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 may 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 that you may want to examine, 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 excellent charities that have narrowly missed our Top Charity status or excel in one or more specific areas, but not necessarily all areas.
This column contains the most recent year in which we published a review. 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 2020 charity reviews is not completely comparable with the information included in our 2021 charity reviews. The information in our reviews is confirmed with the charity at the time of publication and is accurate to the best of our knowledge, but some details may fall out of date over time.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 multiple cause areas—such as farmed animal advocacy and companion animal advocacy—in a way that we think is particularly effective.
Countries/Regions of Operation
The problems affecting animals are global in scale, so a global approach is needed to address them. To prioritize countries, we used Mercy For Animals’ Farmed Animal Opportunity Index (FAOI)—which combines proxies for scale, tractability, and global influence—as well as our own data on the number of organizations working in each country to account for neglectedness.
Within their focus area, charities are often engaged in multiple interventions that can lead to different types of change for animals. Based on our research briefs and other available research, we think some of these interventions are likely to be more effective than others, and individual donors may have particular interventions that they wish to support.
We categorize the work of animal advocacy charities by their outcomes, broadly distinguishing whether interventions focus on individual or institutional change. Individual-focused interventions often involve decreasing the consumption of animal products, increasing the prevalence of anti-speciesist values, or providing direct help to animals. Institutional change involves improving animal welfare standards, increasing the availability of animal-free products, or strengthening the animal advocacy movement. Currently, we find the arguments for an institution-focused approach more compelling than individual-focused approaches.
Room For More Funding Estimate
We aim to recommend work that is both high-impact and scalable, and seek to ensure that a charity would be able to absorb and effectively utilize funding that an ACE recommendation may bring in. To do this, we estimate charities’ room for more funding, i.e., the amount of money we think they can absorb and use effectively. We consider charities’ financial information, such as revenue and expenditure projections, as well as their plans for expansion and associated costs for the next two years.
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.