Wild Animal Initiative was the first wildlife-focused organization to be named Top Charity by Animal Charity Evaluators. It has received the award again after the 2021 review of its operations, strategic plan, transparency, and room for funding.

Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) is an independent research organization dedicated to identifying the most cost-effective ways to help animals. Top Charity is ACE's highest award, reserved for only four nonprofits each year. ACE uses the award as a recommendation to inform potential donors of where their gifts could go the farthest.

(Photo:  Niilo Isotalo/ Wild Animal Initiative)

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Most Top Charity organizations are dedicated to farmed animal welfare, which makes Wild Animal Initiative unique among them.

"We're on the frontier of a whole new approach to helping animals," said Cameron Meyer Shorb, Acting Executive Director for Wild Animal Initiative. "Instead of starting from the human perspective and asking how we can undo the harms we caused, we start from the animals' perspective and ask what would improve their lives the most."

Wild Animal Initiative conducts and funds scientific research to improve animals' wellbeing and alleviate their suffering. The organization's overarching goal is to contribute to developing welfare biology as an emerging academic field. 

"We're working on long-term change, so our impact is hard to measure. But ACE's researchers are experts at impact evaluation," Meyer Shorb said. "The fact that ACE considers us a top charity is a good sign that we're headed in the right direction."

ACE's full 2020 evaluation of Wild Animal Initiative is available publicly, and the 2021 evaluation will also be published soon.

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