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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Human Services, Seniors, Supportive Housing for Older Adults, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: CSNW provides lifetime quality care for formerly abused or exploited chimpanzees, while advocating for great apes through education and collaboration.

Results: Founded in 2003, the first group of seven chimpanzees were retired to the sanctuary in 2008. They have been thriving in their new lives as we've built the sanctuary and strengthened the organization around them. In 2019, after years of raising funds for an expansion, three more chimpanzees joined the sanctuary from the defunct Wildlife Waystation in California. in 2020, we continued with the expansion to welcome another group of chimpanzees from Wildlife Waystation who are in desperate need of a sanctuary home.

Programs: Provide sustainable sanctuary: currently we care for ten chimpanzees formerly used in biomedical research. We are dedicated to addressing the root problems that create the need for sanctuary, and our educational and advocacy work is aimed at ending the exploitation of great apes.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CSNW’s dedication to the care and welfare of non-human primates has continued to set the standard across the nation. The expertly crafted team brings skills to the table to enhance the lives of ten chimpanzees, and hopefully more in the future. They are thoughtful with their decisions in how best to benefit the residents of the sanctuary, and focus their energy on enhancing their quality of life. As a donor I appreciate CSNW’s transparency regarding their needs and where funding is allocated. As a former volunteer and current primate zookeeper, I appreciate the constructive dialogue on understanding captive primates and focusing on the well-being of those in their care. I applaud the steps they continue taking to push the limits and expand on of great ape care and the future of sanctuaries for all primates and other animals in need.

Emily P.8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff at CSNW always prioritize the chimps’ needs and preferences. They show true respect for the chimps and keep their focus on providing them the best life possible. They have been diligent and thoughtful in dealing with COVID-19 safety measures and always follow up promptly on health concerns. They communicate well as a team and effectively run a big volunteer program. As a volunteer, I felt like a real contributor to the chimps’ well-being. I felt like part of a supportive community. I trust the thoughtfulness and integrity of CSNW’s leadership and am eager for the changes to come. I currently work with the chimps at the closing Wildlife Waystation in CA and I’m thrilled that some of them will (hopefully) soon join the CSNW family. I know the chimps will find a stable and loving home there.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at CSNW since the first chimpanzees arrived in 2008. The sanctuary is an incredible home to 7 and then 10 chimps who flourish under amazing care. The individual attention each chimp recieves is exemplary. The staff's dedication and caring goes above and beyond time and time again. They consistently value the lives of the residents, the volunteers and the entire CSNw community. I have always felt very appreciated as a volunteer and donor. I think they're very scrupulous about fundraising and fund allocation. I really appreciate their leadership and advocacy in the larger sanctuary community. I can't say enough about the dedication of the sanctuary to the well being of the residents and the species in general.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

CSNW is a wonderful organization. Their dedication to the 7 chimps who call the sanctuary home is unequaled. As a volunteer I have always felt very appreciated and enjoy and look forward to my sanctuary time. As a donor I have always felt like every dollar goes towards the chimps welfare and chimpanzee advocacy. The respect shown by the staff for the chimps and all living beings is inspiring. I feel like my volunteer time is very well spent, helping out with daily sanctuary life and having some time to spend near the chimps during mealtime. I am so impressed with all their outreach, community events, website and blog. Over the years, having a daily "chimp fix" keeps them close even when winter weather limits volunteer days. The individual care and understanding of each chimp is also inspiring. After decades of being a number in biomed experiments each chimp has come into their own and are able to live their lives more on their own terms with individual personalities flourishing. It is an honor to be part of that reawakening and one of the most valuable experiences I have had in my life.

Erika Jackson P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Absolutely amazing organization! I have been a volunteer and donor and have always been wowed by their dedication and passion. They are very transparent, sharing details daily on their social media and blog, giving everyone a look inside sanctuary life. It is staffed and volunteered by primatologists. Love CSNW!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Amazing staff! Very caring for humans and non-humans alike! The primates in their care receive nothing but the best on every front!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CSNW rules! They have a wonderful and well-trained staff who understand chimpanzee behaviors and needs. The chimps are always the priority and they get loads of wonderful enrichment. The staff regularly update their blog which allows open and up-to-date knowledge so that anyone can be a part of the work they're doing. My favorite parts of the chimp house are the greenhouse and the massive outdoor area where the chimps can choose to spend their day in the sun.

Robin S.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CSNW is the most amazing place! I was an intern and volunteer there until the pandemic hit. Although they could use the help from volunteers and interns, the small crew of staff are working very hard and long hours so that the chimps have the least amount of exposure to the virus. The staff are very kind people, and take great care of the chimpanzees (and cows) at the sanctuary. They go to great lengths to ensure that the chimps have varied and interesting enrichment, delicious and nutritious meals, lots of cozy blankets, top-notch medical care, and ample room indoors and out. In addition, they also spend a great deal of time (and a lot of patience) training volunteers and interns, so that the chimpanzees get the best possible care. I can’t wait to go back there to volunteer, once it’s safe for the very precious residents.

Andie R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone at this sanctuary truly cares for the animals on the premises. The caregivers do their best to give the chimps freedom of choice and provide them with enrichment and foraging opportunities to keep not only their bodies healthy, but their minds as well. The caregivers are very knowledgeable and can always answer questions and educational opportunities to volunteers, interns, and the rare visitor.

Jenna K.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CSNW is an amazing chimpanzee sanctuary. It provides a home for life for retired biomedical research chimpanzees and allows for them to live their live however they may choose. The staff is wonderful. Everything is great.

PrimateCare1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The BEST primate sanctuary in North America. I’ve interned and worked at several accredited zoos and sanctuaries and CSNW is by far the best of the best. They really care not only about the chimps and animals, but also about the people that work there. The staff is so friendly, welcoming, and warm and you can really tell that they both love their job and know what they are doing. They also get stuff done! Unlike many other places, the money you donate goes immediately to use and large project get done in months rather than years (like other places I’ve been to). I HIGHLY recommend CSNW to everyone and anyone who loves animals (or more specifically chimps).

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CSNW is a wonderful and accredited sanctuary. I’ve worked with primates in captivity and the wild previously, and CSNW has exceeded my previous experiences and expectations. The staff is diligent and caring towards both the chimpanzees, each other, and their volunteers/interns. CSNW does an excellent job giving volunteers and interns learning opportunities for how to properly care for primates. The chimpanzees housing is exceptional, they have lots of space and indoor variation, their enclosures are cleaned daily, and they have the most autonomy possible for being sanctuary dwelling chimpanzees in the cold pacific NW. The chimpanzees receive excellent care, are interacted with daily (between safe separation), live in social groups, eat fresh fruits and veggies every day, and receive the best veterinary care. CSNW exemplifies what sanctuary life should look like. They have given these former lab chimpanzees a new lease on life, in the most loving and safe capacity possible.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work for, volunteer for and support animal welfare organizations. Of all the organizations I that I respect and admire Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW) is my favorite organization for many reasons. Located in WA, CSNW is HOME to the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees, all of whom were released from biomedical research in 2008. Each of the chimpanzees has a vibrant, unique, and lovable personality. Missy, Annie, Jamie, Foxie, Jody, Negra, and Burrito have forged what could be described as family relationships with those they spend the most time with - each other. And this is what Sanctuary is all about. CSNW offers the chimpanzees in their care "choices" and the freedom to as they please, either through creative daily enrichment prepared by their compassionate caregivers or through time spent on exploring beautiful Young's Hill (the chimps 2 acre beautiful outdoor enclosure). CSNW lets chimps finally have the opportunity to be chimps!

I had the delightful pleasure of visiting CSNW (A visit won in a past fundraising auction of CSNW's). It was a dream come true and an experience of a lifetime. Finally meeting my dear chimpanzee friends for the first time (and the staff too — all staff/caregivers are primatologists!) was inspiring beyond belief. I saw firsthand how amazingly proficient this organization is (no surprise either!) and I witnessed and felt the love that is shared between all the primates, 4 legged and 2 legged. ; )

When you support CSNW it goes beyond giving, you are celebrating Healing, Comfort, Exploration, Courage, Friendship, Family, and Love. Your contributions not only enrich the lives of seven chimpanzees, your life becomes enriched in return! CSNW is HOPE. LOVE. HOME. SANCTUARY! Visit the CSNW Daily Blog and experience the JOY : http://www.chimpsanctuarynw.org/blog/

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Donor

Rating: 5

All you have to do is visit Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW's website and you will be hooked. The videos and stories regarding the 7 chimpanzee's will change you. They clearly changed me. I cannot imagine the life these creatures suffered through, for decades, in labs. It is astounding to see the Cle Elum Seven now, free physically and psychologically, running and enjoying their lives on Young's Hill. Sanctuary seems like heaven on earth I am sure. The staff and volunteers have a gift for conveying the chimps emotions, experiences, and day to day adventures in a way I have never experienced. Their love, caregiving, clever enrichment ideas and their sense of humor is a git, not just to the chimps but to all of us out there in cyberspace who never actually meet our "Chimp Pals". Thanks to the staff, I feel as if I sit with my chimps, face to face, every single day. The photography, site design (Love the logo!), CSN events, etc. all professional and outstanding (As a graphic designer myself I find this interesting).

I am not a one time donor. I am in this for the long haul! the Clem Elum Seven will be a part of my life for a long time! Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, and Negra would still be living in the basement of a laboratory if it were not for private donations from people who care. This taken from the chimps NW website for one of their fundraisers: "They wouldn't have blankets, dolls, fresh produce, 2-acres to roam, a large two-story playroom, and a cozy greenhouse. They wouldn't have their lasting and expanding friendships with each other. They wouldn't have dedicated caregivers educated in primatology who share their lives with you every day through Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest's blog and Facebook pages.

Be a part of giving these chimpanzees what they should have had for their whole lives - a home that caters to their individual personalities and desires; a home full of love. We can only continue to provide this with your help."

2 Jamie Aitchison

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, home to seven chimps retired from research. The staff are so caring and compassionate, always making the chimpanzees' well-being their first priority. NAVS has assisted CSNW with grants to build enclosures and provide medical care for the chimp residents. It has been an honor to be a small part of their incredible journey.

1 Julie177

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor for awhile now and had the privilege of visiting the sanctuary last year. I was very impressed with how clean and organized it is. The chimps are very well cared for and the improvement in their appearance from when they first arrived is amazing.
It is very clear that the chimp's mental and physical well being are THE first priority at the Sanctuary. I
know my donations are money that is well spent.

1 Denice M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Staff is caring and well versed in their knowledge of primates. The organization is all about the care and well being of the chimpanzees in their care. Everyone is trained in the same way by all staff. My time spent volunteering is wonderful and I feel I am appreciated.

Comments ( 1 )

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DianaGood 06/27/2014

Thank you for the review, Denice, and for being such an incredible volunteer and friend to the chimpanzees!

1 Jennifer71

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer since the chimpanzees were released from their confinement in a laboratory in 2006. Their aim is simple, to give the chimps a peaceful and comfortable retirement, to allow them to live as a social group with plenty of fresh food and enrichment after years of invasive research.
It has been amazing to witness their transformation from sickly, pale animals into healthy, happy chimps. They are an amazing group of people who made this happen.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this group since the chimpanzees first arrived at the sanctuary - over 4 years ago. Although I have volunteered and donated to various non-profits over the years, I can honestly say I have never been as impressed by both the staff and board members as I am with everyone associated with Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Their mission statement is not just something written on their letterhead... it is lived out through attitude and actions every single day at the sanctuary. Not only do I donate to CSNW, I also volunteer at the sanctuary and continue to learn from the staff each time I am there. I am also involved with their fundraising efforts and know first hand how appreciative they are of their supporters and how careful they are with their donations and budgets... you can be sure that every dollar you donate is spent to directly benefit the welfare of these chimps. Every staff member readily shares their knowledge and enthusiasm for not only this group of rescued chimpanzees, but also advocates for other primates that have not yet found sanctuary. Their daily blog is a great way to learn more about this amazing group. If you want to become involved with a non-profit where you feel that your support is truly appreciated and used for the true purpose of the organization... Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest is an organization your should learn more about!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Chimpanzee Retirement Sanctuary North West is a wonderful organization devoted to the care of retired laboratory and research Chimpanzees. The caring volunteers and staff have an enormous amount of experience and knowledge between them and employ best practices while caring for captive chimps in sanctuary. The chimps are clearly healthy and emotionaly stable. They engage in typical Chimpanzee behaviors and have trusting interaction with their caregivers, which is amazing considering the abuse they've endured at the hands of humans for so many years. I am proud to support an organization like this. I didn't even know it existed until last year.

Review from Guidestar

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have donated to this group for some time. I found out about them when they were included in the King County Charitable Campaign. I have followed the chimps on the website and am fascinated by these wonderful creatures. What a life they must have had before being saved. I was so impressed by the staff this summer when they were faced with a raging wildfire. They stayed with the chimps. They risked their lives for their chimps and they beliefs. That needs to be supported. Please help out in anyway you can. It is a great organization.

Review from Guidestar