To allow our readers to quickly compare our recommended charities, we’ve produced a chart that provides key information about each of our Top and Standout Charities. This is intended to give you a sense of what our recommended charities do, what makes them so promising, and how well they might fit your interests and values. While reading our reviews is the best way to fully understand why we have recommended our Top and Standout Charities, we recognize that this can involve a significant time commitment. We encourage you to use the chart to find organizations you may want to examine in more depth, work with, and/or support. This blog post explains the information presented in each column of our chart.
This column indicates whether ACE has designated the charity as a Top Charity or a Standout Charity this year. Top Charities carry ACE’s highest recommendation. Standout Charities may be excellent charities overall which have narrowly missed Top Charity status, or they may excel in one or more specific areas but not necessarily all areas. We have divided our Standout Charities into General Interest and Special Interest charities. We think that General Interest charities will appeal to the majority of our audience, while Special Interest charities have unique features that might make them particularly appealing to a smaller subset of our readers with specific interests or goals. For example, some of these charities may appeal to donors who are interested in supporting a specific type of work or in supporting advocacy in a particular region. We have noted the reasoning for each Special Interest charity in this column.
This column reflects the most recent year in which we published a review of the charity. Top Charities are reviewed yearly while Standout Charities are reviewed at least every other year. In some cases (noted below and in the chart), information from our 2018 charity reviews is not completely comparable with information from our 2019 charity reviews. To the best of our knowledge, information from our reviews is accurate (and confirmed with the charity) at the time of review publication, but may fall out of date over time.
Currently, we think that many of the best available opportunities to reduce animal suffering are through supporting organizations and programs that aim to help farmed animals. Occasionally, we find an organization working in another cause area—such as building the capacity of the animal advocacy movement—in a way that we think is particularly effective.
Within each focus area, charities are often engaged in multiple programs that can lead to change for animals in different ways. We think some of these programs are likely to be more cost effective than others, and individual donors may have particular programs or interventions that they wish to support.
Strengths and Weaknesses
These columns provide condensed summaries of charities’ strengths and weaknesses as identified in our reviews. Our reviews of all Top and Standout Charities go into more detail than we have space for in this chart, both in introductory remarks about strengths and weaknesses and throughout the review. As we have noted in the comparison chart, elements of the charity reviews completed in 2018 are subject to change and not necessarily directly comparable to our 2019 assessments.
The remaining columns present our overall assessments of each of the seven criteria we use in our evaluations. Each entry includes information about how well the charity performed on the criterion and how confident we are in our assessment of the criterion. Importantly, both performance and confidence ratings are given relative to the ratings of other charities reviewed this year; if a charity performed weakly on a particular criterion, this means that it performed weakly compared to other reviewed charities, and not weakly compared to the movement as a whole. For further information about a particular charity’s performance, we recommend reading the relevant section of their review. As these assessments are a new feature this year, we cannot make comparisons with charities reviewed in previous years.