International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

United Planet Corp

  • Boston, MA

Mission Statement

United Planet is a non-profit organization with a mission - to create a global community, one relationship at a time. We connect volunteers who want to make a difference with communities in 35 countries, where they learn, teach, work, engage and immerse themselves in a culture outside their comfort zone. For many, it's the most fulfilling experience of their lives.

Main Programs

  1. Volunteer Abroad Quest, Cultural Awareness Project (CAP), Ambassador Clubs
Service Areas



United Planet headquartered in Boston, MA. United Planet members and volunteers are recruited globally. United Planet conducts programs throughout the United States and in over 40 countries around the world.

ruling year


Principal Officer since 2000


Mr. David Santulli



United Planet, UP, disaster relief, volunteer abroad, internationl understanding, international development, global leadership development, volunteering, medical volunteering, gap year, volunteer opportunity, long/short term volunteering

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Also Known As

United Planet






Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Promotion of International Understanding (Q20)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

Intergroup/Race Relations (R30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

The central accomplishment of United Planet over the past decade has been to engage thousands of committed United Planet volunteers and members from around the world to work together to foster cross-cultural understanding and address shared challenges through a diverse range of programs to unite the world in a community beyond borders. Our three primary accomplishments are as following: United Planet volunteers have provided over 800,000 hours of international community service work in over 40 countries in healthcare, education, women's empowerment, orphan/street children care, construction, environmental conservation, teaching, disabled care, elderly care, and more. United Planet volunteers implemented a diverse range of micro-projects in the field, such as: the Lavenderia Planeta Unido (""United Planet Laundromat"") to provide a steady revenue stream and job skills for a shelter for abused women; support to build a library at a vocational school teaching HIV/AIDS education to the community of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; and activities for Dia del Nino (""Day of the Child"") - a large children's day offering fun activities, games and treats for children of our projects in Cusco, Peru. United Planet provides online and local programs to complement our 1 week to one year volunteer programs in over 40 countries. These programs include Ambassador Clubs which foster global leadership skills among a network of high school, colleges, and community clubs from Boston to Cameroon to Shanghai and beyond; presentations to groups, including K-12 schools on world culture and global issues; and cross-cultural dialogues and online web-based conversations about key global issues among thousands of people online.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Volunteer Abroad Quest, Cultural Awareness Project (CAP), Ambassador Clubs

International Programs - Volunteer Abroad Quest Program. Through local partnerships, Quest provides meaningful volunteer experiences and support for communities in need in over 40 countries. In doing so, UP empowers people of all ages to form genuine cross-cultural relationships while making a direct impact on the world. Local Community Building Programs - Cultural Awareness Project (CAP). CAP draws on the diversity of cultures that exist within local communities. By providing opportunities for people to come together and learn from each others' experiences, CAP promotes global awareness on a local level. - Community Development Projects In partnership with local NGOs, United Planet undertakes sustainable projects that provide support for communities in need. For instance, UP and its partner in Guatemala, a shelter for abused women and their children, opened a Laundromat that brings in necessary revenue for the shelter while financially empowering the women who reside there. - Ambassador Clubs United Planet. Ambassador Clubs inspire leadership, civic engagement, and international cooperation among people of all ages. This program places the tools for change in the hands of empowered global citizens at school and community clubs around the world. Online Programs - Voices of Earth Community Voices of Earth, UP Forum, UP Blogs, and UP Videos draw on the power of online technology, allowing people from every corner of the world to communicate and connect with the click of a mouse.


International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups



Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    As an international non-profit organization, United Planet strives to create a world in which all people understand, respect, and support one another. United Planet's global network of leaders and volunteers fosters cross-cultural understanding and addresses shared challenges to unite the world in a community beyond borders.

    The underlying principle of our programs is the concept of Relational Diplomacy - recognizing that the relationship between people of diverse backgrounds is the basic building block for uniting the world. United Planet’s programs are designed to expose our common human bonds, generate respect and appreciation for our cultural, racial, and religious diversity, and enrich lives of our neighbors worldwide.

    In order to fulfill our mission over the next three to five years, we will strive to meet the following goals:

    • Send and receive over 1,000 international volunteers
    • Cultivate over 25,000 cross-border relationships per year
    • Generate $3 million in revenue
    • Have 98% of our volunteers recommend or highly recommend our programs
    • Continue to develop a diverse world-class board, along with regional presence and leadership
    • Create a Research & Development arm of the organization
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    United Planet will work to fulfill its mission and goals by creating more and better opportunities for people to connect across borders. Some strategies include:

    • Refresh the website to promote awareness of our brand and to facilitate learning about available programs and accomplishments
    • Enhance our use of online spaces for people from all countries to connect and share without ever having to leave home
    • Enhance partnerships with universities, high schools and companies to send and receive more volunteers
    • Build stronger partnerships with host communities worldwide
    • Develop strong impact assessment tools for our international volunteer programs
    • Renew our focus on the program areas of Children and Education, Global Health, and Environmental Sustainability.

    With increased organizational capacity and the significant cross-cultural experience of its team and its board, United Planet will reach the vision and potential of the organization by increasing the quantity of program participants, through even higher quality programming, using a powerful infrastructure to maximize volunteer experience and benefit to the host community.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    United Planet’s internal resources and capabilities include:

    • Strong and experienced leadership at the board, director, and management levels
    • Passionate global team of staff, interns and volunteers
    • A wealth of organizational experience
    • A strong model for relational diplomacy and holistic and diverse programming
    • Powerful and diverse program that is flexible to constituent needs

    United Planet’s external strengths include:
    • Strong global networks, including membership in the International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) Federation which has over 60 years of youth exchange experience
    • Growing reputation as a leading international NGO with a meaningful mission

    United Planet’s network continues to grow. By adding more partners in the U.S. and beyond for program-related purposes, United Planet’s outreach can only expand exponentially.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    United Planet has a clear strategy for the next 3-5 years with metrics and tracking mechanisms in place to assess our progress and monitor our impact. Referring to our goals mentioned earlier, the following gives an overview of the key qualitative and quantitative indicators we are tracking:
    1) Send and receive over 1,000 international volunteers
    o Monthly pro forma review – budget vs. actual YTD
    o Lead conversion rates
    o Lead generation and maintenance
    o Google analytics for website activity
    o New partnerships created and partnerships maintained

    2) Over 25,000 cross-border relationships cultivated per year
    o Determined through impact assessment tool being created for programs.

    3) $3 million in revenue
    o Budget tracking and pro forma reviews

    4) 98% Recommend or Highly Recommend our programs
    o Survey data collected after all programs – from both participants (international volunteers), international staff and host communities

    5) Continue to develop a diverse world-class board, along with regional presence and leadership
    o Increase in board size and involvement

    6) Creation of a Research & DevelopmentaArm of the organization
    o Ability to reach our mission in new ways
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Our Quest Volunteer Abroad program participants have provided over 800,000 hours of community service work in over 35 countries in healthcare, education, women's empowerment, orphan/street children care, construction, environmental conservation, teaching, disabled care and elderly care. Our plan for growth will allow this number to increase year to year.

    We have increased group participation in our international volunteer programs through new and renewed partnerships by 55% since 2012. We have come to realize that recruiting individuals for our programs is useful, but not necessarily the best way to grow and increase our impact. Therefore, partnership building is a key goal going forward so that we can build on the momentum we have now.

    88% of program participants recommend or highly recommend our programs. While there is room to improve, as we have set out to do, overall our programs are strong and serving the needs of both the participants and the host communities. We know that assessing the experience and impact of the participants is easier than assessing that of the host communities. Therefore, we have set the goal to create viable impact assessment tools for our host communities.

    While the assistance we provide to our community partners is primarily that of our volunteers’ time and sweat, the financial assistance we and our supporters provide to our host community partners has allowed for local organizations to build their capacity, including:

    • Building a school library in Tanzania where HIV/AIDS education could be taught.
    • Materials to rebuild an orphanage’s kitchens and facilities in Peru
    • Funds to support a Children’s Day in Peru during school holidays
    • The purchase of a mini-bus for an orphanage in Romania
    • The purchase of a computer for an after-school program in Peru

    Our Cultural Awareness Project has linked academics, college students, and international clubs with local schools to enrich students' cross-cultural understanding. For example:

    • We reached 180,000 households through AT&T Broadband's "Extra Help" television program.
    • Our volunteer experts from Rwanda and Indonesia spoke at the UN’s documentary film festival in Boston.
    • Our volunteers have done presentations in Istanbul, Turkey regarding cross-cultural relations and international cooperation.

    United Planet was selected as one of the 100 Best Non-Traditional Nursing Sites of 2012 by for its programs enabling nurses to volunteer in parts of the world that lack sufficient medical care.

    We are proud of our accomplishments, while also realizing that there is much work yet to be done! All of the experiences we have had thus far have informed us in how to proceed forward so as to maximize our strengths and face challenges in a productive manner. We are excited for continued growth in the years to come.
Service Areas



United Planet headquartered in Boston, MA. United Planet members and volunteers are recruited globally. United Planet conducts programs throughout the United States and in over 40 countries around the world.

Funding Needs

Seeking 3 year multiple year support $100,000 per year for capacity-building support to elevate us to the next level, but we are grateful for any level of support to the organization. Capacity building support will cover primarily:Building staff & organizational capacity Resources for operational expenses Website Administration & IT support/infrastructureRecruitment costs


Affiliations + Memberships

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network


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Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.


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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

United Planet Corp



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Mr. David Santulli


Dave Santulli is the Executive Director and founder of United Planet. Mr. Santulli lived in Tokyo, Japan for 9 years as the CEO of a Tokyo-based trading company. Mr. Santulli holds a Master's of International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston, attended St. Louis University's International Business and Spanish Language program in Madrid, Spain, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Santulli has also been a teacher in US public schools and certified accountant and financial consultant for Price Waterhouse. In addition to living in various parts of the world for a significant portion of his life, Mr. Santulli has traveled to over 100 nations and has studied Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. Mr. Santulli created the concept of Relational Diplomacy as a practical method to improve intercultural relations. Relational Diplomacy is the theory that peace building and improved intercultural relations can occur by creating a vast and intricate web of interpersonal relationships and friendships. Relational Diplomacy is instrumental to his work at United Planet.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all of you--the incredible volunteers, supporters, and friends, who have all worked hard in communities near and far to empower and unite the world. On behalf of all the communities in which we serve, thanks to all of our United Planet volunteers for giving over 800,000 hours of community service to education, healthcare, women's empowerment, the environment, street children and orphan care, and so much more. United Planet has been featured in national media such as the Boston Globe, CNN, the USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and magazines including National Geographic Traveler. If I have learned anything over the past 12 years since founding United Planet, it is that each and every one of us can make a difference. No matter how big or small, we all have something very special and unique to give to the world. I invite you to follow the proud example of United Planet volunteers worldwide and ask yourself, ""How can I change the world?"" Together, we truly can unite the world, one person at a time. "



Mr. Charles F. Clarke III

Chief Executive Officer, Kinzie Realty Inc.

Term: June 2006 - May 2014


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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?