|Primary Work Area||Industrial Agriculture|
|Secondary Work Area||Capacity Building|
|Website||Compassion In World Farming USA|
What does Compassion USA do?
Compassion USA was formed in 2011. It is a branch of the international organization Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), which works to improve farmed animal welfare and end all factory farming practices. CIWF has offices across the globe, including in the U.K., Italy, Poland, Brussels and China. This review focuses on their U.S. branch only.
Compassion USA engages in corporate outreach to encourage food companies to implement improved animal welfare policies, especially for farmed chickens. They run a public engagement program to encourage greater consumer awareness of animal welfare issues, and they also offer resources to encourage individuals to reduce their consumption of animal products.
What are their strengths?
We believe that Compassion USA’s corporate outreach work is particularly effective because of the high number of animals it affects and the breadth of its reach. Compassion USA maintains productive and effective working relationships with a large number of food companies and has successfully encouraged them to improve their animal welfare standards.
What are their weaknesses?
Compassion USA does not have plans for any significant expansions, so their room for more funding is limited. While we do not have concerns about the cost effectiveness of their program to encourage individuals to reduce their consumption of animal products, we are less confident about the cost effectiveness of their corporate outreach and public engagement programs.
Why did we recommend them?
Compassion USA focuses on reducing the suffering of farmed animals, which we believe is a high-impact cause area. Their corporate outreach work to improve the welfare of farmed chickens in the U.S. is likely to reduce the suffering of a large number of animals.
We find Compassion USA to be an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong programs focused on improving the welfare of animals in the U.S.
Compassion in World Farming USA has been one of our Standout Charities since November 2017.
A charity that performs well on this criterion has programs that we expect are highly effective in reducing the suffering of animals. The key aspects that ACE considers when examining a charity’s programs are reviewed in detail below.
In this criterion, we assess the effectiveness of each of the charity’s programs by analyzing (i) the interventions each program uses, (ii) the outcomes those interventions work toward, (iii) the countries in which the program takes place, and (iv) the groups of animals the program affects. We use information supplied by the charity to provide a more detailed analysis of each of these four factors. Our assessment of each intervention is informed by our research briefs and other relevant research.
At the beginning of our evaluation process, we select charities that we believe have the most effective programs. This year, we considered a comprehensive list of animal advocacy charities that focus on improving the lives of farmed or wild animals. We selected farmed animal charities based on the outcomes they work toward, the regions they work in, and the specific animal group(s) their programs target. We don’t currently consider animal group(s) targeted as part of our evaluation for wild animal charities, as the number of charities working on the welfare of wild animals is very small.
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.
We believe that changing individual habits and beliefs is difficult to achieve through individual outreach. Currently, we find the arguments for an institution-focused approach1 more compelling than individual-focused approaches. We believe that raising welfare standards increases animal welfare for a large number of animals in the short term2 and may contribute to transforming markets in the long run.3 Increasing the availability of animal-free foods, e.g., by bringing new, affordable products to the market or providing more plant-based menu options, can provide a convenient opportunity for people to choose more plant-based options. Moreover, we believe that efforts to strengthen the animal advocacy movement, e.g., by improving organizational effectiveness and building alliances, can support all other outcomes and may be relatively neglected.
Therefore, when considering charities to evaluate, we prioritize those that work to improve welfare standards, increase the availability of animal-free products, or strengthen the animal advocacy movement. We give lower priority to charities that focus on decreasing the consumption of animal products, increasing the prevalence of anti-speciesist values, or providing direct help to animals. Charities selected for evaluation are sent a request for more in-depth information about their programs and the specific interventions they use. We then present and assess each of the charities’ programs. In line with our commitment to following empirical evidence and logical reasoning, we use existing research to inform our assessments and explain our thinking about the effectiveness of different interventions.
A charity’s countries and regions of operations can affect their work with regard to scale, neglectedness, and tractability. We prioritize charities in countries with relatively large animal agricultural industries, few other charities engaged in similar work, and in which animal advocacy is likely to be feasible and have a lasting impact. In our charity selection process, we used Mercy For Animals’ Farmed Animal Opportunity Index (FAOI), which combines proxies for scale, tractability, and global influence to create country scores.4 To assess neglectedness, we used our own data on the number of organizations that we are aware of working in each country. Below we present these measures for the countries that CIWF USA operates in.
We prioritize programs targeting specific groups of animals that are affected in large numbers5 and receive relatively little attention in animal advocacy. Of the 187 billion vertebrate farmed animals killed annually for food globally, 110 billion are farmed fishes and 66.6 billion are farmed chickens, making these impactful groups to focus on. There are at least 100 times as many wild vertebrates as there are farmed vertebrates.6 Given the large number of wild animals and the small number of organizations working on their welfare, we believe wild animal advocacy also has potential for high impact despite its lower tractability.
A note about long-term impact
Each charity’s long-term impact is plausibly what matters most.7 The potential number of animals affected increases over time due to population growth and an accumulation of generations. Thus, we would expect that the long-term impacts of an action would likely affect more animals than the short-term impacts of the same action. Nevertheless, we are highly uncertain about the particular long-term effects of each intervention. Because of this uncertainty, our reasoning about each charity’s impact (along with our diagrams) may skew toward overemphasizing short-term effects.
Information and Analysis
Compassion USA’s programs focus exclusively on reducing the suffering of farmed animals, which we think is a high-priority cause area.
Compassion USA, a subsidiary of Compassion International, develops their programs in the U.S.
We used Mercy For Animals’ Farmed Animal Opportunity Index (FAOI) with the suggested weightings of scale (25%), tractability, (55%) and influence (20%) to determine each country’s total FAOI score. We report this score along with the country’s global ranking from a total of 60 countries in the following format: FAOI score(global ranking). The U.S. has the following score and ranking: 53.92(2). According to the comprehensive list of charities we are aware of, there are about 724 farmed animal advocacy organizations, excluding sanctuaries, worldwide. From this list, we found 220 in the U.S. We believe that farmed animal advocacy in the U.S. is relatively tractable and influential based on its FAOI score, but it is not very neglected. Overall, we believe that Compassion USA’s work in the U.S. is relatively high-priority.
Description of programs
Compassion USA pursues different avenues for creating change for animals. Their work focuses on improving welfare standards, and to a lesser extent, also aims to decrease the consumption of animal products.
To communicate the process by which we believe a charity creates change for animals, we use theory of change diagrams. It is important to note that these diagrams are not complete representations of real-world mechanisms of change. Rather, they are simplified models that ACE uses to represent our beliefs about mechanisms of change. For the sake of simplicity, some diagrams may not include relatively small or uncertain effects.
Below, we describe each of Compassion USA’s programs, listed in order of the financial resources devoted to them in 2020 (from highest to lowest). We list major accomplishments for each program, if a track record is available.
Compassion USA’s programs
Research for intervention effectiveness
Corporate outreach and campaigns
There is some evidence that corporate outreach leads food companies to change their practices related to hen welfare. Šimčikas9 found that the follow-through rate of cage-free corporate commitments ranges from 48–84%. Cost-effectiveness estimates vary widely, and it is unclear which is the most accurate. Šimčikas estimates that corporate campaigns affect nine to 120 hen-years (i.e., years of chicken life) per dollar spent.
Compassion USA’s main historical achievements are focused on securing cage-free commitments for egg-laying hens and welfare commitments for broiler chickens. Cage-free housing systems are believed to reduce suffering by increasing the space available to egg-laying hens and providing them opportunities to perform important behaviors, although during the transition process mortality may increase, and there is some risk that it may remain elevated.10)
Compassion USA is also campaigning for companies to switch to higher-welfare (but likely slower-growing) breeds of broiler chickens and to commit11 to provisions on stocking density, lighting, and environmental enrichments. Such commitments may lead to higher welfare but also to more animal days lived in factory farms.12
Although Compassion USA continues to engage corporations to achieve new broiler chicken welfare commitments, their food business program has focused on ensuring implementation by working in collaboration with companies and providing technical assistance. Many animal advocates are concerned that companies will fail to comply with welfare commitments.13 We believe this program could increase follow-through on these commitments.
Compassion USA leverages online outreach to raise public awareness about factory farming. We are unsure about how effective online outreach is at creating measurable change for animals. However, we generally believe that online outreach could have strategic value, especially media campaigns that support other high-impact tactics like corporate and legislative campaigns. Given that more people are spending time online during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that online outreach could become more influential.
Some empirical studies suggest that providing people with written information may increase their intention to consume less meat.14 However, it is uncertain how written information may affect attitudes toward animal products other than meat, how the format and specific content of the message may affect the impact on intentions, and whether changes in intentions translate into changes in consumer behavior. There is some evidence of a weak negative correlation between media coverage of animal welfare and meat demand.15 However, there is likely to be a large variation in the reach of these interventions, and it is uncertain whether they causally contribute to reducing the consumption of animal products. We are uncertain of the effectiveness of online outreach and offline ad campaigns, in particular, as people may not engage with these as deeply as they engage with other forms of outreach.
We think that Compassion USA’s food business program aimed at increasing corporate welfare standards is particularly effective. There is some evidence supporting this claim, as studies suggest that corporate outreach to secure chicken welfare commitments can impact a large number of animals. Additionally, we think that the program’s focus on helping chickens increases its effectiveness.
We consider Compassion USA’s work in the U.S. to be particularly effective based on the high number of animals, the high global influence, and the high tractability of farmed animal advocacy in the country.
Overall, we think that most of Compassion USA’s spending on programs goes toward outcomes and helping species that we think are a high priority.
Room for More Funding
A new recommendation from ACE could lead to a large increase in a charity’s funding. In this criterion, we investigate whether a charity is able to absorb and effectively utilize funding that the recommendation may bring in or, if the charity has a prior recommendation status, whether they will continue to effectively absorb funding that comes from our recommendation.
In the following section, we inspect the charity’s plans for expansion as well as their financials, including revenue and expenditure projections.
The charities we evaluate typically receive revenue from a variety of different sources, such as individual donations or grants from foundations.16 In order to guarantee that a charity will raise the funds needed for their operations, they should be able to predict changes in future revenue. To estimate charities’ room for more funding, we request records of their revenue since 2019 and ask what they predict their revenue will be in 2021–2023. A review of the literature on nonprofit finance suggests that revenue diversity may be positively associated with revenue predictability if the sources of income are largely uncorrelated.17 However, a few sources of large donations—if stable and reliable—may also be associated with high performance and growth. Therefore, in this criterion, we also indicate the charities’ major sources of income.
We present the charities’ reported plans for expansion of each program as well as other planned changes for the next two years. We do not make active suggestions for additional plans. However, we ask charities to indicate how they would spend additional funding that we expect would come in as a result of a new recommendation from ACE, considering that a Standout Charity status and a Top Charity status would likely lead to a $100,000 or $1,000,000 increase in funding, respectively. Note that we list the expenditures for planned non-program expenses but do not make any assessment of the charity’s overhead costs in this criterion, given that there is no evidence that the total share of overhead costs is negatively related to overall effectiveness.18 However, we do consider relative overhead costs per program in our Cost-Effectiveness criterion. Here we focus on evaluating whether additional resources are likely to be used for effective programs or other beneficial changes in the organization. The latter may include investments into infrastructure and efforts to retain staff, both of which we think are important for sustainable growth.
It is common practice for charities to hold more funds than needed for their current expenses (i.e., reserves) in order to be able to withstand changes in the business cycle or other external shocks that may affect their incoming revenue. Such additional funds can also serve as investments into future projects in the long run. Thus, it can be effective to provide a charity with additional funds to secure the stability of the organization or provide funding for larger, future projects. We do not prescribe a certain share of reserves, but we suggest that charities hold reserves equal to at least one year of expenditures, and we increase a charity’s room for more funding if their reserves in 2021 are less than 100% of their total expenditure.
Finally, we aggregate the financial information and the charity’s plans to form an assessment of their room for more funding. All descriptive data and estimations can be found in this sheet. Our assessment of a charity’s ability to effectively absorb additional funding helps inform our recommendation decision.
Information and Analysis
The chart below shows Compassion USA’s revenues, expenditures, and net assets from 2019–2020, as well as projections for the years 2021–2023. The information is based on the charity’s past financial data and their own predictions for the years 2021–2023.19
Compassion USA receives all of their income from donations.20 In 2020, they received 53% of their funding from donations larger than 20% of their annual revenue from two sources. Expenditure figures for 2019–2021 contain expenditures for international operations. Projections for 2022 and 2023 do not contain these expenditures, explaining the drop in projected expenditures shown in the chart. For our room for more funding estimates, we assume that expenditures in 2022 and 2023 will be the same as in 2021.
Compassion USA has also received funding influenced by ACE as a result of their prior recommended charity status for the past four years. As such, their room for more funding analysis will focus on our assessment of whether they could continue to effectively absorb funding that comes from our recommendation or larger amounts of funding.
Figure Note: Compassion USA has a fiscal year from April to March.
According to Compassion USA’s reported projections, their estimated revenue in 2022 and 2023 will sufficiently cover their expenditures. However, Compassion USA notes that the revenue of the U.S. branch partially supports Compassion International, as fundraising in the US is more favorable than in other regions. Therefore, while the revenue in the U.S. is expected to exceed the expenditures, this does not mean that there is no funding gap for the U.S. branch.
We estimate that Compassion USA has received $196,00021 in 2019 and $830,000 in 2020 as a result of their prior recommended charity status. Should Compassion USA lose their recommended charity status, their projected revenue may be lowered, resulting in more room for funding.
With about 85.67% of their current annual expenditures held in net assets—as projected by Compassion USA for 2021—we believe that they could benefit from holding a larger amount of reserves. As such, we included additional funding to replenish their reserves in the charity’s plans for expansion. Compassion USA notes that reserves held in the U.S. are a component of Compassion International’s global reserves (held by the entire organization) and therefore are not representative of the reserves of the U.S. branch, as is used in our model.
Compassion USA outlined that additional funding they may receive with a change in recommendation status would be focused on increasing the capacity of their existing programs. Considering their lack of specific expansion plans, we believe that Compassion USA could not effectively absorb an additional $1,000,000 per year beyond their existing funding gap.
Below we list Compassion USA’s plans for expansion for each program as well as other planned expenditures, such as administrative costs, wages, and training. We do not verify the feasibility of the plans or the specifics of how changes in expenditure will cover planned expansions. Reported changes in expenditure are based on the charity’s own estimates of changes in program expenditures from 2021–2022 and from 2022–2023.
Compassion USA plans to expand over the coming years, but as Compassion International and Compassion USA are currently working on their strategic plan, Compassion USA currently does not report any specific plans for these expansions. More details can be found in the corresponding estimation sheet and the supplementary materials. Readers may also consult Compassion in World Farming’s overall strategic plan.
Compassion USA does not report any specific significant expansions. For donors influenced by ACE wishing to donate to Compassion USA, we estimate that the organization can continue to effectively absorb funding that we expect to come with a Standout Charity recommendation status in 2022, but not in 2023.
Based on (i) Compassion USA’s own projections that their projected revenue will cover their expenditures, (ii) our assessment that they can use additional reserves, (iii) our assessment that they could not effectively absorb an additional $1,000,000, and (iv) our assumption that a loss of recommendation status would result into a decrease in funding, we believe that overall, Compassion USA continues to have room for $646,000 of additional funding in 2022 and no additional room for funding in 2023. As some of Compassion USA’s revenue is expected to go to branches of Compassion International, their actual room for more funding may be higher than this estimate. See our Programs criterion for our assessment of the effectiveness of their programs.
It is possible that a charity could run out of room for funding more quickly than we expect, or that they could come up with good ways to use funding beyond what we expect. If a charity receives a recommendation as Top Charity, we check in mid-year about the funding they’ve received since the release of our recommendations, and we use the estimates presented above to indicate whether we still expect them to be able to effectively absorb additional funding at that time.
A charity’s recent cost effectiveness provides an insight into how well it has made use of its available resources and is a useful component in understanding how cost effective future donations to the charity might be. In this criterion, we take a more in-depth look at the charity’s use of resources over the past 18 months and compare that to the outputs they have achieved in each of their main programs during that time. We seek to understand whether each charity has been successful at implementing their programs in the recent past and whether past successes were achieved at a reasonable cost. We only complete an assessment of cost effectiveness for programs that started in 2019 or earlier and that have expenditures totaling at least 10% of the organization’s annual budget.
Below, we report what we believe to be the key outputs of each program (for a complete list of outputs reported by Compassion USA, see this document), as well as the total program expenditures. To estimate total program expenditures, we take the reported expenditures for each program and add a portion of their non-program expenditures weighted by the size of the program. This allows us to incorporate general organizational running costs into our consideration of cost effectiveness.
We spend a significant portion of our time during the evaluation process verifying the outputs charities report to us. We do this by (i) searching for independent sources that can help us verify claims, and (ii) directing follow-up questions to charities to gather more information. We adjusted some of the reported claims based on our verification work.
Information and Analysis
Overview of expenditures
The following chart shows Compassion USA’s total program expenditures from January 2020 – June 2021.
Given the outputs achieved using the stated expenditures, we do not have concerns about the cost effectiveness of Compassion USA’s ‘Eat Plants. For a Change.’ program. Given the outputs achieved using the stated expenditures of the food business and public engagement programs, we are less confident about the cost effectiveness of these programs.
Leadership and Culture
A charity that performs well on this criterion has strong leadership and a healthy organizational culture. The way an organization is led affects its organizational culture, which in turn impacts the organization’s effectiveness and stability.25 The key aspects that ACE considers when examining leadership and culture are reviewed in detail below.
We review aspects of organizational leadership and culture by capturing staff and volunteer perspectives via our culture survey, in addition to information provided by top leadership staff (as defined by each charity).
First, we consider key information about the composition of leadership staff and board of directors. There appears to be no consensus in the literature on the specifics of the relationship between board composition and organizational performance,26 therefore we refrain from making judgements on board composition. However, because donors may have preferences on whether the Executive Director (ED) or other top executive staff are board members or not, we note when this is the case. According to the Council on Foundations,27 risks of EDs serving as board members include conflicts of interest when the board sets the ED’s salary, complicated reporting relationships, and blurred lines between governing bodies and staff. On the other hand, an ED that is part of a governing board can provide context about day-to-day operations and ultimately lead to better-informed decisions, while also giving the ED more credibility and authority.
We also consider information about leadership’s commitment to transparency by looking at available information on the charity’s website, such as key staff members, financial information, and board meeting notes. We require organizations selected for evaluation to be transparent with ACE throughout the process. Although we value transparency, we do not expect all organizations to be transparent with the public about sensitive information. For example, we recognize that organizations and individuals working in some regions or on some interventions could be harmed by making information about their work public. In these cases, we favor confidentiality over transparency.
In addition, we utilize our culture survey to ask staff to identify the extent to which they feel that leadership is competently guiding the organization.
We ask organizations undergoing evaluation to provide a list of their human resources policies, and we elicit the views of staff and volunteers through our culture survey. Administering ACE’s culture survey to all staff members, as well as volunteers working at least 20 hours per month, is an eligibility requirement to be recommended as an ACE Top or Standout Charity. However, ACE does not require individual staff members or volunteers at participating charities to complete the survey. We recognize that surveying staff and volunteers could (i) lead to inaccuracies due to selection bias, and (ii) may not reflect employees’ true opinions as they are aware that their responses could influence ACE’s evaluation of their employer. In our experience, it is easier to uncover issues with an organization’s culture than it is to assess how strong an organization’s culture is. Therefore, we focus on determining whether there are issues in the organization’s culture that have a negative impact on staff productivity and well-being.
We assume that employees in the nonprofit sector have incentives that are material, purposive, and solidary.28 Since nonprofit sector wages are typically below for-profit wages, our survey elicits wage satisfaction from all staff. We also ask organizations to provide volunteer hours, because due to the absence of a contract and pay, volunteering may be a special case of uncertain work conditions. Additionally, we request the organization’s benefit policies regarding time off, health care, and training and professional development. As policies vary across countries and cultures, we do not evaluate charities based on their set of policies and do not expect effective charities to have all policies in place.
To capture whether the organization also provides non-material incentives, e.g., goal-related intangible rewards, we elicit employee engagement using the Gallup Q12 survey. We consider an average engagement score below the median value (i.e., below four) of the scale a potential concern.
ACE believes that the animal advocacy movement should be safe and inclusive for everyone. Therefore, we also collect information about policies and activities regarding representation/diversity, equity, and inclusion (R/DEI). We use the terms “representation” and “diversity” broadly in this section to refer to the diversity of certain social identity characteristics (called “protected classes” in some countries).29 Additionally, we believe that effective charities must have human resources policies against harassment30 and discrimination,31 and that cases of harrassment and discrimination in the workplace should be addressed appropriately. If a specific case of harassment or discrimination from the last 12 months is reported to ACE by several current or former staff members or volunteers at a charity, and said case remains unaddressed, the charity in question is ineligible to receive a recommendation from ACE.
Information and Analysis
In this section, we list each charity’s President (or equivalent) and/or Executive Director (or equivalent), and we describe the board of directors. This is completed for the purpose of transparency and to identify the relationship between the ED and board of directors.
- Executive Director (ED): Ben Williamson, involved in the organization since 2021
- Number of members on board of directors: five members
Compassion USA had a transition in leadership in the last year. The previous ED, Rachel Dreskin, left in March 2021, and Ben Williamson became ED in July 2021. Global Chief Operating Officer Kathryn Flanagan served as interim ED.
All of the staff respondents to our culture survey, which was sent out at the end of July 2021, agreed that Compassion USA’s leadership team guides the organization competently.
Compassion USA has been transparent with ACE during the evaluation process. In addition, Compassion USA’s audited financial documents are available on the charity’s website or GuideStar. A list of key staff members is available on the charity’s website. A list of board members is not available on the charity’s website.32
Compassion USA has 13 staff members (including full-time, part-time, and contractors) and no volunteers. Ten staff members responded to our survey, yielding a response rate of 77%.
Compassion USA has a formal compensation plan to determine staff salaries. Of the staff that responded to our survey, about 10% report that they are at least somewhat dissatisfied with their wage. Compassion USA offers 25 days of paid time off per year, four weeks of sick leave per year, and full healthcare coverage. About 20% of staff members report that they are at least somewhat dissatisfied with the benefits provided.33 Additional policies are listed in the table below.
General compensation policies
|Has policy||Partial / informal policy||No policy|
|A formal compensation policy to determine staff salaries|
|Paid time off|
Compassion USA offers 25 days of paid time off per year
|Sick days and personal leave|
Compassion USA offers 4 weeks of sick leave per year
Compassion USA offers medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and their partners/families at a 70/30 employer/employee split.
|Paid family and medical leave|
|Clearly defined essential functions for all positions, preferably with written job descriptions|
|Annual (or more frequent) performance evaluations|
|Formal onboarding or orientation process|
|Funding for training and development consistently available to each employee|
|Simple and transparent written procedure for employees to request further training or support|
|Flexible work hours|
|Remote work option|
|Paid internships (if possible and applicable)|
The average score in our engagement survey is 6.5 (on a 1–7 scale), suggesting that on average, staff do not exhibit a low engagement score. Compassion USA has staff policies against harassment and discrimination. A few of staff report that they themselves have experienced harassment or discrimination at their workplace during the last twelve months, while a few report to have witnessed harassment or discrimination of others. These people neither agree nor disagree that the situation was handled appropriately.34 See all other related policies in the table below.
Policies related to representation/diversity, equity, and inclusion (R/DEI)
|Has policy||Partial / informal policy||No policy|
|A clearly written workplace code of ethics/conduct|
|A written statement that the organization does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, or other characteristics|
|A simple and transparent written procedure for filing complaints|
|Mandatory reporting of harassment and discrimination through all levels, up to and including the board of directors|
|Explicit protocols for addressing concerns or allegations of harassment or discrimination|
|Documentation of all reported instances of harassment or discrimination, along with the outcomes of each case|
|Regular trainings on topics such as harassment and discrimination in the workplace|
|An anti-retaliation policy protecting whistleblowers and those who report grievances|
We did not detect any major concerns in Compassion USA’s leadership and organizational culture. We positively noted that Compassion USA’s staff generally agree that leadership guides the organization competently, and that team members seem engaged and satisfied with their job.
On average, our team considers advocating for welfare improvements to be a positive and promising approach. However, there are different viewpoints within ACE’s research team on the effect of advocating for animal welfare standards on the spread of anti-speciesist values. There are concerns that arguing for welfare improvements may lead to complacency related to animal welfare and give the public an inconsistent message—e.g., see Wrenn (2012). In addition, there are concerns with the alliance between nonprofit organizations and the companies that are directly responsible for animal exploitation, as explored in Baur and Schmitz (2012).
The weightings used for calculating these country scores are scale (25%), tractability (55%), and regional influence (20%).
We don’t believe that the number of individuals is the only relevant characteristic for scale, and we don’t necessarily believe that groups of animals should be prioritized solely based on the scale of the problem, however, number of animals is one characteristic we use for prioritization.
We estimate there are 10 quintillion, or 1019, wild animals alive at any time, of whom we estimate at least 10 trillion are vertebrates. It’s notable that Rowe (2020) estimates that 100 trillion to 10 quadrillion (or 1014 to 1016) wild invertebrates are killed by agricultural pesticides annually.
For arguments supporting the view that the most important consideration of our present actions should be their impact in the long term, see Greaves & MacAskill (2019) and Beckstead (2019).
The Better Chicken Commitment is a pledge that requires food companies to meet improved welfare standards for broiler chickens in their supply chain by 2024 and 2026.
The Better Chicken Commitment is a pledge that requires food companies to meet improved welfare standards for broiler chickens in their supply chain by 2024 and 2026.
See Bianchi et al. (2018a) for a summary of this literature.
See, for example, Animal Charity Evaluators (2016), Tiplady, Walsh, & Phillips (2013), and Tonsor & Olynk (2011).
To be selected for evaluation, we require that a charity has a revenue of at least about $50,000 and faces no country-specific regulatory barriers to receiving money from ACE.
Compassion USA notes that they don’t project their revenue and expenditures beyond the current year.
To estimate their expenditures, we took their reported expenditures for this program and added a portion of their general non-program expenditures weighted by the size of this program compared to their other programs. This allowed us to incorporate their general organizational running costs into our consideration of their cost effectiveness.
Clark and Wilson (1961), as cited in Rollag (n.d.)
Examples of such social identity characteristics are: race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, marital status, national origin, citizenship, amnesty, veteran status, political beliefs, age, ability, and genetic information.
Harassment can be non-sexual or sexual in nature: ACE defines non-sexual harassment as unwelcome conduct—including physical, verbal, and nonverbal behavior—that upsets, demeans, humiliates, intimidates, or threatens an individual or group. Harassment may occur in one incident or many. ACE defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other physical, verbal, and nonverbal behaviors of a sexual nature when (i) submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the targeted individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
ACE defines discrimination as the unjust or prejudicial treatment of or hostility toward an individual on the basis of certain characteristics (called “protected classes” in some countries), such as race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, marital status, national origin, citizenship, amnesty, veteran status, political beliefs, age, ability, or genetic information.
Compassion USA reported that while this information is available through various public outlets such as Guidestar, they have enacted a plan to update their website to include a list of board members.
Compassion USA reported that given their size, they face limitations in their healthcare benefit opportunities compared to other larger organizations. Compassion USA speculates that any dissatisfaction over benefits expressed by our staff is related to their limited healthcare options. Furthermore, they report that their leadership has been in active conversation with both staff members and their insurance broker regarding recent feedback from staff on their health insurance plan, as they finalize options for their organization’s health insurance renewal package in 2022.
Compassion USA reported that no complaints related to harassment or discrimination have been received by the organization during the last twelve months, and that their leadership team will be thoughtful and intentional to offer their staff the opportunity to safely formalize any complaints so that they may be properly documented and investigated according to their anti-harassment/anti-discrimination policies and procedures.
The following materials are supplementary research documents associated with our charity review process and are referenced in the comprehensive review.