Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) was created in 2013 through the merger of a number of animal welfare organizations. ACE helps donors, professionals and volunteers make informed decisions about how to help animals as effectively as possible: how can you best alleviate suffering and improve the lives of animals on a large scale? ACE constantly updates its recommendations based on new evidence.
ACE has three main focus areas: research, education and fundraising. So far they have included more than 350 animal charities in their evaluations. Their research has reached more than 910,000 people through their website and influenced $17 million in donations. In the field of animal welfare, ACE has grown into a leading and influential organization. How does it arrive at its recommendations?
In its assessment, ACE looks at the following criteria.
- Is it large-scale?
Can many lives be improved? Can a lot of animal suffering be reduced?
Think of the billions of animals in the livestock industry and the countless fish that are killed every year as food for humans.
- Has it been neglected?
In terms of donations, animals come off poorly. Most donations go to companion animals (vastly fewer in number) and very few to tackling the livestock industry. There is also little funding for (research into) the living conditions of wild animals in the long term.
Is it solvable and tractable?
Actively opposing, guiding and nudging all seem to pay off. The so-called plofkip (chickens bred to grow very fast) is now broadly frowned upon, the kiloknaller (chicken with no assurance mark, priced low to promote sales) is disappearing, and vegetarian products are booming.
But which charity has the most impact per euro? ACE has clear criteria which include the following:
- Proven effectiveness
In animal welfare it is not always possible to conduct strictly comparative studies of effectiveness. ACE therefore also makes use of existing studies, conducts its own research, and provides research grants.
- Cost- effectiveness
Is there a measurable reduction in suffering, improvement in welfare, or reduction in the number of animals suffering, at a relatively low cost? For example: a donation of €1,000 can save two shelter animals. A similar amount, if well spent, can stop the suffering of 10,000 farmed and marine animals.
- Donation urgency and transparency
Can additional donations be used effectively and valuably? Does the organization report openly on its working methods, impact and errors?
If you want to donate to Animal Charity Evaluators you can find all the information on the Animal welfare page.