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Top Rated

Rainforest Alliance

CharityWatch report issued
March 2024

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Rainforest Alliance
125 Broad Street
9th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

To conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2022

Program Percentage: 75%

The percentage of Rainforest Alliance's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $17

How many dollars Rainforest Alliance spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Rainforest Alliance IRS Form 990 13-3377893
Rainforest Alliance & Subsidiaries Consolidated Audited Financial Statements Multiple
Entity: Rainforest Alliance
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 13-3377893
Entity: Rainforest Alliance & Subsidiaries
Document Type: Consolidated Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
Rainforest Alliance
meets governance benchmarks.
Rainforest Alliance
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy Opt-Out Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Santiago Gowland CEO $502,967
2 Alik Odinga Hinckson CFO (thru 9/20/2022) $293,994
3 Alex H. Morgan Chief Global Engagement $279,529
Name: Santiago Gowland
Title: CEO
Compensation: $502,967
Name: Alik Odinga Hinckson
Title: CFO (thru 9/20/2022)
Compensation: $293,994
Name: Alex H. Morgan
Title: Chief Global Engagement
Compensation: $279,529

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

CharityWatch's rating of Rainforest Alliance (RA) includes the financial activities of the RA "branches and affiliates in various countries" included in the RA audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022.

According to the Rainforest Alliance (RA) 2022 consolidated audit (Note 1, Organization and Nature of Activities):

"Rainforest Alliance...is an international non-profit organization, which was organized in 1987 in the State of New York with branches and affiliates in various countries. ... All the activities of its branches and affiliates are included in these [audited] consolidated financial statements. RA conducts the majority of its activities throughout North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia."

[All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in the audit consolidation.]

According to the Rainforest Alliance (RA) consolidated audit of December 31, 2022 (Note 9, In-Kind Contributions), RA received in-kind contributions during 2022 on which it placed a total value of $1,474,607. Of the total value, $1,181,607 consisted of in-kind legal services.

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]

According to the Rainforest Alliance (RA) consolidated audit of December 31, 2022 (Note 17, Sale of RA-Cert and Discontinued Operations):

"During 2018, RA sold its assets in connection with its RA-Cert line of business. This sale represented a strategic shift in RA's operations and as such was recorded as a discontinued operation in the consolidated statement of activities and changes in net assets. As part of the sale, RA was entitled to a percentage of annual revenue. Effective December 31, 2021, the sale agreement was amended to terminate the agreement and all remaining liabilities were settled and a final payment of $750,000 was made to RA in 2022. RA recognized a gain from discontinued operations of approximately $1,259,000 for the year ended December 31, 2021."

According to the Rainforest Alliance (RA) consolidated audit of December 31, 2022 (Note 18, Related Party Transactions):

"During the year ended December 31, 2022, RA contributed approximately $12,864,000 to Stichting Rainforest Alliance, its affiliate through common ownership. RA made no contributions to Stichting Rainforest Alliance during the year ended December 31, 2021. 

"RA and Stichting Rainforest Alliance share employees and other costs. These costs are evaluated at least annually, and the amounts are due to or from the entities to cover for the costs being incurred. RA had a receivable due from Stichting Rainforest Alliance in the amount of $2,301,251 and $2,187,162 at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively."

According to the Rainforest Alliance (RA) consolidated audit of December 31, 2022 (Note 14, Commitments and Contingencies - Government Grants and Contracts):

"RA receives funding from various federal and foreign agencies under grants and contracts, many of which have commitments spanning multiple years. RA has available funding under federal agency contracts through March 2027 of approximately $29,531,000. RA's costs incurred under its government grants and contracts are subject to audit by government agencies. Management believes that disallowance of costs, if any, would not be material to the consolidated financial position or changes in net assets of RA."

According to the Rainforest Alliance (RA) consolidated audit of December 31, 2022 (Note 12, Paycheck Protection Program Loan Payable):

"On May 1, 2020, RA issued an unsecured promissory note (the "PPP Loan") for $1,782,710 through programs established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (the "SBA"). The PPP Loan was guaranteed by the SBA. The PPP Loan may be forgiven, in whole or in part, if RA was eligible for the PPP Loan at the time of application, used the loan proceeds for eligible expenses within the defined 24 week period, and otherwise satisfied PPP requirements. The loan was for a two-year term bearing interest at 1.00% per annum. On August 27, 2021, RA was informed that its application for forgiveness of $1,782,710 of the PPP Loan was approved. Accordingly, RA recorded it as forgiveness of debt in the accompanying consolidated statement of activities and changes in net assets for the year ended December 31, 2021."

According to the Rainforest Alliance (RA) consolidated audit of December 31, 2022 (Note 10, Retirement Plans and Foreign Severance Payable):

"RA has a qualified tax-deferred annuity plan under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code for eligible employees in the United States. RA offers all eligible employees working more than 20 hours per week a matching contributory retirement plan. Employees can begin making contributions immediately upon hire and are eligible for a discretionary employer-matching contribution of up to 5% of salary after on year of employment. RA made matching contributions totaling approximately $514,000 and $539,000 for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively."

"RA has recorded an obligation for foreign severance payable in accordance with the laws in the locations for employees working in certain foreign jurisdictions of approximately $2,646,000 and $2,651,000 at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively, which is included in foreign severance payable in the consolidated statement of financial position. the foreign severance reserve is an estimate that is based on the laws of each foreign jurisdiction but generally is computed based on the years of employment for each employee, as well as other factors, and varies based on the individual laws within the foreign country. The obligation is required to be funded when an employee's employment with RA terminates."

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