We update our list of Top and Standout recommended charities annually. This year, we are publishing our updates on November 24, one week before Giving Tuesday.
Every year, Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) invests several months in evaluating animal advocacy organizations in order to find those that are working effectively and are able to do the most good with additional donations. Our goal is to help people help animals by providing impactful giving opportunities that reduce the most suffering possible. This year, we are excited to announce that we have selected four Top Charities:
We are also pleased to recommend Essere Animali, the Good Food Fund, and Vegetarianos Hoy as new Standout Charities. Additionally, Sinergia Animal and Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira retained their status as Standout Charities after being re-evaluated this year, and Anima International has been added to our list of Standout Charities.
Below, you will find a brief overview of each charity we evaluated this year. For more details, read our comprehensive charity reviews.
The Albert Schweitzer Foundation (ASF) works to improve animal welfare standards through their corporate outreach, corporate campaigns, and legal work. They have a team in Poland but operate primarily in Germany, where they have a solid track record of corporate outreach aimed at improving farmed animal welfare standards. We believe that ASF’s corporate outreach on behalf of farmed fishes and chickens is particularly promising, given the large number of animals killed and the neglectedness of advocacy on their behalf. We find ASF to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong, impactful programs and their strategic approach to improving welfare standards for farmed animals. ASF has been an ACE Top Charity since November 2018. They were an ACE Standout Charity from December 2014 to November 2018. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation.
The Good Food Institute (GFI) is working to transform the animal agriculture industry by developing and promoting alternative proteins. They currently operate in the U.S., Brazil, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe, and Israel, where they run effective programs to increase the availability of animal-free products and strengthen the movement. GFI is one of few charities focusing on cell-cultured alternatives to animal products. We find GFI to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong, cost-effective programs, their track record in increasing the availability of animal-free products and strengthening the movement, and their healthy organizational culture. GFI has been an ACE Top Charity since November 2016. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of The Good Food Institute.
The Humane League (THL) currently operates in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., and Japan, where they run strong programs, especially their corporate campaigns to increase welfare standards and their work to strengthen the animal advocacy movement. THL often takes the lead in collaborating with other groups to facilitate knowledge-sharing about their strategic approach. We think they have played an important role in strengthening the movement outside the U.S. by producing research; engaging in community outreach; organizing conferences; and training, recruiting, and supporting advocates and organizations through the Open Wing Alliance (OWA). We find THL to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong, cost-effective programs, their robust track record of strengthening the movement, and their healthy organizational culture. THL has been an ACE Top Charity since August 2012. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of The Humane League.
Wild Animal Initiative (WAI) is a U.S.-based organization working in an important and relatively neglected area: conducting and promoting research to help wild animals. We believe that WAI’s goal of building an academic field for wild animal welfare is an ambitious but promising avenue for creating long-term change. There are few charities working in this area, and WAI seems to have a responsible and thorough approach to building a collaborative community of researchers and advocates, as well as a strong strategy and healthy organizational culture. We find WAI to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong, cost-effective programs and their well-developed strategy. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Wild Animal Initiative.
Anima International is an umbrella of several organizations working primarily in Eastern Europe. They run effective programs, and their strategy of expanding their reach by finding and supporting autonomous local groups seems like an especially promising way to build the capacity of the movement. We find Anima International to be an excellent giving opportunity due to their impactful programs and their strong track record of capacity building in relatively neglected areas in Eastern Europe. Anima International has been an ACE Top Charity from November 2019 to November 2020. Open Cages, one of the charities that merged to become Anima International, was one of ACE’s Standout Charities from November 2017 to December 2019. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Anima International.
Essere Animali, which operates in Italy, has a strong investigations program that strategically supports the rest of their campaigns and contributes to growing the capacity of the animal advocacy movement. They also work in a neglected and promising area: improving the welfare of fishes. Essere Animali has a strong approach to strategic planning, goal setting, and self-assessment. We find Essere Animali to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong investigations program and their strategic approach. Essere Animali received an ACE Movement Grant in the spring of 2019. To learn more about their work, read our comprehensive review of Essere Animali.
Sinergia Animal operates in Latin America and Southeast Asia, two regions where animal advocacy is relatively neglected. Their cage-free corporate outreach work and investigations program are particularly cost effective at improving welfare standards for farmed animals and strengthening the animal advocacy movement. We find Sinergia Animal to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their strategic approach, cost-effective work, and commitment to building the capacity of the movement and improving welfare standards in relatively neglected regions. Sinergia Animal has been an ACE Standout Charity since November 2018. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Sinergia Animal.
Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira (SVB) operates in Brazil, a country where particularly large numbers of animals are farmed. While other organizations are also engaged in promising work in Brazil, SVB has the advantage of being a local group, as opposed to a branch of an international organization. Therefore, we think SVB is in a strong position to contribute to the growth of the local movement. We find SVB to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their impactful programs, strong track record, and work to shift consumers and markets toward plant-based foods. SVB has been an ACE Standout Charity since November 2018. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira.
The Good Food Fund (GFF) operates in China, a country where animal farming is large scale and a limited number of organizations advocate for animal welfare or a reduction of animal product consumption. GFF works toward food system transformation through programs that seem to successfully contextualize and legitimize animal-free products and farmed animal welfare in China. We think their strategic multi-issue, multi-stakeholder approach to shifting markets, consumers, and policy-makers toward plant-based food can help support the cause as a whole. Due to these factors, we believe that GFF has the potential to be highly effective. In general, we believe that GFF is an excellent organization to support because of their strong programmatic work and their commitment to empowering other advocates. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of the Good Food Fund.
Vegetarianos Hoy operates in Chile, Mexico, and Colombia, countries with relatively younger and smaller animal advocacy movements that we view as important for pursuing large-scale global change for farmed animals. We think Vegetarianos Hoy is well positioned to contribute to the growth of the movement in these regions. They run highly effective programs to increase farmed animal welfare, decrease consumption of animal products, and increase the availability of alternatives to animal products. We find Vegetarianos Hoy to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their impactful programs, their commitment to improving farmed animal welfare, and their focus on building the capacity of the movement in relatively neglected regions. Vegetarianos Hoy received an ACE Movement Grant in the spring of 2019 and another in the summer of 2020. To learn more about their work, read our comprehensive review of Vegetarianos Hoy.
Other Reviews We Conducted in 2020
Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) operates in Taiwan, where the animal advocacy movement is relatively neglected. They work to improve animal welfare standards through policy advocacy, legislative advocacy, corporate outreach, research, and investigations. EAST also works with corporations to adopt better animal welfare policies, specifically by gaining cage-free egg commitments and running a welfare certification scheme for cage-free eggs. EAST also runs the Taiwan Animal Protection College (TAPC), through which they create new leaders and strengthen the animal advocacy movement. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan.
The Modern Agriculture Foundation (MAF) operates in Israel, where they work to increase the availability of animal-free products by identifying opportunities in the plant-based and cell-cultured products sector, launching food start-ups, and providing strategic support to start-ups and other food companies. MAF maps the state of the industry in Israel to spread information about companies and progress in the space, and they host events to grow and develop the industry. Additionally, they work to scale up alternative proteins in Israel by directly manufacturing products for various companies. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of the Modern Agriculture Foundation.
Our Recommended Charity Fund
If you are inspired by our 2020 Top Charities and Standout Charities, consider making a gift to our Recommended Charity Fund. Your single donation will support all of ACE’s effective recommended charities and their efforts around the globe to reduce animal suffering. This Fund is disbursed twice per year (in January and July) according to the distribution that our research team determines to be most impactful at that time. In December, there will be a special opportunity to have your donation to the Recommended Charity Fund matched! Make sure you are subscribed to receive email updates from ACE for more information about this limited giving incentive.
ACE’s 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. Also, we hope that you will consider supporting the impactful work of our 2020 Top and Standout Charities. Together, we can help animals around the globe.
Learn more about our recommended charities and donation opportunities in our 2021 Guide to Giving.