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37 Reviews
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July 28, 2013
6 people found this review helpful

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July 28, 2013
6 people found this review helpful

Within 3 months after I paid my ANNUAL membership I started receiving harassing mail requesting that I pay another annual membership fee. This continued for nine months. They piled up several dollars in mail demanding that I pay again. These letters threatened the loss of my membership. When I did pay my annual membership on time the next year, they continued to send threatening and patronizing mail demanding that I pay for another month AFTER they cashed my check.

Ways to make it better...

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

Fire the membership management department. They money they waste on threatening letters could be spent on wolf protection

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

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

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 5, 2013

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April 5, 2013

Clear and timely emails. Easy to use way to respond to petition requests. Very passionate about their cause.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 28, 2013
5 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
February 28, 2013
5 people found this review helpful

I have been a long-time contributor to Defender, especially for their work with wolves. However, I've noticed that Defenders like to use the plight of the wolf as a fund-raising opportunity and they don't do much to help the wolf. I am very disappointed with their reaction to the wolf plight. They need to spend more on programs rather than fundraising.

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Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

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

January 20, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 20, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I have made donations to Defenders for quite a while, and I have met a number of people working there.
There is no doubt in my mind that those that I have spent time with are extremely devoted to the conservation of wildlife. However, I am troubled by the Charity Navigator rating and Ms.
Clark's explanation of accounting changes. I understand the concept of a 'membership organization', but I hope that defender's can increase their efficiency and improve their score despite the rating changes. It makes it more difficult for me to recommend this organization when people ask me to explain the two star rating.

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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

January 18, 2013
6 people found this review helpful

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January 18, 2013
6 people found this review helpful

Dear Defenders of Wildlife,
The $100,000 you are asking us to help raise to defend "wolves under siege" will pay less than a third of your CEO's annual salary, which according to Charity Navigator, is $288,616 plus an additional $19,950 from "Affiliates." This is very disappointing. Are you
helping the wolves, or are the wolves helping Rodger Schlickeisen and other well-fed humans?

If Mr. Schlickeisen took a pay cut of $100,000 he could help wolves and people, too, people who are on social security (like myself) who would truly like to help wolves but who are barely able to pay their food bills.

A personal response would be appreciated.

Sincerely Yours,
Sheila Hamanaka

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 17, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 17, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

As a professional fundraiser who used to work at Defenders, I feel confident in recommending Defenders as an organization that makes very good use of its funds toward the mission of wildlife conservation. These rating sites are hugely helpful in making decisions about how charities use their funds, but the ratings are sometimes tricky. Defenders headquarters is in DC and does top-notch advocacy work -- for example, emailing members to inform them of policies that are harmful to wildlife and providing them easy access to information to contact their government representatives. Because these advocacy pieces (also known as Action Alerts), usually contain a link encouraging supporters to make a gift, they are often calculated as fundraising expenses by ratings websites. (Of course, any charity needs funds and would be foolish not to use an email or other communication to provide recipients the opportunity to give. But the larger point of these advocacy pieces is to inform Defenders' many supporters who care deeply about what the U.S. is allowing to happen to wildlife -- and to make it easy to contact their representatives and others to stand up for critters. Politicians listen to their constituents, and Defenders wants to give them the opportunity to be heard. So, please, rest assured from someone who has been at Defenders -- this is a great charity, doing very important work for species, full of committed staff dedicated to making a difference for wildlife. And their funds are spent wisely toward this goal. If you want to make a difference for species in the U.S., funding Defenders is a good investment. Their impact far outweighs their size or budget. This is why I, a former employee who has worked at organizations across conservation, have personally become a Defenders donor!

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

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 3, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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January 3, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

Hi, Mr. Baker,

First of all, thank you for your ongoing support of America’s wildlife and habitats and for raising your important concerns. Defenders is proud of how carefully we spend our members’ contributions. In fact, our most recent audited financial statement shows that last year we
spent 91% of our expenses on programs and support services and only 9% on fundraising (for more information, please see our annual report at http://www.defenders.org/annual-report-and-990s).

While, as an advocacy group, we’ll always have a mix of online and offline supporters, we are working to change our ratio of paper mail to e-mail. I am happy to report that we have made great progress over the last two years in increasing our pool of online supporters by 31%.

Finally, everyone at Defenders was devastated to hear the news about the Yellowstone wolf fondly known as 06, and we have had all hands on deck addressing this horrific situation. In addition to our ongoing delisting lawsuit and proactive work with ranchers, our wolf experts, communications team, and legal team are collaborating with partners to help secure buffers and develop coexistence projects around Yellowstone National Park. We have also raised this issue with the Department of the Interior officials in DC, discussed the killing of wolves from Yellowstone during a lengthy interview on CNN Headline News, sent out a call for action to our more than one million members and supporters to put pressure on the Obama administration and the states to protect wolves around the park, and generated more press on this issue so the public can express their outrage. In fact, we quickly generated nearly 300 thank yous to the Montana Fish and Game Commission for setting up the buffers.

Once again, thank you for your support; we couldn’t protect wildlife and wild places without you!

Don Barry
Executive Vice President
Defenders of Wildlife

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

December 29, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
December 29, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

There is a very large discrepancy between what Defenders say is spent on the program and what Charity Navigator reports. One very large expense that concerns me is the compensation for the CEO. In my view, this is too high for any charity. Note, that if you want to make a bundle maybe working in banking is the way to go and not for a charity.
I, like many others, am also concerned about the number of mailings soliciting funds. Why can’t Defenders use email as a way to “notice members” and cut down on the cost. Too many of the letters confuse members about their dues. I have long felt this is intentional to “double bill” and overlap memberships.
On the other hand, no other charity that I know of as been a better champion for the wolf. Defenders have done great work in not only the re-introduction but also the protection for the wolf.
I have now written a formal letter to the board asking them to review their mail solicitation policy and to review the executive compensation. My membership and continued support will depend on the action the take. As for now, based on the recent killing of the well-known Alpha female wolf in the Yellowstone pack, I will retain my membership and increase my contribution. This senseless “trophy killing” may have been legal but it is not only deplorable, misguided, and immoral. Let’s stop the hunt!!

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

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

December 18, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
December 18, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

As a lifelong animal lover, long-time supporter of Defenders, and Defenders board member for over 10 years, I know personally that pound-for-pound, they are one of the most focused and effective groups out there. I’ve felt privileged to assist Defenders’ campaigns and efforts to protect species like bears and wolves and magnificent habitats like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
On the ground, in the courts, and in the halls of government, Defenders is working to combat the horrendous disappearance of our natural heritage. I’ve heard a wolf’s howl echo through Yellowstone Park, and felt proud to be part of the organization that helped reintroduce them to America.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

December 13, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
December 13, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

As a wildlife biologist, television host, producer, lifelong naturalist, and someone who has been working for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems around the world for nearly three decades, I am proud to serve on Defenders of Wildlife’s board.

I’ve partnered with
Defenders, as their ambassador of climate change and endangered species, to appeal to the public about the impact of climate change on wildlife. I’ve also testified on their behalf to urge lawmakers to ensure that comprehensive climate and energy legislation addresses carbon pollution, and deals with the effects of rising temperatures on wildlife and habitats.
Throughout my career, I have had many exhilarating and challenging experiences: from tracking Kodiak bears and being nearly trampled by moose in Alaska, to releasing a California condor back into the wild after its struggle to recover from lead poisoning. However, I worry deeply about what kind of world awaits my two young daughters if we fail to address the current threats to America’s wildlife and wild places. I am proud to support an organization that is dedicated to ensuring our spectacular wild animals and habitats will be here for the next generation.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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