ACE will release updated recommendations on May 14. We have been working on the process since January; this post will cover some general observations that we have made, along with things that we have learned. We are unable to mention specifics at this time, as we are currently requesting permission to publish various materials from organizations that made it to our medium review round. However, we can provide some more generalized information about what we have found thus far.
Like all organizations, publishing our findings is an important component of advancing our mission. Our work will be lost amidst a torrent of information from other sources on the web if we don’t find a way to get noticed by the press and the public.
While ACE plans on updating our recommendations annually on December 1, this year we’ve additionally chosen to revise our recommendations on May 14. As we haven’t updated since our original top charity selections, we didn’t want to wait another full year before revising our top charities using our new criteria.
We’re kicking off our ACE Interview series with an interview of Matt Ball, who co-founded and served as executive director of Vegan Outreach for over twenty years. Our interview with Matt covers several topics related to utilitarianism, leafleting, research, and popularity.
One of our main goals is to encourage organizations and individuals to use evidence to guide their actions on behalf of animals. We address that goal in many ways, from producing summaries of existing research to conducting original studies. We also encourage organizations to expand and improve their self-assessment methods through [our Survey Guidelines project.
Yesterday, Allison posted the initial results of our leafleting study on our blog. This study has raised some questions about the overall effectiveness of leafleting as an intervention. While a more detailed analysis of the study will be available later this week, we feel it is important to explain why we continue to list leafleting as our top recommended intervention for now.
The results of the study were analyzed by volunteers from Statistics Without Borders, in accordance with the analysis plan composed before the study was undertaken. Here, we summarize the most important findings.
As tempting as it was to pull out all the stops and start promoting ACE early on, we made a conscious decision to wait. Sure, we had some good information, and we likely would have done some additional good by advertising our work. And, our recommendations were based on reasonable conclusions. But ACE isn’t especially concerned with small, short-term wins. Instead, as shown in our strategic plan, we’re constantly thinking about the big picture.
Like all nonprofit organizations, we need donations to survive. However, it is important that we separate our donation sources from our policy decisions. To this end, we enforce a donation conflict of interest policy that restricts which donations we may accept from potential donors.
We are currently in the process of conducting our first round of organization evaluations as Animal Charity Evaluators. While the details of our evaluations of particular organizations will remain confidential until we are ready to publish our recommendations, we’re going to share reports of our process as we progress through the different evaluation stages. Right now, we’re putting the final touches on the shallow review process. Here’s what we’ve done so far.