January 17, 2013
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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