To accomplish our goal of finding and promoting the most effective ways to help animals, we conduct research investigating the impact of common interventions used to help animals. We also evaluate animal charities and make recommendations to donors regarding where to give. However, animals from many different cause areas need assistance, so in addition to these evaluations, we work to provide advice to all animal advocates working in some way to help animals. We currently provide the following sections on our site.
We periodically write blog posts covering topics that are applicable to all those working on behalf of animals. This section collects all of these posts as they appear on our site in a single location so that they are easily available for reference.
We have produced some pages that can help you determine how you can be most effective with your volunteer time. In these pages, we examine different methods of helping farmed animals, and compare the results you can expect to achieve by volunteering in different cause areas.
There are many factors that you should consider when thinking about how you can use your career to effectively advocate for animals. Should you work directly for an advocacy group? Or should you work in a high-paying career and donate your additional income to effective advocacy groups? It depends on a number of factors, and we briefly examine some of them in this section.
When deciding to evaluate one of your programs, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many questions you could ask, and it can be difficult to avoid common pitfalls of evaluations such as bias issues which can significantly skew the results of your data. We provide some free resources in this section which can help groups with a starting point for self-evaluation. As always, you can contact us with additional questions.
In addition to the above sections, there are some very general guidelines that we think charities should consider to help ensure they are being as effective as possible. We certainly don’t profess to know any specific charity better than those intimately involved with its functioning, but the following are some general tips that can be used to improve overall effectiveness:
Evaluate your strategy. Most organizations realize that they need to make a strategic plan. Once complete, it’s important to not just set it aside and forget about it. Make sure that you revisit the plan periodically, and hold a session to revise it as needed. This plan will guide everything that you do as an organization, and is extremely valuable as a reference document.
Monitor your programs. Many charities fall into a trap of doing things a certain way simply because that’s how things have been done in the past. It’s important to ask if the programs that were initiated five years ago still bear relevance given any revisions to your mission. Additionally, if you determine that impact is low in a given area, you may want to shift resources to more effective programs.
Measure your impact. We highly recommend taking a close look at the results of your efforts, and if possible, attempting to quantify them. Are you measuring change in behavior? Are you keeping track of individuals who have used your services? Have you followed up in any way with a survey? Finding answers to these questions could lead you to conclude that one of your programs is especially efficient. Conversely, it would show you that another program garners no results, or even potentially has a negative result on your mission.
Keep up on research. Network with other organizations using similar tactics to work toward similar goals, and share information that is relevant to each others’ programs. Consult research posted on our site, in ACE's research library, and in Faunalytics’s database to supplement your own measurements of your programs’ impacts.
Evaluate your employees. This step often gets overlooked. Nonprofits have extremely busy schedules that often involve large amounts of work in a small time frame. As such, it is easy to let evaluations slide. However, this step is crucial to developing high-performing employees. If an employee doesn’t realize the areas where they can improve, then they won’t perform as well as they could for the organization.