We update our recommendations each year by December 1st. This year, we are publishing our recommendations a few days early in order to have our most recent updates live in time for Giving Tuesday.
We’re proud to announce that our newest Top Charities are Mercy For Animals, The Humane League, and The Good Food Institute. MFA and THL secured their top positions from last year by continuing to operate in a highly effective manner and displaying strong growth. GFI is a new addition to the list, and we’re excited about their work in the advancement of plant-based and cultured (clean) meat, dairy, and eggs.
We have also added VEBU to our Standout Charity list, and moved Animal Equality from a Top to a Standout Charity with the qualification that past donors should continue to support them with a percentage of their previous donations.
We plan to release a chart outlining some key considerations for each of our recommended charities in the coming weeks, so that donors can make comparisons and better understand our thinking on the advantages and disadvantages of supporting each organization.
Mercy For Animals continues to work on a variety of effective advocacy interventions. Their undercover investigations produce important documentation of the treatment of animals on farms, also providing materials that other advocacy groups can use in their work. They display a dedication to testing and studying the effectiveness of their efforts, and their expansion into international markets shows a willingness to explore new, critically important areas for advocacy. They maintain a focus on interventions that can affect large numbers of animals, such as undercover investigations and corporate advocacy, but also conduct grassroots outreach in ways that have potential for impact beyond inspiring individual diet change. Read our full review.
The Humane League has built up an especially effective corporate outreach department which has achieved substantial victories for millions of animals over the past year, often through collaborative campaigns with other advocacy groups. Additionally, they have helped create a global alliance of animal advocacy organizations with the potential to scale their effective strategies around the world. They’ve shown consistent growth in their expansion of local, self-sustaining offices, and have brought in strong leadership to guide Humane League Labs to produce meaningful research to help animal advocacy charities. Read our full review.
The Good Food Institute works in an underutilized but critically important area by promoting and developing competitive alternatives to animal-based meat, dairy, and eggs. They provide support in a variety of ways to cellular agriculture and plant-based food companies, including building relationships with distributors and retailers to increase the likelihood of successful integration. They also drive research and development of these products. GFI has a very short track record, having only recently formed as a charity, but they have a strategic approach and highly-qualified team that mitigates our concerns. Read our full review.
In addition to our Top Charities, we are adding two organizations to our list of Standout Charities. We evaluate Standout Charities every two years, so our current list also includes strong organizations from last year’s reviews. All in all, we now feature 10 Standout Charities. The newest additions to this list are VEBU and Animal Equality. We also evaluated the HSUS Farm Animal Protection Campaign, the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, and Vegan Outreach this year, all of which retained their status as Standout Charities.
VEBU is a German organization that works to have the biggest impact possible by focusing on efforts which seem likely to influence individuals and institutions with the capacity to affect even larger numbers of people. This includes hosting conferences with medical professionals, working with leaders in the meat industry to develop plant-based alternatives, and conducting corporate outreach. Read our full review.
Animal Equality has been an ACE Top Charity for the last two years, and we remain impressed with their strategic vision for animal advocacy. They conduct investigations, engage in grassroots advocacy, initiate corporate campaigns, and make significant efforts to research the impact of their programs. Read our full review. For more information on our decision to place Animal Equality in the Standout category this year instead of the Top category, read our blog post.
HSUS’ Farm Animal Protection Campaign remains one of the most impressive voices for farmed animals in the world, systematically using their position to advocate for legal reforms, conduct corporate campaigns, and engage in institutional outreach such as Meatless Mondays to decrease meat consumption. Read our full review.
Vegan Outreach continues to operate their main program, leafleting outreach, with a high level of efficiency. They have expanded this program to international markets and are in the midst of conducting pilot testing to study the impact of the program. They are also working on a vegan mentor program to combat recidivism, and have initiated efforts to support diversity in the vegan and animal advocacy movement. Read our full review.
Albert Schweitzer Foundation is a German organization that engages mainly in a variety of vegetarian advocacy activities, including leafleting, community building, and online activism. They also conduct corporate outreach, including commitments for fish welfare, and have plans to expand to Poland and eventually more countries. Read our full review.
You can find 11 new comprehensive reviews in our review database. We have redesigned this page to improve usability, so you can now search for charities based on a variety of characteristics. We also released eight additional exploratory reviews, which are the product of our initial investigations into organizations before we decide whether to conduct a comprehensive evaluation. We decided against conducting further deep reviews, like the one we did for THL in 2015, because we determined that the additional value provided by the extra layer of depth was not worth the additional demands on our time.
We offer our sincere gratitude to all charities that we evaluated this year. Engaging with us takes time, and we are grateful for organizations’ willingness to be open with us about their work. In fact, this year we had by far our highest rate of acceptance from evaluated charities, in which 90% agreed to allow us to publish our review of their work. Our aim is to not only provide clear recommendations to donors and advocates on specific high-performing charities, but also to foster a culture of evaluation and critical assessment of programs and organizations in the field. We hope that all charities are able to learn from our evaluation process and improve their efforts to help animals.