Timeline of Animal Charity Evaluators

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This is a timeline of Animal Charity Evaluators, an organization whose claimed mission is to find and promote the most effective ways to help animals. Animal Charity Evaluators has considered over 300 animal charities for evaluation, reached over 900,000 people with its research through its website, awarded 8 grants from its Animal Advocacy Research Fund, and influenced millions of dollars in funds to its recommended charities.[1]

Big picture

Time period Development summary
2012 Animal Charity Evaluators begins under the name Effective Animal Activism (EAA), as a division of nonprofit 80,000 Hours. EAA is founded by Eitan Fischer with the purpose to offer a resource for those looking to give effectively to animals, as no other animal organization provided evidence-based advice focused on total impact.[1]
2013 EAA experiences significant changes. Although its original focus is on creating discussion about tactics to help animals, this would shift towards an emphasis on creating quality educational and research content.[1]
Present time To date, ACE has considered over 300 animal charities for evaluation, reached over 900,000 people with its research through its website, awarded 8 grants from its Animal Advocacy Research Fund, and influenced over $11 million in funds to its recommended charities.[1]

Visual data

Animal Charity Evaluators financial report of total expenses and revenues per year. In US$.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
2012 Animal Charity Evaluators begins under the name Effective Animal Activism (EAA), as a division of the United Kingdom–based charity 80,000 Hours—a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing career advice to people who want to be highly impactful in their work.[1]
2012 November 10 Interview EAA publishes an interview with Brian Tomasik, who spent several years writing essays about how to most effectively reduce suffering in the world. Tomasik recommends donating to Vegan Outreach and/or The Humane League.[2]
2013 April Staff EAA hires its first employee, Jon Bockman, as Executive Director.[3]
2013 November EAA becomes an official 501(c).[4]
2013 December EAA rebrands as Animal Charity Evaluators, in order to be more accurately aligned with its activities (which does not include actual activism).[5]
2013 Year-round Effective Animal Activism undergoes significant changes. Although its original focus is on creating discussion about tactics to help animals, this would shift towards an emphasis on creating quality educational and research content.[1]
2014 April 4 Interview ACE publishes an interview with American animal activist Matt Ball, who co-founded and served as executive director of Vegan Outreach for over twenty years. In the interview, Ball expresses the thought that research will not play as significant a role in the future of animal advocacy as it could or should, because there are relatively few individuals who are truly motivated by maximum impact.[6]
2014 May Charity review ACE publishes its first review on Top Charity-ranked The Humane League (THL), a nonprofit which engages in a variety of programs that aim to persuade individuals and organizations to adopt behaviors that reduce farmed animal suffering. ACE recommends THL due to its "exceptionally strong commitment to using studies and systematic data collection to guide their approach to advocacy", and finds THL an excellent giving opportunity because of its strong programs and evidence-driven outlook.[7]
2014 December Charity review ACE publishes its first review on Top Charity-ranked Animal Equality, an international organization which advocates for animals by conducting undercover investigations and promoting them through media outlets. ACE recommends Animal Equality claiming it does an exceptional job given their level of resources. According to ACE, "They are able to produce and market undercover investigation videos at a low cost relative to other organizations, and their efforts to evaluate and improve their work are strong. They exhibit high levels of transparency and work with many other groups to achieve their goals. Their leadership shows a strong understanding of strategy."[8] ACE also publishes its first review on German Standout Charity-ranked Albert Schweitzer Foundation, recommending it for being "extremely smart and strategic about their activities",[9] and Standout Charity-ranked Vegan Outreach, which is recognized for its long track record (over 10 years) of carrying out its leafleting program.[10]
2014 ACE begins to pilot a long-term social movement analysis project, with the goal to supplement its animal advocacy research by compiling information about other social movements.[11]
2014 Year-round Financial ACE moves US$147,239 throughout the year (counting donations through its website as well as donations made elsewhere that donors reported as influenced by ACE).[12]
2015 March 13 Interview As part of its investigation of undercover investigations and open rescue, ACE interviews Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, whose activists trespass into factory farms, video-record, and rescue animals.[13]
2015 May Evaluation ACE undertakes an internal evaluation of the organization. Findings are summarized, with some areas of high performance including strong leadership and high-functioning staff, good reputation in the effective altruism community, and early met goals; whereas some areas for improvement include need to continue fundraising, to move away from evaluating the same charities repeatedly, to increase evaluation of interventions, and to create a strategic marketing and outreach plan to help connect with the right target audience for their message.[14][15]
2015 June 2 Interview ACE publishes interview with Australian moral philosopher Peter Singer. In the interview, Singer states that we don’t really know how to prevent wild animal suffering, and argues that the likely ways of preventing wild animal suffering would lead to a confrontation with values that many environmentalists regard as no less important than the reduction of animal suffering.[16]
2015 December Charity review ACE publishes its first review on Standout Charity-ranked Nonhuman Rights Project, citing it as the only organization ACE knows of working directly towards attaining legal personhood and rights for nonhuman animals.[17] ACE also publishes its first review on Standout Charity-ranked Faunalytics, which works to connect animal advocates with information.[18]
2015 Year-round Statistics Throughout the year ACE reviews 203 charities, conducts 19 conversations and interviews and receives 348,641 website visiors to animalcharityevaluators.org.[3] ACE also moves US$828,156 to its recommended charities.[12][3]
2016 April 14 Interview ACE publishes an interview with animal law and policy expert David Wolfson, who states in the interview: "Many aspects of industrial agriculture are truly scandalous and simply wrong by any person’s standards, from popular topic items like pink slime, to hormones and antibiotics, to government subsidies, to hiding the true cost of meat when considering the environmental effects, to the treatment of animals and of farm workers."[19]
2016 May 6 Interview ACE publishes an interview with award-winning investigative journalist Will Potter, whose book Green Is The New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege exposes how non-violent animal rights and environmental protesters came to be classified by the FBI as “eco-terrorists.”[20]
2016 July 25 Interview ACE publishes an interview with Canadian award-winning photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, who documented the plight of animals on all seven continents for over a decade, and whose project We Animals became an internationally celebrated archive.[21]
2016 Fall ACE creates an explainer video introducing the concept of effective altruism for animals.[19]
2016 October ACE launches its Animal Advocacy Data Repository, which provides a hub for research data compiled from animal advocacy studies, so that researchers and advocates can continue to improve on previous efforts to understand the effectiveness of efforts to help animals.[19][22]
2016 November 12–13 Event ACE, along with the Princeton University Center for Human Values, and the Princeton Animal Welfare Society, organize and co-sponsor the 2016 Effective Animal Advocacy Research Symposium, held at Princeton University. Researchers, professors and graduate students across various disciplines present projects with practical application to the animal advocacy movement, with particular emphasis on the social sciences. Presentations reveal cutting edge research as well as avenues for further research, highlighting areas of greatest research need. The event also provided an overview of effective altruism as it applies to animal advocacy, in addition to providing information on the state of the advocacy movement.[23]
2016 November Charity review ACE publishes its first review on Top Charity-ranked The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit working to transform the animal agriculture industry by promoting the development of competitive alternatives to animal-based meat, dairy, and eggs. ACE recommends GFI for being one of the few charities that intervene by developing and promoting attractive alternatives to animal products.[24] ACE also publishes its first review on Standout Charity-ranked ProVeg International, citing its focus on effectiveness, and ability to work with many different partners.[25]
2016 November Website ACE launches a completely redesigned website, modernizing it with a new template that improves user experience.[19]
2016 December 9 Criticism Harrison Nathan releases an extensive critique of the current Effective Altruist work on animal welfare, accusing in particular Animal Charity Evaluators of using pseudoscience, fabricating figures, ignoring scientific literature, using unrealistic metrics which promote co-optation, and suspending its own formal criteria in its evaluation of the Good Food Institute (GFI).[26][27]
2016 December 21 Publication ACE's Jon Bockman publishes a blog post addressing selected critiques toward ACE's management, including use of old, less rigorous data, usefulness of cost-effectiveness calculations, lack of diversity in ACE's recommendations, and diverting resources from other groups.[28]
2016 ACE launches the privately-funded Animal Advocacy Research Fund, with the purpose of supporting research that contributes to an understanding of effective animal advocacy.[29]
2016 Interview ACE publishes an interview with Brad Goldberg, who organized in 2001 the Animal Welfare Trust (AWT) as a private operating foundation dedicated to animal protection and animal rights issues. In the interview, Goldberg defines Animal Studies ideally as an interdisciplinary academic program that includes the relationship with food, law, public policy, the arts, ethics, etc., and also states that animal issues touch on virtually every aspect of human life, and the moral status of animals should be of great universal concern.[30]
2016 Year-round Financial ACE moves US$3,574,048 throughout the year (counting donations through its website as well as donations made elsewhere that donors reported as influenced by ACE).[12]
2017 June 9 Donation ACE announces a grant awarded by the Open Philanthropy Project, totalling US$500,000, with its disbursement to be spread over a two-year period.[31][32]
2017 June 9 ACE announces setting a donation cap of US$1 million, meaning that every penny over that amount in unrestricted donations raised to support ACE’s work in the year would be allocated to ACE's Recommended Charities Fund and regranted to its recommended charities.[33]
2017 September 29–October 1 Event ACE holds the 2017 Research Workshop on Effective Animal Advocacy at Claremont Graduate University, in California. The event is intended to complement its 2016 Symposium on Multidisciplinary Research in Effective Animal Advocacy, held at Princeton University last fall. 36 academics and advocates attend the event, working collaboratively in small groups to develop ideas for empirical research aimed at advancing the understanding of effective animal advocacy.[34]
2017 November 27 Recognition ACE updates its charity recommendations, and announces that its newest Top Charities are Animal Equality, The Good Food Institute, and The Humane League, with GFI and THL retaining their top positions from the previous year.[35]
2018 February 23 ACE announces a new fundraising cap for unrestricted donations at US$1.25 million, a 25% increase from its 2017 cap. It includes the amount ACE believes could be raised and spent efficiently as well as some additional funds to fill out a full year of reserves. Some additions made to the 2018 budget include recruiting people, providing full-year salaries, increasing salaries, increasing the size of grants, adding a number of software services, and hiring contractors during the busiest time of the year.[36]
2018 July 31 Donation Under the influence of Lewis Bollard, Effective Altruism Funds (EA Funds) donates US$500,000 to ACE.[37][38][39]
2018 September 7 Criticism A blog post criticizing ACE's research is published at effective-altruism.com, stating that some of ACE’s older research is of low quality. The post also emphasizes that ACE’s research on the impact of corporate campaigns is flawed, and consequently ACE’s research does not provide much reason to believe that its recommended charities actually improve animal welfare.[40] On the same date, ACE's new director of research publishes a post as a response, explaining ACE's position on its older intervention research, clarifying several points, and outlining some of ACE's research priorities for the coming year.[41]

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See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "OUR HISTORY". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  2. "INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN TOMASIK". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "2015 YEAR IN REVIEW" (PDF). animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  4. "Animal Charity Evaluators". github.com. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  5. "MISTAKES". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 31 July 2018. 
  6. "ACE INTERVIEWS: MATT BALL". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  7. "THE HUMANE LEAGUE". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  8. "Archived Version: December, 2014". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  9. "ALBERT SCHWEITZER FOUNDATION". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  10. "VEGAN OUTREACH". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  11. "WE ARE DISCONTINUING OUR SOCIAL MOVEMENT PROJECT". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 30 July 2018. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "We're researchers from Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE). We just released our 2017 charity recommendations. Ask us anything!". reddit.com. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  13. "CONVERSATION WITH WAYNE HSIUNG, DIRECT ACTION EVERYWHERE". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  14. "2015 INTERNAL EVALUATION RELEASED". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  15. "INTERNAL EVALUATIONS". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  16. "INTERVIEW WITH PETER SINGER". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  17. "THE NONHUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT (NHRP)". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  18. "FAUNALYTICS". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 "LOOKING BACK AT 2016 PROSPECTIVE GOALS". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  20. "ACE INTERVIEWS: WILL POTTER". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  21. "ACE INTERVIEWS: JO-ANNE MCARTHUR". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  22. "ANIMAL ADVOCACY DATA REPOSITORY". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  23. "2016 SYMPOSIUM ON MULTIDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH IN EFFECTIVE ANIMAL ADVOCACY". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  24. "THE GOOD FOOD INSTITUTE". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  25. "PROVEG INTERNATIONAL". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  26. "Re-evaluating Animal Charity Evaluators". medium.com. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  27. "The Actual Number is Almost Surely Higher". medium.com. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  28. "RESPONSES TO COMMON CRITIQUES". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  29. "Animal Advocacy Research Fund". researchfund.animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  30. "INTERVIEW WITH BRAD GOLDBERG". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  31. "ON RECEIVING A GRANT FROM THE OPEN PHILANTHROPY PROJECT". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  32. "Animal Charity Evaluators — General Support". openphilanthropy.org. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  33. "ACE FUNDRAISING RESTRICTIONS". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  34. "2017 RESEARCH WORKSHOP ON EFFECTIVE ANIMAL ADVOCACY". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 20 July 2018. 
  35. "UPDATED CHARITY RECOMMENDATIONS: DECEMBER 2017". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  36. "ACE'S ROOM FOR MORE FUNDING IN 2018". animalcharityevaluators.org. Retrieved 3 August 2018. 
  37. "Animal Charity Evaluators donations received". donations.vipulnaik.com. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  38. "Payout Report: Animal Welfare Fund". app.effectivealtruism.org. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  39. "Effective Altruism Funds donations made to Animal Charity Evaluators". donations.vipulnaik.com. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  40. "Concerns with ACE research". effective-altruism.com. Retrieved 11 September 2018. 
  41. "ACE's Response to John Halstead". effective-altruism.com. Retrieved 11 September 2018.