9 Best Charities That Help Farmers (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Help Farmers (Complete 2022 List)

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Carla Shaik

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Farmers produce approximately 70 to 80% of the world’s food. Yet, they account for 78% of the world’s poorest people. Farming is one of the toughest industries on the planet. However,  charities around the world are now working tirelessly to provide these vital workers with the support they need to thrive. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that help farmers?

The best charities that help farmers are the American Farmland Trust and Heifer International. Charities such as Farm Aid and the Fairtrade Foundation do amazing work campaigning for the rights of farmers around the globe. 

Whether you want to offer training and resource support to struggling farmers living in impoverished countries, protect the world’s agricultural land, or campaign for fairer pay for farmers, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that help farmers are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Help Farmers Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate all over the world, from North America to the most remote regions of sub-Saharan Africa, providing vulnerable farmers with the support they need to grow their businesses.

Many of the charities on this list focus their efforts on training farmers in best agricultural practices so they can increase their crop yield. Others focus their attention on ensuring all farmers have access to funds, vital equipment, and support when they need it. Yet, they all share the same goal; to improve the lives of farmers worldwide.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Help Farmers

Below are our favorite charities that help farmers:

  • American Farmland Trust
  • Heifer International
  • Farm Aid
  • Fairtrade Foundation
  • Farm Africa
  • MyAgro
  • Farm Radio International
  • Nuru International
  • Farm Rescue

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

American Farmland Trust: Farming Is Our Future

The American Farmland Trust was founded in 1980 by philanthropist and farmer Peggy Rockefeller after she became frustrated that no one was using emerging conservation tools to save farmland. Today, the charity works to create land trusts that will protect America’s farms.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: The American Farmland Trust holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity also has a 100% Encompass rating for finance & accountability from Charity Navigator

“To save America’s farms and ranches.”

American Farmland Trust

What they do: The American Farmland Trust supports America’s agriculture economy by setting up farmland protection programs with agricultural conservation easements. Through their National Agricultural Land Network, the charity brings together public agencies, innovative research, and land trusts to retain and protect agricultural land. They also provide numerous online resources and tools for farmers and an online community platform to allow landowners to share their successes, queries, and challenges by region. 

What they’ve achieved: The work of the American Farmland Trust has been integral to the passage of the 1981 Farmland Protection Policy Act and the 1985 Farm Bill which have funded conservation improvement practices for farmers that total over $115 billion. Over the years, their outreach programs have led to the creation of 29 state farmland protection programs and over 70 regional and local programs. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the American Farmland Trust through their website. You can also support the charity by attending one of their Farmer’s Market Celebrations or by purchasing items from their online store.  

Heifer International: Ending Poverty Begins With Agriculture

Heifer International was founded in 1944 by farmer Dan West to tackle worldwide hunger through the donation of farm animals. Today, the charity is dedicated to supporting and empowering poverty-stricken farmers to improve their own lives.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Heifer International holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator

“To end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way by supporting and investing alongside local farmers and their communities.”

Heifer International

What they do: Heifer International supports farmers and communities in 21 underdeveloped countries around the world. They do this by gifting livestock, building infrastructure, and running mentorship programs to help individuals set up sustainable agricultural businesses. With increased productivity, these farmers can provide quality, nutritious food for their families and communities. The charity also partners with local nonprofits and government bodies to help local farmers connect with profitable markets

What they’ve achieved: To date, Heifer International has helped to bring over 34 million farmers and their families out of poverty. In 2021, the charity supported 924,633 households through their 73 projects and 17 signature programs. On average, these farmers have increased their annual earnings by roughly $114. In the same year, the charity awarded $1.5 million in grants to young African entrepreneurs to enable them to set up their own agricultural businesses. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Heifer International through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing items from their online gift catalog or by fundraising.

Farm Aid: Protecting Family Farms Across America

Farm Aid was founded in 1985 by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp after they set up the first concert to raise awareness of the loss of family farms in America. Today, the charity is committed to raising the voices of struggling smallholder farms to ensure they stay in business.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Farm Aid holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

“Keeping family farmers on the land.”

Farm Aid

What they do: Farm Aid runs annual music, food, and farm festivals to raise funds for family farmers across America so they can purchase equipment and update their methods. They also assist farmers through their 1-800-FARM-AID hotline and email services. In addition, the charity works with local, regional, and national organizations to promote fair farm policies, such as the American Beef Labelling Act, and boost family farm-centered agriculture.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Farm Aid has raised over $64 million through their annual festivals. In 2005, in the wake of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, Farm Aid donated more than $230,000 in vital supplies and emergency funding to assist farmers that had been impacted by the disasters. In addition, the charity sponsored 5 training courses that enabled farmers to access federal disaster programs. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Farm Aid through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing merchandise from their online store. Alternatively, you can use their online resources to raise awareness in your own community.  

Fairtrade Foundation: Fair Trade for All Farmers

The Fairtrade Foundation was founded in 1992 by a group of like-minded organizations, including Oxfam, after Mexican small-scale coffee farmers launched appeals for more fairness in the industry. Today, the charity is a globally recognized organization dedicated to supporting smallholder farmers who are often marginalized from trade. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Fairtrade Foundation holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity has yet to be scored by Charity Navigator.

“Working with farming co-operatives, businesses, and governments to make trade fair.”

Fairtrade Foundation

What they do: The Fairtrade Foundation works with farming co-operatives and businesses to set fair trade standards for all farmers around the world, such as the right to a living wage. When these standards are met, the company’s products are awarded the Fairtrade mark, which tells customers that farmers are being treated fairly. In addition, their Fairtrade Minimum Price scheme offers a safety net for vulnerable farmers by providing them with better cash flow and greater access to credit. 

What they’ve achieved: Nearly 2 million farmers are now involved in the Fairtrade certification scheme in over 100 countries. Around 30,000 products now carry the Fairtrade seal. In 2020, $208,436,995 in Fairtrade Premium was paid to farmers and workers, with 48% of it being invested in new tools and support services by small-scale farmers. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Fairtrade Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by joining their Campaign Community or by volunteering.

Farm Africa: Creating a More Resilient Farming Community in Eastern Africa

Farm Africa was founded in 1985 by Sir Michael Wood and David Campbell to support impoverished communities during the famine in Ethiopia. Today, the charity promotes sustainable agricultural practices in Eastern Africa to help local farmers pull themselves out of extreme poverty.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Farm Africa spent 88% of their expenditure on charitable programs, 7.2% on support costs, and 4.8% on fundraising. 

“A resilient rural Africa where people and the environment thrive.”

Farm Africa

What they do: Farm Africa works to reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by helping farmers grow and sell more products. They do this by training farmers in effective pest control as well as how to plant the best drought-tolerant crops. They also support Community Animal Health Workers to assist farmers working with livestock. In addition, the charity helps local farmers in places such as Nigeria and Ethiopia to combat issues caused by climate change.  

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Farm Africa has remained committed to improving the lives of farmers across Eastern Africa. In 2020, the charity supported over 1 million smallholder farmers with their outreach programs, including 7,546 women in Uganda and Ethiopia. Thanks to the work of the charity, coffee production also increased from 14,702 kg in 2019 to 24,040 kg in 2020, which provided revenue of around 1.9 million Ethiopian birr ($41,244) for local coffee farmers. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Farm Africa through their website. You can also support the charity by setting up a fundraising event or by volunteering

MyAgro: Working With Farmers for Farmers

MyAgro was founded in 2011 by Anushka Ratnayake to increase market access for smallholder farmers in Kenya. Today, the charity works across Africa, empowering local farmers to combat poverty and increase food security. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: MyAgro holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity also has a 100% Encompass rating for finance & accountability from Charity Navigator

“To move smallholder farmers out of poverty.”

MyAgro

What they do: MyAgro uses revolutionary technical tools, such as their Mobile Layaway program, to allow farmers to purchase seeds and fertilizers through their phones. After 6-8 months, MyAgro deliver these packages directly to farmers’ villages in the most remote regions of Africa, right in time for planting season. In addition, the charity provides employment opportunities for young entrepreneurs through their commission-based Village Entrepreneur Program

What they’ve achieved: To date, MyAgro has supported over 115,000 farmers across the poorest regions of Africa. This has resulted in a 78% increase in the amount of food grown, which equates to 1.1 million additional bags of food for local communities. Thanks to the work of the charity, the average annual income for farmers has increased by $197.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to MyAgro through their website. You can also support the charity by following their social media pages or by shopping through AmazonSmile

Farm Radio International: Helping Broadcast Lasting Change 

Farm Radio International was founded in 1979 by Broadcaster George Atkins after he realized that farmer radio programs across Africa were not aligned with the needs of their farmers. Today, the charity is the only international organization focused on using radio to empower African farming communities. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Farm Radio International spent 84% of their expenditure on charitable programs, 9% on administration, and 7% on fundraising. 

“We make radio a powerful force for good in rural Africa – one that shares knowledge, amplifies voices, and supports positive change.”

Farm Radio International

What they do: Farm Radio International runs training programs and offers digital resources to radio broadcasters across Africa to ensure local farmers receive the most up-to-date and relevant information. Their resource packs contain script templates as well as interviews and other helpful information for small-scale farmers. In addition, the charity runs an Online Community Network to allow farmers, broadcasters, and local organizations to collaborate and discuss any challenges they are facing. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Farm Radio International has sent more than 100 script packages to their network of over 780 radio stations in 40 countries across Africa. In 2020, their radio broadcasts reached 20 million farmers, prompting 3.9 million of them to update their agricultural practices. In the same year, the charity supported 1,083 radio stations with their vital resources and trained 446 new broadcasters. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Farm Radio International through their website. You can also support the charity by fundraising or by joining one of their awareness events

Nuru International: Supporting Vulnerable Farming Communities

Nuru International was founded in 2007 by ex-marine Jake Harriman to fight the contributing causes of terrorism, particularly extreme poverty. Today, the charity is focused on helping farmers in Africa build a better future for themselves to help end extreme poverty.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Nuru International holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“To cultivate lasting meaningful choices in the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in the world.”

Nuru International

What they do: Nuru International works with impoverished farmers in the most remote regions of Africa to improve their practices and share knowledge. They do this by training local leaders so they can then build small-scale farms into business enterprises. Nuru International also works with local farming communities to identify the most commercial crops and trains them in best agronomic practices that result in better crop yield. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Nuru International has continued to support vulnerable farmers across sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, the charity has helped smallholder farmers increase their crop yield by 38% and their milk yield by 57%. In Ethiopia, Nuru International has increased crop yield by 65% which has improved farmer’s incomes by 97%.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Nuru International through their website. You can also support the charity by offering gifts in kind, such as unwanted laptops, or by setting up a fundraising event.

Farm Rescue: Assisting Farmers in Crisis

Farm Rescue was founded in 2005 by farmer Bill Gross to offer assistance to family farms that had been affected by injury or illness. Today, the charity remains dedicated to providing support for families that have been hit by physical or financial hardship.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: Farm Rescue holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The Charity also has a 95% Encompass score for finance & accountability from Charity Navigator

“To help family farms and ranches bridge crises so they have an opportunity to continue viable operations.”

Farm Rescue

What they do: Farm Rescue helps farmers that have been affected by a major illness or natural disaster by providing them with the necessary equipment they need to continue working. The charity also offers a dedicated workforce to plant, hay, or harvest their crops. In addition, they offer livestock feeding assistance to ranchers across the Midwestern States. This assistance is vital on farms where a family’s livelihood depends entirely on the successful running of their agricultural businesses.  

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Farm rescue has provided much-needed assistance to over 800 farm and ranch families across 7 states. In 2021, the charity trained 239 volunteers who put in around 6,230 hours to assist 62 farmers affected by natural disasters, injury, or illness. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Farm Rescue through their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a volunteer or by getting involved in their Tractor Fundraiser

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that help farmers. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to helping farmers – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Carla Shaik

Carla is passionate about animal welfare and our natural environment and is on a mission to give you the knowledge you need to help protect our planet and all of its inhabitants. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, is a teaching support officer at the College of West Anglia, and also works as a cat sitter in her local community. Aside from writing, she has a love of music, teaching her daughter how to play piano, and enjoys getting creative with craft activities.

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