Timeline of Animal Charity Evaluators
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 almost $4.9 million in funds to its recommended charities.
|Time period||Development summary|
|2012||Animal Charity Evaluators begins under the name Effective Animal Activism (EAA), as a division of non profit 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.|
|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.|
|Present time||To date, ACE have considered over 300 animal charities for evaluation, reached over 900,000 people with their research through their website, awarded 8 grants from our Animal Advocacy Research Fund, and influenced over $11 million in funds to their recommended charities.|
|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.|
|2012||November 10||Interview||EAA publishes 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.|
|2013||April||Staff||EAA hires its first employee, Jon Bockman as Executive Director.|
|2013||November||EAA becomes an official 501(c).|
|2013||December||EAA rebrands as Animal Charity Evaluators, in order to be more accurately aligned with its activities (which does not include actual activism).|
|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.|
|2014||April 4||Interview||ACE publishes 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 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.|
|2014||May||Charity review||ACE publishes its first review on Top Charity-ranked The Humane League, 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 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 their strong programs and evidence-driven outlook.|
|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." ACE also publish first review on German Standout Charity-ranked Albert Schweitzer Foundation, recomending it for being "extremely smart and strategic about their activities", and Standout Charity-ranked Vegan Outreach, which is recognized for its long track record (over 10 years) of carrying out its leafleting program.|
|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.|
|2014||Year-round||Financial||ACE moves US$$147,239 throughout the year (counting donations through their site as well as donations made elsewhere that donors reported as influenced by ACE).|
|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.|
|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.|
|2015||December||Charity review||ACE publishes its first review on Standout Charity-ranked Nonhuman Rights Project, citing it as the only organization ACE know of working directly towards attaining legal personhood and rights for nonhuman animals. ACE also publishes their first review on Standout Charity-ranked Faunalytics, which works to connect animal advocates with information.|
|2015||Year-round||Statistics|| Throughout the year ACE reviews 203 charities, conducts 19 conversations and interviews and receives 348,641 website visiors to |
|2016||April 14||Interview||ACE publishes 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."|
|2016||May 6||Interview||ACE publishes 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.”|
|2016||July 25||Interview||ACE publishes 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.|
|2016||Fall||ACE creates an explainer video introducing the concept of effective altruism for animals.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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. ACE also publish their first review on Standout Charity-ranked ProVeg International, citing its focus on effectiveness, and ability to work with many different partners.|
|2016||November||Website||ACE launches a completely redesigned website, modernizing it with a new template that improves user experience.|
|2016||December 9||Criticism||Harrison Nathan releases an extensive critique of the current Effective Altruist work on animal welfare, accusing in particular to 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).|
|2016||December 21||Publication||ACE's Jon Bockman publishes blog post, adressing selected critiques toward ACE's management, including use of old, less rigurous data, usefulness of cost-effectiveness calculations, lack of diversity in ACE's recommendations, and diverting resources from other groups.|
|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.|
|2016||Interview||ACE publishes 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.|
|2016||Year-round||Financial||ACE moves US$3,574,048 throughout the year (counting donations through their site as well as donations made elsewhere that donors reported as influenced by ACE).|
|2017||June 9||ACE announces grant awarded by Open Philanthropy Project, totalling US$500,000, with its disbursement to be spread over a two-year period.|
|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.|
|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 our 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.|
|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.|
|2018||February 23||ACE announces new fundraising cap for unrestricted donations at US$1.25 million, a 25% increase from its 2017 cap. It includes the amount thought it 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.|
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