We update our list of Top and Standout recommended charities annually. This year, we are publishing our updates on November 26, just in time for Giving Tuesday.
We are excited to announce that this year (for the first time) we have selected four Top Charities, rather than three. Animal Equality, The Good Food Institute, and The Humane League have all retained their top status from last year, and Albert Schweitzer Foundation (formerly a Standout Charity) joins their ranks.
We are also pleased to recommend two new Standout Charities: Sinergia Animal and Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira. Additionally, ProVeg International retained their status as a Standout Charity after being re-evaluated this year.
Below, you will find brief details about each charity we reviewed this year, and you can read our comprehensive reviews of each charity here. We have also published a chart that allows for easy comparison of our recommended charities across several metrics.
Albert Schweitzer Foundation (ASF) has a solid track record of conducting corporate outreach campaigns in Germany, and we are optimistic that their strategy and skills will lead to meaningful progress in Poland, where they have recently expanded their operations. They run a variety of veg outreach campaigns, including their newsletter “Vegan Taste Week,” as well as actions by local groups of volunteers. Additionally, ASF is one of the first animal charities beginning to prioritize corporate outreach on behalf of farmed fish. We believe that fish advocacy is particularly high-impact due to its large scale and its relative neglectedness. To learn more about ASF, read our comprehensive review.
Animal Equality advocates for animals in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and India. They conduct undercover investigations, which are promoted online and through media outlets, and they occasionally press charges against documented animal abusers. Animal Equality also conducts outreach to influence individuals, including leafleting, organizing protests, and through social media. We think that Animal Equality does an exceptional job at using their resources efficiently. Their international programs are particularly strong; they have been active in several countries for many years, and have had some meaningful accomplishments in countries they started working in more recently—specifically, Brazil and India. To learn more about Animal Equality, read our comprehensive review.
The Good Food Institute (GFI) is working to transform the animal agriculture industry by promoting the development of competitive alternatives to animal-based meat, dairy, and eggs. They provide business, legal, scientific, and strategic guidance for plant-based and cellular agriculture companies, and they engage in policy work (regulatory and statutory) to level the playing field for plant-based and cellular products in the wider marketplace. Developing and promoting attractive alternatives to animal products seems like a promising way to disrupt the animal agriculture industry. There are few charities working in this area, and GFI has shown strong leadership and efficiency. To learn more about GFI, read our comprehensive review.
The Humane League (THL) engages in a variety of programs designed to persuade individuals and organizations to adopt behaviors that reduce farmed animal suffering. THL’s largest programs, based on their budget, are their corporate campaigns and grassroots organizing. THL also works to build the animal advocacy movement internationally through the Open Wing Alliance, which offers funding and training to advocacy groups interested in working on corporate campaigns. We find THL to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong programs, collaborative approach, and evidence-driven outlook. To learn more about THL, read our comprehensive review.
Standout Charities (General Interest)
ProVeg International was founded in 2017 as the successor to VEBU, the German Vegetarian Union, which has a long history dating back to 1892. Over the past year they have made a comprehensive strategic reset—from an organization focusing on the needs of vegans and vegetarians to an international food awareness organization working to change the global food system. In addition to conducting grassroots outreach to persuade individuals to change their diets, ProVeg conducts extensive outreach to key influencers in the food industry, in politics, in the health sector, and in the media. To learn more about ProVeg, read our comprehensive review.
Standout Charities (Special Interest)
Sinergia Animal is a new organization founded in Brazil in October 2017 and operating in four Latin American countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Argentina). They engage in corporate outreach with the goals of reducing animal suffering and decreasing the consumption of animal products. Sinergia Animal plans to expand into Thailand and Indonesia, two countries where major international animal advocacy organizations are not currently working. They aim to work as pioneers, paving the way for other organizations to expand their operations. We recommend Sinergia for donors who want to promote corporate reforms in countries where animal advocacy is relatively neglected. To learn more about Sinergia Animal, read our comprehensive review.
Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira (SVB) was founded in 2003 in Brazil, a country that we view as a promising target for pursuing large-scale change for farmed animals. They promote plant-based diets by organizing veg fests, institutionalizing Meatless Mondays, administering a vegan label, and working with restaurants to increase vegan offerings. SVB also works with health professionals to spread knowledge of the health benefits of a plant-based diet. They offer a 16-hour course on plant-based nutrition and began organizing a plant-based conference for health professionals in 2018. We recommend SVB for donors who are interested in promoting plant-based diets in Brazil. To learn more about SVB, read our comprehensive review.
Cellular Agriculture Society (CAS) is an international nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of cellular agriculture and the commercialization of cellular agriculture products. They are also working to promote cellular agriculture globally and to create an international movement. Their work aims to: (i) build the capacity of the cultured animal product industry by connecting startups with funding and resources, and (ii) support the development of the science behind cultured animal products by developing an academic journal, a textbook, and academic courses. To learn more about CAS, read our comprehensive review.
HSUS Farm Animal Protection (HSUS FAP) operates within the Humane Society of the United States, one of the largest and most recognized animal protection organizations in the country. The two primary goals of the Farm Animal Protection team are: (i) combating the most extreme confinement practices and abuses in the animal agribusiness system, and (ii) reducing total demand for animal products. They work with animal product producers to implement improvements in the treatment of animals used for food. They lobby for better laws, fight “ag-gag” legislation, and engage in campaigns to rid factory farms of the worst animal abuses. To learn more about HSUS FAP, read our comprehensive review.
The Save Movement is a global network of groups who bear witness as farmed animals are en route to slaughter. They also organize regular vigils and rallies at live markets and slaughterhouses. Their events are documented with photography and video footage that are shared across social media. Save is focused on raising awareness about the suffering of farmed animals and building a grassroots animal justice movement. Save was founded in December 2010 in Toronto. Today, there are more than 535 groups, predominantly across North America, South America, and Europe, with a small minority also present in Southeast Asia, Australia, and South Africa. To learn more about The Save Movement, read our comprehensive review.
Vegan Outreach focuses almost exclusively on farmed animal advocacy. They produce a large number of leaflets each year that are distributed by staff and volunteers, as well as by other organizations. They also engage the public with virtual reality, community events, online outreach, humane education, and a vegan mentorship program. They do most of their outreach in the United States on college campuses, at community events, and online. They also have smaller programs in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Mexico. To learn more about Vegan Outreach, read our comprehensive review.
Our Recommend Charity Fund
If you’re having trouble determining which of our recommended charities is right for you, check out our 2018 comparison chart. You should also watch our blog for a forthcoming quiz that can provide you with personalized recommendations. Alternatively, if you’re happy to support all of our recommended charities and if you’d like to do so through a single donation, consider donating to our Recommended Charity Fund. This fund is disbursed twice per year (in January and in July) according to the distribution that our research indicates is most effective at that time.
We offer our sincere gratitude to all charities we evaluated this year. Participating in our process takes time—about 30 hours from each charity, on average. We are grateful for organizations’ willingness to be open with us about their work. To that end, we have also awarded (or are in the process of awarding) grants of $2,000 to those charities that we evaluated this year. These grants were not contingent on publication; we award grants to charities whose reviews we do not publish, assuming they made a good faith effort to engage with us during the review process.
Our goal is not only to provide clear recommendations to donors and advocates on specific high-performing charities, but also to foster a culture of evaluation and critical assessment of programs and organizations in the field. We hope that our reviews prove informative for any charities looking to assess their impact.