TIGER HAVEN

Rating: 3 stars   18 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: 237 Harvey Rd Kingston TN 37763 USA

Mission: ANIMAL SANCTUARY

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Community Reviews

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Rating: 3 stars  

I certainly agree with the goals of this organization--rescuing and providing homes for the big cats that people without expertise, financial means for housing and care, and access to veterinarians have acquired. And that means virtually everyone who buys a big cat. As for the fund raising, I donate to multiple organizations and it seems as if most of them either have the same fund raisers or the fund raisers have similar methods. However, I have some sympathy for the amount of money being spent, although I would rather have to go for the animals. Basically, how many people are aware of these organizations or what they do? It is expensive to get the word out and then to compete with other similar facilities with the same mission of saving animals that should never been in private hands. I will probably continue to donate since the big cats did not contribute to their fate nor did they have choices. I'm also disgusting with the neighbors who bought property when cats were already in the area and now are trying to close down the sanctuary. Too much development! If they didn't want to be anywhere around an animal sanctuary, they should have gone elsewhere. This sounds like a lawsuit for financial gain. Shame on them.

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

Change the fundraising methods (stop sending dollar bills around) and comply with rating organizations.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I got a request in the mail from Tiger Haven. Like all requests, I checked with Charity Navigator. They got a 1 star rating and had a lot of financial concerns and 50% of their budget went to fund raising! ( A fund raising efficiency of 50%). By comparison The Elephant Sanctury, also located in the rural South had 5 stars and a fundraising efficiency of 3%. There are better places to donate.

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

Completely revamp my organization and follow the guidelines of Charity Navigator or other watchdog organizations.

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?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I do find it troubling that disgruntled employees have the freedom to write fictional reviews that have no connection to reality. Negative reviews are admitted former employees. Tiger Haven has a CPA who enters all receipts, and this is sent to another independent CPA for a audited financial report every year. There is no cash coming into the organization from visitors, gift shops or concessions. All donations are entered by a independent data entry company and deposited into a Tiger Haven bank account. No room, for any ill fated donations. Fundraising cost are a ongoing challenge. Tiger Haven DOES NOT have multiple non profit charters and organizations that we hide fundraising cost in like so many others. Many others raise money through another organization, then donate it to the functional organization to legally hide the high cost of fundraising. Tiger Haven is also not open to the public like a road side zoo, so all funding must come from other sources that does not use the exploitation of the animals to raise their funds.

I am responding to your comments regarding our fundraising expenses and charity rating on Charitynavigator.org I hope that this letter will address your concerns.

Tiger Haven is designated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This status, however, does not mean that we get any federal money or any kind of subsidies for doing this type of work. Tiger Haven is 100% funded by contributions from donors. Several years ago, it became clear that we could no longer rescue cats unless we did something drastic to raise funds. At that point, we hired a professional fundraising company. This is extremely costly, but the funds that it generates far surpass any funds we could hope to secure by ourselves.

Tiger Haven’s mission is to take care of neglected, abused, or otherwise unwanted big cats. That is what we do best. When we investigated our options prior to hiring the fundraising company, we realized that this type of work was best outsourced to professionals.

The expense breakdown is alarming when looked at out of context. What sites like charitynavigator.org do not tell you is that fundraising is difficult and inconsistent at best. They also group a lot of different costs into the “administrative” category. This administrative category is not a synonym for “salaries”. Our staff is extremely underpaid for the amount of work that we do. This category includes all aspects of our fundraising such as filing a yearly permit to solicit donations (for each of the 50 states), obtaining donor lists from other organizations, bookkeeping, publishing and graphics, etc. Further, Tiger Haven is our only corporation; we do not have a parent company or other affiliate nonprofit corporations to "hide" expenses.
Another issue that is not addressed by the charity rating is the amount the percentages represent. For instance, one national Humane Society uses 19% of their income on fundraising, but that translates into $24 MILLION since their income is $148 MILLION. Twenty-Four million dollars will go a very long way to find new donors.

Tiger Haven has 280+ mouths to feed daily and our method of fundraising generates enough money (on a fairly regular basis) that we do not have to worry where the next food shipment is coming from. We are looking into alternate fund sources, however, and are always open to suggestions

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

Find a good way to evaluate the psychological well being of future employees.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 1 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

I received a mailing requesting money to donate to this organization. However, after doing research online I decided not to give money because of the bad reviews here and only a one star rating on another site. I am horrified to think that this owner is using these poor animals. I sincerely hope not. It seems doing the right thing for right's sake is rapidly vanishing in this world and for that I am very afraid. Despite anyone's belief in a higher power we are all on this planet "together". No one species is here for the sole purpose of serving another. Animals are on this good Earth WITH us; not FOR us to use, abuse, discard and mistreat as we see fit. In fact, it is the opposite. We have a responsibility as a member of the species of reason to co-exist, not control and destroy. The bio diverse species on this Earth can tell us much if we let them; instead, we look down our noses at them. Disregard of any life has consequences for which people live in a dream world of arrogance. Retribution comes to all and we have yet to see the consequences of how serious this will be for many future generations to come. There are some things technology can't fix; there are mistakes that can never be undone. I sincerely hope that this organization can improve so that I can feel good about donating to these magnificent animals. For now, I will look for another.

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

Choose a reluctant leader that knows the meaning of service; not self service. One that is immune to the sickness of money.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I worked at Tiger Haven for 4 months. Please, find another charity to donate to. The owner brags about the fact that she has 3 million excess dollars above the cost of running Tiger Haven to spend however she pleases. Everyday, she has multiple packages from Amazon delivered to her office, most of which contain things that are of no use to the cats. For example: cat statues, blankets, candles, posters, movies, house plants, and an assortment of useless crap. This place needs to be changed. The cats could be cared for far better. Mary Haven isn't qualified to own and run a place like tiger haven. I'm just ranting, but I care about the cats and they aren't being cared for the way they should and more of the money that is being donated should be used in a far more responsible way, and should be improving the cats quality of life.

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

Change in management, more accountability, fire quite a few of the employees and hire more responsible, caring employees, make the salary more fair to the full time employees, expose Mary Haven's irresponsibilty to her many donors, and make Chris Edwards (a professional animal handler that Mary has hired) far more responsible in Tiger haven, he has more skill, professionalism, and knowledge in this field than any of the other employees, but is beaten down by poor management.

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 lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 2 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

I have watched this organization for several years and am very disappointed in the small amt of the donation that goes to the programs of actually helping the tigers. I will be sending a small donation within the next week (probably $5) and hope that at least $4 goes to helping the tigers at Tiger Haven. I certainly hope that you can find people that will donate their time to help you run this organization more efficiently so that most of donations rec'd will go to helping the tigers. Sincerely, Karen Frauman

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Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

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

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 2 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

This is a costly undertaking for sure, and I try to support it when I can. But your financial review on charity navigator is terrible. Your fundraising expenses are killing your program expenses, and sending out dollar bills to - what - 30,000 people?? Not a good strategy! Those who are willing to support the cause will do so regardless of the dollar bill. Those who won't, are just taking and pocketing my donated dollars. I will return it this time, but it seems I speak for others here when I say I will discontinue my support if this practice continues.

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Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

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

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

Well, people please stop complaining, we are here to help out... whatever it is we are getting a lot of blessing from GOD by giving donations you have to give within the bottom of your hearth ok!!!!

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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?

2012

Rating: 2 stars  

Today I received $1 bill from this charity! I don't know who raised the stakes from a nickle or a quarter...? but I feel like I'm being played.

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Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

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

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 3 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

This charity is working for a great cause, but I am concerned about the amount of money being spent on fundraising efforts. I am sent some type of desperate-plea fundraising letter at least once a week, and it is off-putting. I wish they would limit those letters to 3 - 4 times a year, and spend the money saved on their operating expenses. Also, I am concerned about a lawsuit that they are fighting. Will my donation be going toward fighting that, or do they have a lawyer working for them pro bono? I wish they would address that topic in one of the frequent letters they send out.

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

Enlist the help of local schools to generate awareness, gain volunteers, and build support in the local community. I would also limit fundraising letters to current donors to 3 - 4 times a year.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Review from CharityNavigator

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