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 we think that 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 look into in more depth, work with, and/or donate to. 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 are those which 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 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.
The year in this column is the most recent year in which we published a review for 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 2016 charity reviews is not completely comparable with information from our 2017 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from our reviews is accurate (and confirmed with the charity) at the time of review publication, but may fall out of date over time.
We think that most of the best available opportunities to help animals are currently through supporting organizations and programs that aim to help farmed animals. Occasionally, we find an organization working in another cause area—such as promoting general antispeciesism—in a way that we think may be 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. It is possible that our assessments of charities reviewed in 2017 are now outdated.
Room for More Funding
The assessment conveyed in this column represents the amount of additional funding (beyond what each charity already anticipates in 2019 revenue) that we are fairly confident a given charity could use effectively in the coming year. Usually, we anticipate that the charity would use this new funding similarly to their current funding—to expand their existing programs or to create new ones that are similarly effective. In general, we aren’t sure what they would do with increases in funding beyond the amount indicated in the chart; in some cases, it might be used effectively and immediately, while in others it might be used less effectively or held in reserve until the charity has the capacity to expand.
We’ve improved our method for calculating room for more funding between our 2017 and 2018 evaluations. In 2018, we began using each charity’s financial history and fundraising goals to estimate revenue growth over the following year. We subtract these from our predictions of each charity’s capacity for expansion to get a better estimate of unmet room for more funding. We’ve left our 2017 estimates out of the chart because we are not confident that they can compare meaningfully to our 2018 estimates.