When you support Animal Charity Evaluators and our recommended charities, you’re helping the most animals you can with each donation. Considering the billions of animals living in horrific conditions (many on factory farms), this is incredibly important work. The good news is, according to available research and best estimates, it is relatively inexpensive to eliminate animal suffering. This means your donations go far and help a lot of animals.
Did you know that you can continue this important work even after you’re gone?
Many of us don’t put much thought into where we’ll leave our inheritance, or worse, don’t write up any instructions at all. Instead of rushing this important decision, we should think about the best way to make our last contributions produce a positive impact in society.
Consider the difference you could make for animals. On average, Americans leave behind an estate worth $177,000. High-impact animal charities could help an incredible number of animals with those funds!
ACE can help you make the most of your inheritance. Right now, our research indicates that one of the most effective ways to help animals is through advocating for animals on farms. As the animal protection movement progresses, the best interventions and charities may change, but we intend to stay at the forefront of knowledge on what creates the biggest impact for animals. ACE provides several bequest options so that we can put your inheritance to work effectively regardless of how things change, and we can even customize our options based on your needs.
While it may seem like a daunting task, making a will is easier than you’d think. You can find convenient templates online, and you should take action sooner rather than later to ensure that whatever happens, your assets help animals. Wills can always be changed down the road.
You’re a hero for animals by choosing to support the most effective charities and ACE’s research to find them. Make helping animals your legacy — Read ACE’s bequests policy to learn how.
Some financial accounts, including those at Vanguard and Fidelity, let you set up a Transfer On Death just by filling out an online form. If you can do that for all of your substantial assets, a will is unnecessary.
Gina Stuessy says
Hi Sean, Thank you for sharing that tip! Setting up a Transfer On Death sounds like good advice to simplify the process.
I’ve always really liked the idea of postmortem donations, so it’s great to see an article applying it to animal concerns. On one hand, I want to see my savings benefit animals right now, but that’s a bit worrying since I have no fallback options in case something goes terribly wrong in my own life, to the point where I end up needing all those savings for myself. But in case nothing goes wrong, I want 100% of those savings allocated toward animal welfare charities, postmortem.
Thing is, I’m looking for an approach with anti-natalist caveats where the lone focus is reducing animal suffering, not necessarily the prevention of early death (when the death itself would’ve been relatively painless). I consider suffering to be a far greater disvalue than early death, but seemingly few charities reflect this in practice. So ideally, I’m hoping to donate to a happy middle between Effective Altruism and “Spays and Neuters” type organizations.
Any pointers? I’ve read many articles on here and am still trying to figure out the opportunity costs specific to these concerns I have as a negative consequentialist.
Thanks, you’re all doing great work here!
Gina Stuessy says
Thanks for your comment! We share your focus on reducing suffering here at ACE. It’s the primary moral force behind our work. Of course, some people are also concerned about preventing early death, so it’s important to also consider that perspective.
However, because farmed animals live such miserable lives and die prematurely in such large numbers, helping them turns out to be very important from either perspective. For this and other reasons, we think donating to our top charities is a hugely cost-effective way of reducing suffering. It’d be our current recommendation whether your goal were reducing suffering or preventing premature death.
If you have any other criteria you’re looking for in a charity, please feel free to check back with us. It’s great that you’re doing so much good for animals.
Thanks for the reply. Benefiting farmed animals through the listed top-ranking charities seems like a very effective approach. I’m not fully sure if it’s *the* most effective way to go, as I’m trying not to underestimate the extent of wildlife suffering caused by the “might makes right” non-rules of nature. Since wildlife harms are still immeasurable at this stage, much of this will be very tricky to navigate.
Looking at the “Number of Animals vs. amount of donations” page, I’m finding the “Farm/Lab/Clothing/Shelters/Other” graphic very useful. Would it be okay if I used a snapshot of this graphic for an “Animal Welfare” YT video I plan to do in the near future? I’ll be sure to link to the original article in the under-bar of my video.
Gina Stuessy says
Hi Milosh, You can definitely use our chart so long as you give us credit for it when using it. Also, just so you know, we’ll have an updated version of that chart probably by the end of May/early June.
Michael Lee says
I think it is a great idea to leave behind money for charities in your will. I had never thought about doing this before. As I am getting older, animal rights have been a big thing for me. I want to make sure that animals are loved and cared for, thank you for the article Gina.