We update our list of Top and Standout recommended charities annually. This year, we are publishing our updates on November 23, 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 suffering to the greatest extent possible. This year, we are excited to announce that we have selected three Top Charities.
The Humane League and Wild Animal Initiative have both retained their top status from last year, and—after 6 years as one of our Standout Charities—Faunalytics joins their ranks!
We are also pleased to recommend Dharma Voices for Animals, Material Innovation Initiative, Mercy For Animals, New Harvest, and xiaobuVEGAN as new Standout Charities. Additionally, Compassion USA and The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations retained their status as Standout Charities after being re-evaluated this year.
Below, you will find a brief overview of each charity we evaluated this year. For more details, read our comprehensive charity reviews.
Faunalytics is a U.S.-based organization working to connect animal advocates with information relevant to advocacy. This mostly involves cоnducting and publishing independent research, working directly with partner organizations on various research projects, and promoting existing research and data for individual advocates through their website’s content library. Faunalytics was one of our Standout Charities from December 2015 to November 2021. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Faunalytics.
The Humane League (THL) currently operates in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., and Japan, where they work to improve animal welfare standards through grassroots campaigns, movement building, veg*n advocacy, research, and advocacy training, as well as through corporate, media, and community outreach. They work to build the animal advocacy movement internationally through the Open Wing Alliance (OWA), a coalition founded by THL whose mission is to end the use of battery cages globally. 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) currently operates in the U.S., where they work to strengthen the animal advocacy movement through creating an academic field dedicated to wild animal welfare. They compile literature reviews, write theoretical and opinion articles, and publish research results on their website and/or in peer-reviewed journals. Wild Animal Initiative focuses on identifying and sharing possible research avenues and connecting with more established fields. They also work with researchers from various academic and non-academic institutions to identify potential collaborators, and they recently launched a grant assistance program. Wild Animal Initiative has been one of ACE’s Top Charities since November 2020. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Wild Animal Initiative.
Compassion USA is a branch of the international organization Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), which works to improve farmed animal welfare and end all factory farming practices. Compassion USA engages in corporate outreach to encourage food companies to implement improved animal welfare policies, especially for farmed chickens. They run a public engagement program to encourage greater consumer awareness of animal welfare issues, and they also offer resources to encourage individuals to reduce their consumption of animal products. Compassion USA has been one of our Standout Charities since November 2017. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Compassion USA.
Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) is the only international Buddhist animal rights organization in the world. The majority of their work takes place in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and the U.S., but they also work in Germany, Brazil, Finland, Myanmar, and Australia. DVA’s programs align with specific contexts and priorities in the countries where they work. Many of their programs focus on diet change, however, they also lobby for animal welfare legislation, provide veterinary care, and work with restaurant owners to encourage them to transition their businesses to veganism. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Dharma Voices for Animals.
Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) is an Indian organization primarily dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals. To a lesser extent, they also work to help companion animals and animals used for entertainment. Their work focuses on improving animal welfare standards, strengthening the animal advocacy movement, increasing the availability of animal-free products, influencing legislation change, and providing direct help and veterinary care to animals. They also run a veg*n pledge program to encourage individuals to decrease their consumption of animal products. FIAPO has been one of our Standout Charities since November 2019. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations.
Material Innovation Initiative (MII) works to reduce the suffering of farmed animals by increasing the availability of animal-free products and strengthening the animal advocacy movement. They produce research on animal-free alternatives to existing materials used in the fashion, automotive, and homegoods industries, and they work with investors, corporations, and entrepreneurs to support the development of new products and production processes. They also host events, such as conferences, to create opportunities for the development of new networks. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Material Innovation Initiative.
Mercy For Animals (MFA) develops their programs in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, India, and Mexico. Their headquarters are in the U.S. MFA’s work focuses on strengthening the animal advocacy movement and improving animal welfare standards, as well as decreasing the consumption of animal products and increasing the availability of animal-free products. They engage in a variety of farmed animal advocacy programs, often involving the distribution of footage from their undercover investigations of factory farms, which they primarily promote via media and online campaigns. MFA also engages in corporate and institutional outreach, research, lobbying, and policy work. They recruit and train volunteers in several countries, and also support farmers to transition away from animal agriculture. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of Mercy For Animals.
New Harvest funds research in cellular agriculture, i.e., the development of animal products using cells instead of animals. Through grant programs, they fund graduate and postdoctoral research projects in the field of cellular agriculture, as well as undergraduate and master-level projects for researchers-in-training. They also carry out public engagement and community-building activities via their podcast, blog, research publications, and research summaries. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of New Harvest.
xiaobuVEGAN is a Chinese organization working to reduce the suffering of farmed animals. Their work aims to increase the availability of animal-free products, strengthen the animal advocacy movement, and decrease the consumption of animal products. xiaobuVEGAN engages in institutional outreach, runs an app that provides resources about vegan options in China, and supports dietary change via their vegan challenge program. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of xiaobuVEGAN.
Other Reviews We Conducted in 2021
The Albert Schweitzer Foundation (ASF) primarily works in Germany, though they also have a team in Poland. ASF operates as a nonprofit rather than a typical grantmaking foundation. They work to improve animal welfare standards through corporate outreach, consumer campaigns, and legal work. In addition, ASF works to build the capacity of the animal advocacy movement by organizing workshops and public events. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation.
The Coalition of African Animal Welfare Organisations (CAAWO) develops their programs in South Africa and conducts some of their work in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Kenya, and Egypt. Their work focuses on improving animal welfare standards, and to a lesser extent, also aims to increase the prevalence of anti-speciesist values and strengthen the animal advocacy movement. They campaign for legislative changes, carry out research in animal law and industrial agriculture, and raise awareness of animal-related issues through education and social media. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of The Coalition of African Animal Welfare Organisations.
The Good Food Institute (GFI) currently operates in the U.S., Brazil, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe, and Israel, where they work to increase the availability of animal-free products through supporting the development and marketing of plant-based and cell-cultured alternatives to animal products. They achieve this through corporate engagement, institutional outreach, and policy work. They also support research and start-ups focused on alternative proteins, which strengthens the capacity of the animal advocacy movement. To learn more, read our comprehensive review of the Good Food Institute.
Our Recommended Charity Fund
If you are inspired by our 2021 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) in accordance with the distribution that our research team determines to be most impactful at that time. Beginning November 30, there will be a special opportunity to have your donation to the Recommended Charity Fund matched! If you haven’t already, please subscribe to The ACE Newsletter to receive more information about this limited giving incentive.
ACE’s goal is not only to provide clear recommendations on specific high-performing charities to donors and advocates, but to also foster a culture of evaluation and critical assessment of programs and organizations in the field. We hope that our reviews are informative for any charities looking to assess their impact. Also, we hope that you will consider supporting the impactful work of our 2021 Top and Standout Charities. Together, we can help animals around the globe.
Kevin Watkinson says
It says “Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) is the only international Buddhist animal rights organization in the world” and then says “they also lobby for animal welfare legislation”. So they are not an animal rights organisation. Over the years the conflation of animal rights with utilitarian friendly positions has undermined pluralistic approaches in the movement, facilitating the domination of various speciesist reducetarian and welfarist approaches, which is also to say the same approaches that have deliberately placed too much emphasis on animals and neglected human social issues.
Bash Judy says
Given that people constitute far less than 1% of the animal species on the planet yet human-focused charities receive the vast majority of charitable donations, I think your concern about human organizations not receiving enough attention seems is not well placed.