Animals Need You. You Need Data.
Why did Faunalytics receive our recommendation?1
Faunalytics’ work to increase knowledge and skills for animal advocacy is highly promising because it focuses on animal groups, countries, and interventions that we consider high priority. We find their work on conducting research to help farmed animals and wild animals in the U.S. and China particularly likely to be impactful. While we expect all of our evaluated charities to be excellent examples of effective advocacy, Faunalytics is exceptional even within that group. Giving to Faunalytics is an excellent opportunity to support initiatives that create the most positive change for animals.
Are Faunalytics’ programs cost effective?
After analyzing the recent achievements and expenditures of Faunalytics’ programs, we assess that Faunalytics utilizes their available resources in a cost-effective manner. Of Faunalytics’ achievements, we think the addition of new content to their research library, their Global Animal Slaughter Statistics and Charts, and their intervention research into 15 animal advocacy types are particularly cost effective because they combine high-priority interventions with robust implementation. We predict Faunalytics will use your donations responsibly.
How is Faunalytics’ organizational health?
Organizational factors can influence a charity’s effectiveness and stability. Our assessment showed that Faunalytics has the key policies and processes in place necessary for healthy workplace conditions, governance, and staff engagement. We also positively noted that since their last review, they have developed an algorithm for setting salaries objectively and transparently.
Why should you support Faunalytics?
We estimate that Faunalytics could effectively use $1,000,000 in additional donations (beyond their projected revenue) through 2025. With that funding, they plan to conduct and share more research, provide data-driven resources, and offer animal organizations greater support in conducting their own research. By supporting Faunalytics, you play a crucial role in helping them achieve their plans and creating a better world for farmed and wild animals.
Read our comprehensive review of Faunalytics to learn more about their work and our evaluation methods.
For full disclosure, ACE participated in Faunalytics’ Compensation Benchmarking Study. Additionally, ACE currently participates in the Intergroup Research Meeting, where representatives of animal advocacy organizations (including Faunalytics) meet monthly to update each other, discuss, and give advice on ongoing and completed projects. ACE does not seek any feedback from this forum regarding achievement scoring or recommendations decisions.
Support Faunalytics or all of our Recommended CharitiesMake a Donation
At Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE), we provide comprehensive reviews of all the organizations we recommend after conducting our yearly charity evaluations. During the evaluation period, our researchers thoroughly analyze publicly accessible information about each organization. Additionally, we ask participating organizations for supplemental materials and information to aid our assessments and help us identify the charities to recommend.
This review is based on our assessment of Faunalytics’ performance on ACE’s four charity evaluation criteria. Each section of the review focuses on a different criterion: (i) Impact Potential, an overview of the charity’s programmatic work and an assessment of its impact potential; (ii) Cost Effectiveness, an analysis of the charity’s recent expenditures and achievements; (iii) Room for More Funding, an overview of the charity’s future plans and an estimate of how much additional funding they can effectively use in 2024 and 2025; and (iv) Organizational Health, an assessment of whether there are any management or governance issues substantial enough to affect the charity’s effectiveness and stability. Each of the four sections is divided into these subsections: Introduction, Our Method, Limitations of Our Method, Our Analysis, and Our Assessment of the charity in that criterion. Finally, we conclude with a summary of why we recommend this charity based on our evaluation.
Impact Potential: How promising are Faunalytics’ programs?
With this criterion,1 we assess the impact potential (IP) of a charity’s programs without considering their specific program achievements. During our assessment, we analyze the groups of animals the charity’s programs target, the countries where they take place, and the intervention types they use. We also examine how the charity allocates expenditures among different animal groups, countries, and interventions. A charity that performs well on this criterion has programs with great potential to reduce animal suffering or improve animal wellbeing. The key aspects that ACE examines when evaluating a charity’s programmatic work are discussed in detail below.
Our Analysis of Faunalytics’ Impact Potential
Faunalytics’ programs focus primarily on helping farmed animals, which we assess as a high-priority cause area. Some of their work aims to help companion animals, wild animals, animals in labs, and animals in entertainment.
Faunalytics notes that while their Original Research program primarily focuses on farmed animals, their Research Library covers a wide range of animal issues and topics. Although study summaries related to farmed animals, veganism/vegetarianism, and effective advocacy strategies make up the majority of their library content, they also cover additional topics to inform the broader movement.
Fig. 1: Faunalytics’ spending toward each animal group
In the table below, we report for each animal group our scores (on a 1–7 scale) for Scale, Tractability, and Neglectedness, as well as the general IP score and the uncertainty score. We also provide our overall impression of each animal group based on the latter two scores. For more details on how we scored animal groups, see the Prioritizing animals section.
|Animal group||Scale||Tractability||Neglectedness||IP Score||Uncertainty||Overall impression|
|Farmed animals (general)||4.4||5.8||5.3||5.1||2.7||High priority, moderate uncertainty|
|Companion animals||3.1||6.3||1.3||3.3||5.7||Moderate priority, high uncertainty|
|Wild animals||7||2||7||5.7||7||High priority, high uncertainty|
|Animals in labs||2.7||5.3||2.8||3.5||1.8||Moderate priority, moderate uncertainty|
|Animals in entertainment||1||6.3||2.5||2.8||6.9||Moderate priority, high uncertainty|
Faunalytics’ headquarters are currently located in the U.S. They do not have any subsidiaries.
Faunalytics’ programs target animals in the U.S., China, and Brazil. Some of their work is not directed toward any specific country.
Fig. 2: Faunalytics’ spending toward each country
In the table below, we report our scores (on a 1–7 scale) for Scale, Tractability, Global Influence, and Neglectedness, as well as the IP score for each country where Faunalytics runs programs to help farmed animals. We also provide our overall impression of each country based on the IP score. For more details on how we scored countries, see the Prioritizing countries section.
|Country||Scale||Tractability||Global Influence||Neglectedness||IP Score||Overall impression|
|United States||5.5||6.6||6.9||4.1||5.8||High priority|
Faunalytics uses two intervention types to increase knowledge and skills for animal advocacy: research, and skill and network building.
Fig. 3: Faunalytics’ spending toward each intervention
We use theory of change diagrams to communicate our interpretation of how a charity creates change for animals through interventions and outcomes. 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.
Fig 4: Faunalytics’ theory of change diagram
In the table below, we report for each intervention-outcome combination our scores (on a 1–7 scale) for Scale (short term), Scale (long term), Tractability, and Neglectedness, as well as the general IP score and the uncertainty score. We also provide our overall impression of each intervention type based on the latter two scores. For more details on how we scored interventions, see the Prioritizing interventions section.
|Intervention||Outcome||Scale (short term)||Scale (long term)||Tractability||Neglectedness||IP Score||Uncertainty||Overall impression|
|Research||Increased knowledge/skills for animal advocacy||5.0||5.8||4.5||6.0||5.3||4.1||High priority, moderate uncertainty|
|Skill and Network Building||Increased knowledge/skills for animal advocacy||4.8||5||4.5||4.8||4.8||5||High priority, high uncertainty|
Research on the impact potential of interventions
Below, we summarize the most relevant research on the effectiveness of each of these intervention types.
ACE’s 2021 research brief on conducting animal advocacy research suggests that it is a promising intervention, especially when considering its potential impact in the longer term. However, our confidence in the short-term effects of this intervention is low due to the lack of empirical evidence about the extent to which animal advocates use research results to prioritize and implement their work. Additionally, we note that the impact of research can vary significantly, with some research projects being far more influential than others. Researchers’ rigor seems to be a key factor in projects’ impact.
A 2022 essay argues that the research, measurement, and evaluation of farmed animal advocacy is severely underfunded, receiving only 3% of the total funding for improving the lives of farmed animals.10 The author largely attributes this to lack of knowledge about intervention effectiveness within the animal advocacy movement.
Skill and Network Building
The National Council of Nonprofits argues that capacity building enables organizations to develop the competencies and skills to make their team more effective and sustainable, thus increasing their potential to fulfill their mission and create change.11 They also suggest that networks can be especially effective for capacity building because they catalyze innovation, improve communications, reduce duplication of past mistakes, and spread ideas faster and more efficiently than other capacity-building approaches.12
ACE’s 2018 report on the allocation of movement resources suggests that capacity building is neglected relative to other interventions aimed at influencing public opinion and industry.
A 2012 article argues that investments in capacity building are an effective adaptation response to global change and that strong and well-supported scientific networks are an indispensable component of capacity building, as they are a key source for new knowledge that enables continual and dynamic adaptation practice.13
Faunalytics’s programs can be interpreted as 18 combinations of different types of interventions used, countries where those interventions are conducted, and/or animal groups aimed to be helped. In the table below, we report the IP score (on a 1–7 scale, ranging from lowest to highest IP) for each intervention-animal-country combination that applies to Faunalytics. Note that we did not produce any IP scores for synergy combinations that are not specific to a particular country. For more details on how we scored the synergy impacts, see the Assessing synergy section.
|Synergy combinations||% Annual Expenditures||IP Score|
|Research to Help Farmed Animals (General) in United States||58.5||6.0|
|Research to Help Farmed Animals (General) in China||3.7||5.8|
|Research to Help Farmed Animals (General) in Brazil||1.6||5.3|
|Research to Help Wild Animals in United States||1.1||6.3|
|Research to Help Companion Animals in United States||0.3||3.8|
|Research to Help Animals in Entertainment in United States||0.2||3.5|
|Research to Help Animals in Labs in United States||0.2||4.3|
|Skill and Network Building to Help Farmed Animals (General)||21.5||n/a|
|Research to Help Farmed Animals (General)||9.9||n/a|
|Skill and Network Building to Help Wild Animals||1.3||n/a|
|Skill and Network Building to Help Companion Animals||0.4||n/a|
|Skill and Network Building to Help Animals in Entertainment||0.3||n/a|
|Skill and Network Building to Help Animals in Labs||0.3||n/a|
|Research to Help Wild Animals||0.3||n/a|
|Research to Help Companion Animals||0.1||n/a|
|Research to Help Animals in Entertainment||0.1||n/a|
|Research to Help Animals in Labs||0.1||n/a|
Our Assessment of Faunalytics’ Impact Potential
We estimate that about 96% of Faunalytics’ expenditures on programs go toward high-priority animal groups (farmed animals and wild animals), at least 72% goes toward high-priority countries (U.S., China, and Brazil),14 and 100% goes toward high-priority interventions (research and skill and network building). Their work on conducting research to help farmed animals and wild animals in the United States and China seems to have a particularly high impact potential.
In general, we are highly uncertain about skill and network building relative to other interventions, as well as work aiming to help wild animals, animals in entertainment, and companion animals relative to work targeting other animal groups. This high uncertainty is due to a high standard deviation in team scores, which can be interpreted as a relatively high level of disagreement among our team members in the impact potential of using this intervention type and working to help these animal groups. The high uncertainty is also due to the low quality of research about the effectiveness of skill and network building.
Overall, we assessed the impact potential of Faunalytics’ programs as relatively high, with a final IP score of 5.5 (on a 1–7 scale), placing them in the 4th quartile (top 25%) of the charities we evaluated in 2023. Based on the final uncertainty score, we assessed our overall uncertainty in Faunalytics’ impact potential as moderate. For more detailed information, see Faunalytics’ IP Assessment spreadsheet.
Cost Effectiveness: How much has Faunalytics achieved through their programs?
With this criterion, we assess the effectiveness of a charity’s approach to implementing interventions, their achievements, and the costs associated with those achievements. Charities that perform well on this criterion likely use their available resources in a cost-effective manner. The key aspects that ACE considers when examining cost effectiveness are reviewed in detail below.
Our Analysis of Faunalytics’ Cost Effectiveness
The following tables show Faunalytics’ key achievements and achievement expenditures per intervention category from January to December 2022, the quantity of achievements per $1/$100,000, and the achievement cost-effectiveness score.27 The tables show the five highest-expenditure achievements per intervention category. For a full list of Faunalytics’ achievements, please see their Cost-Effectiveness Assessment spreadsheet.
|Key achievements||Achievement expenditures (USD) 28||Number of research projects||Number of research projects per $100,000||Achievement score (1–7) 29|
|Added 228 study summaries and 55 blog posts to their research library and produced six explainer videos and two fact sheets based on these posts||$306,268||28330||92.4||7.0|
|Conducted a market research project on Chinese consumers’ attitudes towards animal welfare||$81,376||1||1.2||5.1|
|Conducted research into attitudes toward chickens and fishes in four countries||$74,818||4||5.4||5.4|
|Conducted qualitative research on current strategy for animal agriculture reform||$61,668||1||1.5||4.8|
|Conducted secondary research into the effect of local laws on state laws||$53,781||1||1.9||4.5|
Skill and network building
|Key achievements||Achievement expenditures (USD)||Number of individuals or organizations reached||Number of individuals or organizations reached per $100,000||Achievement score|
|Provided one-on-one advocate support via office hours or email||$32,230||118 individuals||366 individuals||4.6|
|Added the Faunalytics Research Glossary to the Research Advice Hub||$27,947||4,421 individuals||15,820 individuals||3.9|
|Launched the Faunalytics’ Research Ambassador Project to deliver research and data to animal advocates||$25,194||326 individuals||1,294 individuals||4.4|
|Helped Animal Friends Jogja with their impact monitoring and evaluation||$18,791||1 organization||5.3 organizations||3.5|
|Cofounded a coalition of researchers with Rethink Priorities and Stanford University’s Quantitative Sciences Unit||$16,822||2 organizations||11.9 organizations||4.3|
Documentaries and films
|Key achievements||Achievement expenditures (USD)||Number of views||Number of views per $1||Achievement score|
|Produced and distributed a short film about greyhound racing||$3,250||14,506||4.5||2.7|
Our Assessment of Faunalytics’ Cost Effectiveness
Faunalytics’ overall cost-effectiveness score is 5.7, placing them in the 4th quartile (top 25%) among all charities evaluated in 2023. This score was reached by averaging the individual scores calculated for each achievement, weighted by the relative expenditures on the achievement.31 This overall score is an estimate of how well Faunalytics has implemented their interventions from January to December 2022, taking their expenditures into account.
We think that out of all of Faunalytics’ achievements, the addition of new content to their research library, their Global Animal Slaughter Statistics and Charts, and their intervention research into 15 types of animal advocacy32 are particularly cost effective because they combine high-priority interventions with robust implementation. In contrast, we think that the short film about greyhound racing is less cost effective because we consider documentaries and films a lower-priority intervention.
We think our score may overestimate Faunalytics’ cost effectiveness for the following reason: Faunalytics submitted achievements accounting for only 48.1% of their program expenditures. However, they explained that the remaining program expenditures largely went toward other research projects that were in progress but not completed and published in the reporting period. However, some communication and public relations work was also not included, and intervention scores for this type of work are lower than for Faunalytics’ other main interventions.
We think our score may underestimate Faunalytics’ cost effectiveness for the following reason: We largely focus on the direct and short-term impact of research and skill and network building, but the indirect and long-term impact may be much higher.
Our uncertainty in the cost-effectiveness score is moderate (below the median of all evaluated charities). This is based on no missing information when scoring achievements, mostly moderate uncertainty scores of the relevant intervention categories, and the outcome of our verification process. Of the seven achievements selected for verification, two were verified as true, and five were partially verified as true.
Room For More Funding: How much additional money can Faunalytics effectively use in the next two years?
A recommendation from ACE could lead to a large increase in a charity’s funding. With this criterion, we investigate whether a charity would be able to absorb the funding that a new or renewed recommendation may bring, and the extent to which we believe that their future uses of funding will be as effective as their past work. All descriptive data and estimations for this criterion can be found in the model spreadsheet.
Our Analysis of Faunalytics’ Room For More Funding
The chart below shows Faunalytics’ revenues, expenditures, and total staff size from 2020–2022, as well as their own projections for the years 2023–2025.
Fig. 6: Faunalytics’ financials and staff size (2020–2025)
Assessment of Projected Revenue and Expenditures
|Concerns about Alignment with Previous Projections 39||Level of Concern about Charity’s Sustainability (1–7)||Reasoning|
|No||3||Projecting a moderate increase in expenditures, with assets to handle the increase even if revenue is flat in the future|
We consider the charity’s projected growth (uncertainty level 3 out of 7) to be somewhat conservative. A more detailed summary of their financials, including breakdowns by intervention, animal group, and country, can be found in the “Overall Financials” tab of their model spreadsheet.
Assessment of Hiring Plans
|Year||# FTEs||Hiring plans||Uncertainty (1–7)|
|Projection for 2023||8.5||Data Analyst and Visual Coordinator||1|
|Projection for 2024||10||Content Manager/Senior Research Scientist, Operations/HR/Finance Director||2|
|Projection for 2025||10|
Overall, we consider it likely that the charity will be able to find and train the FTEs projected. A more detailed summary of their hiring plans and our reasoning behind their uncertainty scores can be found in the “Assessment: Hiring Plans” tab of their model spreadsheet.
Plans for expansion
Faunalytics plans to conduct and share more research and data-driven resources, as well as offer animal organizations greater support in terms of conducting their own research, finding data to apply to their campaigns and programs, and measuring their effectiveness and impact. Their Research Library will continue to focus on farmed animals but will include more content on wild animals and invertebrates in the future. They will also increase the amount of resources focused on animal issues in the United States, China, and numerous other countries and translate select research studies into additional languages.
A more detailed summary of their future plans can be found in their model spreadsheet.
Faunalytics shared that they could absorb a total of $850,000 beyond their most likely scenario projections while still meeting the high standards of their current programs. They provided the following plans:
|Priority for Funds||Amount of Funds||Type of Work Funded||Uncertainty about Effectiveness of Plans (1–7)|
|1||$100,000||Hire an H.R./Admin/Finance Director and bring the Operations Associate position to full time||2|
|2||$220,000||Hire a Content Manager, a Senior Research Scientist, and an M&E researcher and bring the Data Analyst position to full time||2|
|3||$53,000||Funds for research workshops and for increased presence at conferences||1|
|4||$35,000||Funds for academic publication of studies||4|
|5||$158,000||Hire an additional Research Scientist, research interns, and a Development Director||3|
|6||$8,000||Obtain Employer of Record services||1|
|7||$74,000||Hire a Global Strategy Director||2|
|8||$132,000||Hire a Deputy Research Director and a Research Scientist (both with a Southeast Asia focus)||2|
|9||$20,000||Funds for continued research translation efforts (Southeast Asia focus)||1|
|10||$50,000||Funds to support organizations making research-based strategy shifts||1|
Based on these plans and Faunalytics’ conservative financial projections, we believe that the charity can effectively use more than the above amounts in the next two years in a way that is as effective as their past work.
A more detailed summary of their plans for unexpected funding and the reasoning behind our uncertainty assessments can be found in the “RFMF Estimate” tab of their model spreadsheet.
With more than their target amount of 100% of annual expenditures held in reserves (as reported by Faunalytics for 2023), we believe that they hold a sufficient amount of reserves.
Our Assessment of Faunalytics’ Room For More Funding
Based on our assessment that they have sufficient reserves and our assessment of their plans to use unexpected funding, we believe that overall, Faunalytics has room for $400,000 of additional funding in 2024 and $600,000 in 2025. These two figures represent the amount beyond their projected revenues of $1,215,000 and $1,360,000 in 2024 and 2025, meaning that we believe that they could effectively use a total revenue of up to $1,615,000 and $1,960,000.
Organizational Health: Are there any management issues substantial enough to affect Faunalytics’ effectiveness and stability?
With this criterion,40 we assess whether any aspects of an organization’s leadership or workplace culture pose a risk to its effectiveness or stability, thereby reducing its potential to help animals. Problems with leadership and workplace culture could also negatively affect the reputation of the broader animal advocacy movement, as well as employees’ wellbeing and their willingness to remain in the movement. For example:
- Schyns & Schilling (2013) report that poor leadership practices result in counterproductive employee behavior, stress, negative attitudes toward the entire company, lower job satisfaction, and higher intention to quit.
- Waldman et al. (2012) report that effective leadership predicts lower turnover and reduced intention to quit.
- Wang (2021) reports that organizational commitment among nonprofit employees is positively related to engaged leadership, community engagement effort, the degree of formalization in daily operations, and perceived intangible support for employees.
- Gorski et al. (2018) report that all of the activists they interviewed attributed their burnout in part to negative organizational and movement cultures, including a culture of martyrdom, exhaustion/overwork, the taboo of discussing burnout, and financial strain.
- A meta-analysis by Harter et al. (2002) indicates that employee satisfaction and engagement are correlated with reduced employee turnover and accidents and increased customer satisfaction, productivity, and profit.
Our Analysis of Faunalytics’ Organizational Health
People policies and processes
The policies that Faunalytics reported having in place are listed below. They reported that they proactively make all of the relevant policies accessible to their staff.
Faunalytics also noted that they are currently in the process of developing their paid medical leave and paid family leave policy, aiming to finalize the policy by the end of the year.
|Has policy||Partial / informal policy||No policy|
|Paid time off|
|Paid sick days|
|Paid medical leave|
|Permission to use sick days for mental health purposes|
|Healthcare coverage or health insurance|
|Paid family and caregiver leave|
|Paid internships (if relevant)||N/A|
|Compensation strategy (i.e., a policy detailing how the charity determines their staff’s pay and benefits in a standardized way)|
|An anti-retaliation policy protecting whistleblowers and those who report grievances|
|Board meeting minutes|
|Conflict of interest policy|
|Records retention and destruction policy|
|A clearly written workplace code of ethics/conduct|
|A written statement that the charity does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, or other irrelevant 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|
|Training on topics of harassment and discrimination in the workplace|
|Organizational design and communication|
|Clearly defined responsibilities for all positions, preferably with written job descriptions|
|Clearly defined objectives and expectations for all roles|
|Documentation of all key knowledge and information necessary to fulfill the needs of the organization|
|Mission and/or vision, defining the purpose and future of the organization|
|Clear organizational goals and/or priorities communicated to all employees|
|Performance and recruitment assessments|
|Annual (or more frequent) performance evaluations for all roles|
|Performance evaluation process based on predefined objectives and expectations|
|Annual (or more frequent) process to measure staff engagement or satisfaction|
|A process in place to support performance improvement in instances of underperformance|
|Learning and development|
|New hire onboarding or orientation process|
|Training and development available to each employee|
|A simple and transparent written procedure for employees to request additional training or support|
|Flexible work hours|
|Remote work option|
|Representation, equity, and inclusion|
|Process to attract a diverse candidate pool|
|Structured hiring, assessing all candidates using the same process|
|Standardized process for employment termination decisions|
|Two or more decision-makers for all hiring, promotion, and termination decisions|
Faunalytics was transparent with ACE throughout the evaluation process.
Leadership and governance
Faunalytics’ Executive Director (ED) is Brooke Haggerty, who has been involved in the charity for 4.5 years.
The board of directors has six members. The Executive Director does not sit on the board.
We found that the charity’s board of directors aligned with our understanding of best practice. All of their board members are independent from the organization, board meetings take place 10 times per year, and the board has robust term limits and performance evaluation processes in place.
Among Faunalytics staff who responded to our engagement survey, the average score across questions on confidence in leadership and management was 5 on a 1–5 scale, indicating very high confidence. 100% of respondents agreed with the statement “I have confidence in the leaders at our organization.”
Staff engagement and satisfaction
Faunalytics has 15 staff members (including full-time staff, part-time staff, and contractors). Eleven staff members responded to our engagement survey, yielding a response rate of 73%.
Faunalytics has three volunteers working at least five hours per week. One volunteer responded to our survey.
Faunalytics has a formal compensation plan to determine staff salaries. Survey respondents’ average score to questions regarding satisfaction with wages and benefits was 4.7 on a 1–5 scale, indicating very high satisfaction.
The average score across all questions was 4.9 on a 1–5 scale, suggesting that, on average, staff exhibit very high engagement and satisfaction.
Harassment and discrimination
We did not receive any reports of harassment or discrimination at Faunalytics.
Our Assessment of Faunalytics’ Organizational Health
We did not detect any concerns in Faunalytics’ leadership and organizational culture. Based on our assessment, they appear to have strong policies and processes in place and high levels of staff engagement. We also positively noted that since their last review, they have developed an algorithm for setting salaries in an objective, transparent way. They have also made improvements to their employee benefits package and are continuing to assess how they can specifically improve employee health and retirement benefits further.
Faunalytics’ work to increase knowledge and skills for animal advocacy is highly promising because it focuses on animal groups, countries, and interventions that we consider high priority. We find their work on conducting research to help farmed animals and wild animals in the United States and China particularly likely to be impactful. We assess Faunalytics’ recent work as highly cost effective and believe they are in a strong position to use additional funding. These efforts are well-aligned with ACE’s organizational values and theory of change.
Faunalytics performed very strongly compared to other charities we evaluated in 2023. During the decision-making phase of our evaluation process, we took into account their performance on our four evaluation criteria—Impact Potential (high), Cost Effectiveness (high), Room for More Funding across 2024 and 2025 ($1,000,000), and Organizational Health (no concerns)—as well as our level of uncertainty in their scores. In this particular case, our uncertainty in Faunalytics’ Impact Potential score was higher than our uncertainty in their Cost Effectiveness score, so we put more emphasis on the latter when making recommendation decisions. Overall, we find Faunalytics to be an excellent giving opportunity for those looking to create the most positive change for animals.
To view all of the sources cited in this review, see the reference list.
This criterion was called Programs from 2020 to 2022. We decided to rename it Impact Potential to better reflect its focus on assessing the effectiveness of charities’ programs without considering their implementation. This name is more specific and less confusing internally, especially since we recently changed the name of our research team to the Programs team.
Rethink Priorities adjusted their welfare range estimates for use in ACE’s evaluations. Because ACE compares animal charities with each other rather than with human charities, Rethink Priorities reindexed the ranges to pigs instead of humans—see this page for more information.
The framework we used to prioritize countries only applies to farmed animal advocacy. We have not developed a framework to prioritize wild animal welfare work because there are very few organizations that work on wild animal welfare, and those we have considered so far are focused on indirect work such as research and academic development, which is less country-specific.
For example, when scoring the intervention category “apps and other digital resources,” we considered the following tractability proxies: the Global Innovation Index, Education (mean years of schooling), and Internet Penetration rate.
We asked that reported achievements and associated expenditures amount to at least 90% of a charity’s total program expenditures during the reporting period. We also adjusted achievement expenditures by taking the charity’s reported expenditures and adding a portion of their non-programmatic expenditures (i.e., overhead or administration). This process allowed us to incorporate general organizational running costs into our consideration of cost effectiveness.
For more information about Weighted Factor Models, see Charity Entrepreneurship (2019).
We standardized this unit to achievements per one U.S. dollar or per $100,000, depending on which was easier to interpret, to allow for comparison across achievements. For example, we calculated how many individuals a social media campaign reached per dollar spent or how many legal actions a charity filed per $100,000 spent. For some intervention categories, the number of achievements was too low to normalize the achievement quantity. In these cases, we used the average of two researchers’ subjective assessment of the quantity on a 1–7 scale.
See here for the full rubric. Two researchers scored each achievement on the rubric, and discussed significant disagreements before a second round of revising scores. We averaged the two researchers’ scores for each factor. Where we did not have enough information to score an achievement, we set the corresponding factor weight to zero.
We defaulted to giving achievement quality 75% and achievement quantity 25% weight. In some cases, e.g., if we were particularly uncertain about the achievement quantity, we gave achievement quality a higher weight.
By using a multiplicative method, we avoid giving high scores to achievements that implement promising interventions poorly (i.e., high intervention score but low implementation score). Consider the example where a charity focuses on an intervention like cage-free campaigns, which has the potential to be highly impactful, but fails to achieve any significant commitments. With a weighted average approach, the charity would still receive a relatively high score despite an unsuccessful implementation of their campaigns. However, by using a multiplicative method, the overall score accounts for the interaction between intervention and implementation scores. This means that if the implementation quality is lacking, the overall score will appropriately reflect that.
We encouraged charities to give as much information as possible about each achievement. In order to protect their capacity, we also marked some questions as optional. Where we did not have the relevant information to score an achievement on a factor in the scoring rubric, this increased our uncertainty score for that achievement.
We increased the uncertainty score for charities that reported fewer than 10 achievements to account for the fact that measurement errors and uncertainties have a higher impact on the final score when fewer achievements are averaged.
For interested readers, we compiled a list of existing quantified cost-effectiveness estimates for animal advocacy interventions here. You can find our summaries of existing empirical research on the impact potential of interventions here.
For more information about Weighted Factor Models, see Charity Entrepreneurship (2019).
Faunalytics reported achievements amounted to only 48.1% of program expenditures. They provided information on what the remaining expenditures were spent on in response to our follow-up questions. (See Our Assessment of Faunalytics’ Cost Effectiveness for more information).
We adjusted the achievement expenditures charities reported to us by adding a portion of their overhead costs, weighted by the relative achievement expenditures, in order to take general organizational running costs into account in our cost-effectiveness assessment.
To calculate the achievement score, we multiplied the intervention score by the implementation score. We then min-max normalized those scores against all other achievement scores across charities and converted the result to a 1–7 scale.
Because the tables in Our Analysis of Faunalytics’ Cost-Effectiveness include only the five most expensive achievements per intervention category, some achievements do not appear in that section. For a full list of Faunalytics’ achievements, please see their Cost-Effectiveness Assessment spreadsheet.
This criterion was called Leadership and Culture from 2020 to 2022. We found that ‘leadership’ was often misunderstood as referring solely to the qualities of individual leaders and that ‘culture’ was understood in very different ways across countries and demographics. With the new name Organizational Health, we intend to highlight the broad focus of this criterion and to clarify that its goal is to identify any significant risks to the organization’s effectiveness and stability.
For example, in a study by Anderson (2020), 49% of paid animal advocates and 28% of unpaid animal advocates reported having experienced discrimination or harassment. Advocates who were members of a minoritized group (i.e., people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people) were significantly more likely to leave the movement as a result of discrimination than non-minoritized advocates.
Examples of such social characteristics include: 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.
ACE defines “harassment” as bullying, intimidation, and other behavior (whether physical, verbal, or nonverbal) that has the effect of upsetting, demeaning, humiliating, intimidating, or threatening an individual. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
ACE defines the ‘workplace’ as any place where work-related activities occur, including physical premises, meetings, conferences, training sessions, transit, social functions, and electronic communication (such as email, chat, text, phone calls, and virtual meetings).
Charity Navigator defines transparency as ‘an obligation or willingness by a charity to publish and make available critical data about the organization’.
BoardSource (2016), p. 4
For example, see Mitchell et al. (2001).
The publicly accessible version of this form can be found via ACE’s Third-Party Whistleblower Policy on our website.