Gorilla Foundation

Rating: 2.33 stars   6 reviews

Issues: Animals, Education, Environment

Location: 1733 Woodside Rd Ste 330 PO Box 620530 Woodside CA 94062 USA

Mission: The Gorilla Foundation seeks to save great apes from extinction through educating people around the world of gorillas intelligence, emotional capacity, and intrinsic value, through Koko as a spokesperson. Koko is the worlds most famous ape: she communicates using over 1,000 words of American Sign Language, taught to her by Dr. Francine "Penny" Patterson. Koko and her prospective mate are moving to a Preserve on Maui. The climate is more natural for gorillas than our current location, and it is hoped that Koko will mate and teach her offspring sign language. The Preserve may also provide a home to other great apes in need of refuge.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Most of the information presented on the organization's 990 and in the donor/fundraising material is completely inaccurate. Funds raised could not possibly be used for gorilla conservation in the wild as the only record of donation is from the 1990's, the foundation does not support in-person educational outreach as stated, a review of medical records displays that the female gorilla is unable to have a baby and does not tolerate the presence of another gorilla, there is no real or legitimate scientific research being collected or produced, and the Foundation's headquarters could not be moved to Maui as the company offering the land withdrew support almost a decade ago. Yet each of these items, and many more inaccuracies, are used in donor materials and appear on IRS forms. Another notable deception is the President's salary of a mere $15,000/ year. What the 990 does not display is the salary of her partner, also employed by the foundation, who presumably finances the Lexus and large hillside property on Skyline Blvd. where the two live.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Overhaul the leadership. The deception to donors and the public has gone on for 25 years at least, the only chance for positive change is the removal of all involved and the involvement of experts who can help.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Gorilla Foundation is a total scam run by lunatics. Koko and Ndume are real, the "mission" of TGF is not. They are protective and hidden from public view so no one ever knows the real story behind the Koko money machine. Donors, demand accountability and full transparency before giving TGF your money.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Demand accountability and full transparency.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Somewhat badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The director of the Gorilla Foundation was taken to court in 2005 (by two different workers) and I took Penny Patterson's side in this scandal. But from the "Chimp Trainer's Daughter" I have learned that even though people donate over a million dollars a year to Penny ... for some reason the inspections of the facility are not what they should be. Penny has two gorillas to take care of, that's it. She is also linked to a gorilla charity in Africa which according to CTD , doesn't exist. I would not give a penny to this charity.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Gorilla Foundation has been around for years, and Penny and her team continue to do outstanding work with the gorillas and promoting awareness. When I was in 5th grade, I discovered and read "KoKo's Kitten". The book gave me a new appreciation for the primate world. I began writing letters to the foundation and recieved handwritten responses in return from them, even from Penny herself. I decided to hold a can drive at the elementary school I attend and we raised funds for the gorillas. I received a very special letter and 8x10 picture signed by KoKo herself!! The money they raise is distributed for multiple purposes including the new BIGGER habitat that was built, medical and general care of the gorillas, upkeep of the preserve , awareness and continued studies among a multitude of other things. They rely on donations to continue to do the work they do. I am 28 years old now.....and still love and appreciate the primate species as much as I did when I was a kid! Would LOVE the opportunity to volunteer or work at The Gorilla Foundation! LOVE the work you do!!! Thank You.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

weird charity, nobody really know what thy do to save gorilla, an obscure charity!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am in awe of what the Gorilla Foundation is able to do with the funding they have.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Review from CharityNavigator