$22,085,280$20,307,539$19,859,691$25,944,943
Permanently restricted$0$107,990,782$99,608,638$79,658,980$74,835,040
Net assets$208,602,105$202,624,058$192,616,810$161,007,905$170,039,152
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$121,781,533$121,771,066$115,705,052$110,289,116$121,203,616
Program service revenue$1,457,932$1,621,943$1,722,541$1,549,778$1,502,773
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$13,628,499$5,363,422$28,463,577$1,414,899$1,485,844
Other revenue$2,004,686$2,552,042$830,418$1,029,108$1,099,178
Total other revenue$17,091,117$9,537,407$31,016,536$3,993,785$4,087,795
Total revenue$138,872,650$131,308,473$146,721,588$114,282,901$125,291,411
Program services$102,026,301$91,054,230$87,191,209$93,846,460$94,786,428
Management and general$6,507,673$6,410,077$6,184,966$6,213,010$6,320,374
Total expenses$132,679,166$121,156,436$115,050,174$123,301,019$123,613,686
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$6,193,484$10,152,037$31,671,414($9,018,118)$1,677,725
Other changes in net assets($215,437)($144,789)($62,509)($13,129)($2,004,245)
Total change in net assets$5,978,047$10,007,248$31,608,905($9,031,247)($326,520)

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


In the 1930s, a civil war raged in Spain. Dan West, a Midwestern farmer and Church of the Brethren youth worker, ladled out cups of milk to hungry children on both sides of the conflict. It struck him that what these families needed was "not a cup, but a cow." He asked his friends back home to donate heifers, a young cow that has not borne a calf, so hungry families could feed themselves. In return, they could help another family become self-reliant by passing on to them one of their gift animal's female calves.

The idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for more than 50 years. As a result, families in 115 countries have enjoyed better health, more income and the joy of helping others.

Program accomplishments

  • 2004 marks 60 years in ministry for Heifer International. Over the first 60 years, they have assisted 7 million families - 38 million women, men, girls and boys.
  • Heifer was honored with the 2004 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the world's largest humanitarian award, worth $1 million.
  • In 2004 Heifer placed alpacas, bees, chickens, cows, ducks, dzo, fish, frogs, geese, goats, grass seed, grass cutters, guinea fowl, horses, llamas, oxen, pigeons, pigs, rabbits, sheep, silkworms, trees, turkeys, water buffalo, worms, and yaks.
  • The Africa HIV/AIDS program provides education for project participants and staff and improves the nutrition of those living with AIDS through protein and increased income.
  • Heifer is helping families in the Carpathian mountains to support themselves by improving small-scale agricultural production and micro-enterprises.
  • HI is assisting families living in the dry tropical forest of Ecuador and Peru. This project is improving living conditions while restoring the environment.
  • Heifer has three learning centers - Ceres Center in Ceres, California, Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas, and Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts.
  • Heifer has launched Hope for the Future, a decade-long drive to raise $800 million by the year 2010, which will help directly or indirectly 5 million families or 23 million women, men, girls and boys.
  • Heifer has projects in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia and the South Pacific.


Heifer expresses the following needs of the ministry:

Volunteers play an integral role in Heifer International's effort to alleviate poverty and hunger and promote sustainable solutions, sound nutrition and community well-being. You can participate in Heifer's mission by volunteering. Opportunities include volunteering:

  • Within your own community
  • At one of our Learning Centers
  • At World Headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Community and Regional Opportunities

Knowledge is a precious gift. You, too, can help pass on the gift. How? By sharing the story with others and building support in your community for the work of ending hunger. Through our Regional Offices, we are there to help you learn about the work of Heifer, and, we want you to help us spread the word in your congregation, school, workplace, club or community. Your Regional Office will answer questions; provide information about educational programs, training opportunities and ways to get involved. They can help you find a speaker on issues of hunger or the work of Heifer, or they can help your become that speaker! To contact your Regional Office, call (800) 422-0474 or use the information request form.

Learning Center Opportunities
Heifer International's education mission is to increase understanding of issues related to hunger and poverty and to empower and inspire people to take action to create a sustainable, socially just, economically viable and environmentally sound world. Our Learning Centers offer a variety of experiences to fulfill that mission while also serving as working examples of the type of sustainable agriculture we support around the world. We need people of various backgrounds and skills to bring their unique strengths to all we do. Experiential, hands-on, interactive - who said learning (and teaching) has to be done in a classroom? If you are interested in becoming part of the solution to global hunger, join people from all over the country by volunteering at a Heifer International Learning Center. To learn more, contact the Learning Center Volunteer Manager at (501) 889-5124. You may also email us at ranchvol@heifer.org or use the information request form.