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 Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) has designated the charity as a Top Charity or a Standout Charity this year. Top Charities carry ACE’s highest recommendation. Standout Charities are charities that are excellent but have narrowly missed Top Charity status or excel in one or more specific areas but not necessarily all areas.
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, as noted below and in the chart, the information included in our 2019 charity reviews is not completely comparable with the information included in our 2020 charity reviews. To the best of our knowledge, the information presented in our reviews is accurate and confirmed with the charity at the time of review publication but may fall out of date over time.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 and wild 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.
Regions of Operation
The problems affecting animals are global in scale, and so a global approach is needed to address them. Increasingly we have been recommending international charities working in neglected regions. For charities working in multiple countries, our reviews go into more detail about how well they have handled international expansion and whether each subsidiary has sufficient autonomy.
Within their 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 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—both in the introductory remarks about strengths and weaknesses and throughout each review—go into more detail than we have space for in this chart.
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. Important to note, 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 in comparison to other reviewed charities, not weakly in comparison to the movement as a whole. As our methodology changes each year, there are some criteria for which we cannot make comparisons with charities reviewed in previous years. For further information about a particular charity’s performance, we recommend reading the relevant section of their review.