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At Heifer International, "sustainability" is much more than a buzzword. It's at the core of everything we do. If your donation isn't going to make a lasting difference, what's the point of giving? As I mentioned in my blog post Thursday, Heifer's work can be viewed through three lenses of sustainability. This post is the second in a three-part series to examine what genuine sustainability looks like at Heifer International. Read Part 1 here.

Sustainability: The capacity to endure

Heifer's work is made possible through the contributions of individuals, families, congregations, civic groups, schools, private foundations, corporate partners, government entities and others. What a shame it would be if these generous gifts, once given, became obsolete. The beauty of our model, however, is that the original recipients of a project's livestock, agricultural resources and training are committed to Passing on the Gift in equal quantity and quality.

Sustainability through Passing on the Gift in China

Watch Alton Brown explain how gifts to Heifer International exemplify sustainability through Passing on the Gift:

This process happens a minimum of one time per project. Would you believe that the average project's gifts are passed on for five or six (livestock) generations? In Nepal, some projects have Passed on the Gift 13 times. These extra pass-ons aren't at the requirement of our project staff; they happen because families and communities are so transformed by these gifts, they want to keep paying it forward. Now that's making a donation last.

Check back on the Heifer Blog tomorrow for Part 3 of this Sustainability at Heifer series. Better yet, subscribe to the blog by email or RSS feed and keep up with Heifer every day.

Want to give the gift of genuine sustainability? Visit our online gift catalog now.

Read more Passing on the Gift stories here.


Pierre Ferrari

Pierre Ferrari is president and CEO of Heifer International. Pierre is very passionate about empowering the families and communities with whom Heifer works: “It took me decades, but I have come to know that the only way to happiness and joy is to be of service to others.” Pierre’s other joys are his wife, Kim, his two sons and two stepdaughters. In his free time he enjoys golf, squash, reading and travel.