In May 2015, Animal Charity Evaluators undertook an internal evaluation of our organization, accomplishments and progress toward meeting our goals. The evaluation was done by Dee Perez, a Research Associate with ACE. Dee was asked to conduct the evaluation as her first project with ACE because she was familiar enough with our work to have an understanding of our thoughts and processes, but new enough to be able to offer an outsider’s clear-eyed perspective.
The evaluation began with a review of information found on the ACE website. This included reviews of charities, interventions and templates, our thinking on numerous issues, strategic plans, annual reports, blog posts, templates, and more. After gleaning information from ACE’s web resources, interviews and conversations with the staff followed. Overarching questions revolved around what is working well for ACE and what areas need improvement, but a lot of other information was considered as well.
An initial draft of the evaluation was shared with the Executive Director and Director of Research, who provided additional guidance, questions for consideration, and information. New information was considered, questions answered, additional documents were reviewed, more interviews with staff were conducted, and the evaluation expanded.
The overall findings of the evaluation are that ACE has accomplished a tremendous amount of work in its short history, and has met many of its most significant goals—such as moving specific dollar amounts to top-rated charities—well ahead of schedule. ACE continues to grow in terms of adding staff members, increasing fundraising, conducting marketing and outreach, and conducting and publishing research to recommend the most effective charities and interventions. With new Board members joining soon, ACE can expect new ideas and insights about direction and growth in the future.
Like any organization, ACE has some challenges. One is that the organization, while being focused on moving donations to top-rated charities, also needs to continue to enhance its own funding. Additionally, some activities, such as evaluating charities repeatedly, evaluating international charities, or recommending specific charities might be less effective in general than other strategies, such as advocating for farm-animal charities in general. ACE will also be considering a comprehensive marketing plan that will reach our target audiences more reliably.
The full internal evaluation is now posted on our website. As ACE considers what changes, if any, need to be made moving forward, we welcome your comments, questions and ideas in the comments section below.