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Defenders of Wildlife

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Preservation & Protection, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: Defenders of Wildlife envisions a future where diverse wildlife populations in North America are secure and thriving, sustained by a network of healthy lands and waters. | Diverse wildlife populations - Our conservation efforts are targeted at the full range of vulnerable North American biodiversity, from plants to pollinators to predators. While we do not set geographic boundaries on our work, we primarily focus on species of North America, including migratory and transboundary species that move freely across the borders or through the waters of the United States, Mexico and Canada. We recognize that we cannot protect any species without simultaneously protecting the habitats and other species on which it relies. | Secure and thriving - We are working for the day when vulnerable North American species rebound to the point that they are secure—no longer threatened with rapid decline or extinction—and thriving in robust, well-distributed populations. | Network of healthy lands and waters - Wildlife has the greatest chance of being secure and thriving if it is supported by a transnational network of public and private lands, rivers and coastal waters, core natural areas and working landscapes.

Results: Here are some highlights of Defenders of Wildlife’s accomplishments in 2019. For a more comprehensive list, please visit our Guidestar profile to view our 2019 Annual Report. • 800,000 public comments gathered to oppose a Trump administration rewrite of ESA regulations. • 5 testimonies given on Capitol Hill to address the unprecedented challenges facing wildlife today, from attacks on the Endangered Species Act to climate change and the extinction crisis. • 90+ educational workshops and trainings to teach ranchers and others how to deploy fladry, foxlights and other deterrence tools to reduce human-wildlife conflicts. • 55 bison transferred from Yellowstone National Park to Assiniboine and Sioux tribal lands at Fort Peck in Montana, marking the first relocation under a new program to divert bison from slaughter to ancestral lands. • 37 new electric fence projects completed in our program to keep grizzly bears safe by financially helping property owners secure attractants like garbage, fruit trees, beehives and livestock. • 1.4 million comments collected in opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal to remove federal endangered species protection for gray wolves in the Lower 48. • 35 lawsuits moving through the courts as we fight to protect imperiled wildlife and habitat. • 1,500 scientists co-signed Defenders’ editorial letter published in Science— one of the top scientific journals in the world— in support of increased funding for conservation of threatened and endangered species. • 307,848 volunteers engaged with Defenders through events, projects and online actions. • 120 million acres of Atlantic offshore waters remain off-limits to drilling, thanks to our lawsuit. | To further our progress, Defenders is implementing a bold Wildlife Defense and Restoration Campaign to meet the biodiversity and climate crises head-on. Under this campaign, we are defending wildlife, restoring key laws, policies and lands that we’ve lost and working to halt the profound threats facing our planet by investing in innovations, cutting-edge technology, and new programs and partnerships. We will: • Mobilize to meet the legislative threats to wildlife and habitat and block anti-wildlife measures alongside our congressional allies. Our highest priority is defending the ESA from legislative attacks in addition to upholding Migratory Bird Treaty Act protections and expanding funding for wildlife protection. • Defend our national wildlife refuges, national forests, national monuments and other lands from drilling, mining and other threats. • Grow a new generation of wildlife supporters by establishing Defenders of Wildlife clubs on college campuses in key states. • Lead development and implementation of coexistence measures to minimize negative human-wildlife interactions and change attitudes about living with imperiled species. • Be a leader in applied conservation research, creating new technologies and leading on-the-ground innovations for wildlife.

Programs: Conservation and Restoration of Imperiled Biodiversity in North America: Defenders of Wildlife focuses on the conservation of imperiled species and keystone or umbrella species that help restore the integrity and health of ecosystems. Our focus on wildlife and habitat conservation and safeguarding of biodiversity defines our important niche in the environmental and conservation community. Long known for our leadership on endangered species issues, our programs emphasize imperiled species and their habitat throughout North America because of the irreparable loss that species extinction represents. We believe in the inherent value of wildlife and the natural world. | Mobilization of a Broader Constituency for Wildlife Conservation: Defenders of Wildlife implements nation-wide conservation initiatives and place-based conservation programs that are rooted in the communities in which we work. We focus on strategic areas where we can have a positive impact on wildlife and landscapes. We are driven by our responsibility to mobilize and grow a movement for conservation that will endure for generations to come. We issue a quarterly publication, DEFENDERS, sent to all members, which features informative articles on important wildlife and land management conservation issues, editorial comment, and updates on current activities taken by the organization.

Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I support Defenders of Wildlife and have included them in my will because I believe they have the foresight to do what is necessary to protect our wildlife and preserve our heritage.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This organization is run terribly and does not do what it claims in the name of wildlife. It purposely misleads its members about where their dollars are going with abrasive and hyped-up claims leading them to believe Defenders is working on issues and animals they are not. Do not give your hard-earned money to this deceptive, poorly-run "charity."

Review from Guidestar

2 ellen grossman

Donor

Rating: 5

To whom it may concern: I have raised so far for the Defenders of Wildlife on I Give. So far $1,272.32. Thank you for all the donations....

3

Donor

Rating: 1

This so-called "non-profit" sends me about 3 pieces of mail a month. I have asked several times to be removed from their mailing list to no avail. I'm currently collecting every piece of mail they send me, and I will send back the box of unopened mail for them to deal with. I HATE THIS COMPANY! I HOPE IT BURNS TO THE GROUND!

6

Donor

Rating: 5

DOW has been fearless, impassioned, yet reasonable in advocating for the protection of wildlife and natural resources everywhere.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

Defenders is like the best all-around conservation group in America and maybe in the world. …I am very proud of DOW's impressive record of achievement and I am honored to participate in their efforts.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

When I think of Defenders I think of action, information and tireless dedication.

11 Writer

Donor

Rating: 1

We purchased a Dolphin for 30 dollars, not understanding the income would go into a random fund and not be for the protection of dolphins. The stuffed animals are made in Indonesia and shipped by boat to the U.S. I called asking questions and was not able to get any help for everyone is collecting income, and bassically i was informed the income for the dolpin was going to protecting Wolves in Oregon! After looking at their 990 reports i found most of all income is going to the president, printing, but not truly doing much at all for wildlife i could find. I guess anyone with this much income can sure paint the pictures and produce great looking documents! I was also informed they are protecting Wolves in Oregon.. With 81 Wolves in oregon here is a artilce. Oregon delists wolves, but protections remain — High Country News


http://www.hcn.org/articles/oregon-delists-wolves-but-protections-remain

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Defenders is a beacon in the storm. The flag we can all rally around on the battlefield. Thank you for all you do for wildlife!

5

Donor

Rating: 5

I feel my voice and dollar count and can truly make a difference.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Defenders is honest with us about the difficulties we face. Just when the bad news seems to be unrelenting we get an email from Jamie giving us some good news which helps keep me going.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For decades Defenders has been vigilant protecting our wild things, through creative ideas and collaborative action. Just like the flit of a butterfly wing can impact someone across the world, Defender's action have done so. A leader in re-introducing wolves to Yellowstone and changing the perceptions of this critical species Defenders must take credit for the family of wolves that now calls California home! Thank you!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As the leading organization in North America to protect and restore imperiled species, I know that my support for Defenders of Wildlife will be strategic, effective, and meaningful. Defenders provides a clear voice for conservation and creates long-term solutions with measurable results.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Defenders of Wildlife has greatly expanded their activism on behalf of endangered species and conservation of secure native habitats over the last 10 - 15 years (if you don't have a place to live and food to eat, you don't survive - bottom line). This has been accomplished by strengthening their staff, working in the courts, testifying in Congress, and building grass roots support for a variety of species. Thus, they have become even more effective in fulfilling their goals at the national, regional and local levels. I recently attended a social event hosted by Defenders and had the chance to interact with their knowledgeable, helpful and energetic staff. The event was well organized and well attended. Their solicitation of support is low key and not pushy. I rate Defenders highly and encourage others to consider supporting them at least on an annual basis.





3

Client Served

Rating: 5

United States Fish and Wildlife officials released endangered black-footed ferret kits on our ranch after receiving more than 16,000 messages from Defenders members. Our family is grateful for the support Defenders gave our family in keeping prairie dogs and reintroducing black-footed ferrets. Defenders of Wildlife and their great staff have continued to support our family in protecting all prairie wildlife on our ranch. This is a helpful charity that you can trust. Keep up the good work, Defenders of Wildlife!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Defenders of Wildlife shares my own life tenet that all animals, with special focus on endangered species and their habitats, are an intrinsic part of our own lives, and the world we leave to our children. They are the ONLY major organization dedicated to endangered species and wild places, working through grassroots, legislature, courts and administrate to protect our heritage. Service to Defenders is my most gratifying non-profit work.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I just had the privilege of attending Defenders of Wildlife's three-day, educational and informative workshop in Yellowstone. The experience far exceeded my expectations, from the accommodation, lectures, wolf viewings, meals, outings, professionalism, etc. The planning was meticulous, making for an extraordinary experience. The entire staff was engaged, personable, dedicated, professional and passionate about their work. Participants learned so much about what Defenders does for many animals, including wolves, bears, sharks, prairie dogs and orcas. They are at the forefront of tackling the unrelenting onslaught of daily challenges to wildlife, including those generated in Congress. They are staunch defenders of the Endangered Species Act, which Congress is doing its best to whittle away at.

This is an impressive organization with impressive leadership and vision.Defenders' decisions are based on the best available science, instead of just idealism, and they strive to create solutions instead of just identifying problems. You can feel at ease knowing that your donation is being wisely used for the betterment of the wildlife and natural world you value. It is a relief to know that Defenders is working to ensure that the wonderful, wild creatures we all cherish will be here for future generations to marvel at.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known the President at Defenders of Wildlife for several years, and have been a monthly giver, as well as making a larger annual contribution for some time. Defenders is an organization that is efficiently run, has powerhouse leaders and program staff, and is making a demonstrated difference on behalf of wildlife. I feel very comfortable investing my money in support of the work they do, both in Washington DC and around the country. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone is a milestone in recent conservation victories and was due in large part to Defenders of Wildlife. I was very happy to see them work with tribal nations to reintroduce bison onto Native American lands, and to see the American West take another step toward a balanced ecosystem. Recently, I've followed their work to ensure that the Endangered Species Act is upheld, and have been impressed with their access to key decision-makers in Washington DC to try and defeat many misguided attempts by Congress to strip protection from our Nation's wildlife. I hope they continue to do good work, and I will continue to support their efforts.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It can be really overwhelming to decide which organizations to support, however I believe Defenders of Wildlife stands out among other organizations with their honesty in terms of where donations go, and how they are used.
As someone who is passionate about wolves and other predators, I believe they do great work on education and co-existence. Thank you!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I believe Defenders is one of the most effective environmental and conservation organizations because of the various ways they work to protect wildlife. Unlike other organizations, Defenders works on the ground, in the courts, and on the hill to make sure they are fulfilling their goals. I appreciate their updates on Facebook and Twitter, as well as their emails which provide me with current information on projects they are working on, and petitions I can sign.

Keep up the good work!

17 Ron_38

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

All donors of this organization need to do their research very carefully and not get sucked into the lies and deceptions. Ask to see a detailed report of where your $ is going and why. Ask to see the report on all employees that receive compensation From CEO to secretary's and aides. Get all reports of any special projects such as Reimbursing Farmers and Ranchers due to wolf predation and how many $ was spent in your State. In 2013 Defenders Of Wildlife had a total revenue of $33,192,322. In the past Defenders Of Wildlife has also been very non transparent about how, when, and where they use your money. Just remember the $33.192.322 is your money not theirs to wasted on high salaries and wasted programs. All nonprofit organization are required by law to release any and all finance records. Its your right. In the past Defenders Of Wildlife has stated that legal fees are a large part of their expenses that's not so. Earth Justice is a non profit organization that does their legal work. So before you donate any money to Defenders Of Wildlife do your homework. It may save you headaches down the road.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I believe in their cause and their good reputation of using the majority of funds for direct cause instead of administration and salaries.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I love wolves and want to help protect them. The work they do on behalf of wolves and other wildlife is very important and they are relentless in the face of heavy opposition.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Defenders is one of the most effective animal rights and environmental organizations.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I support the work these people do to help wildlife. Please, donate to this group so they can help more wild animals.

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

On Cape Hatteras National Seashore these folks encourage the killing of ALL wolves as they claim they are non native and threaten nesting birds. Success!!! The National Park Service succeeded in killing 12 wolves last year alone along with more than 400 other animals to protect a handful of bird nests on an adjacent beach. They are proficient in the use of taxpayer funds to sue over the most assinine things to collect their money in the form of reimbursed "legal fees". Spend your money at a local carnival trying to win a stuffed animal, they are both scam artists.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm thankful there's a group like Defenders to help all the animals that can't help themselves.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I count on Defenders to do the work I, as an individual, cannot do alone.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have designated Defenders as a beneficiary in my IRA because it remains focused and committed to saving wolves and other species and the habitats they need to survive.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member since I was 17, and I am happy to leave my Roth IRA to Defenders of Wildlife to care for wolves and other at-risk species after I am gone.

13

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

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.

Christine50

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

9 Martin S.

Donor

Rating: 2

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 3

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

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

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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

7

Donor

Rating: 3

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!!

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a donor, I know you are eager to ensure that the dollars you invest in causes near and dear to your heart are used efficiently and effectively. As president, CEO and board member of Defenders of Wildlife, I too want to make sure that every dollar invested in our organization is used to maximize the impact of our wildlife conservation efforts.

That’s why I was alarmed to recently learn that we had been downgraded on Charity Navigator’s site. The lower rating occurred despite the fact that there had been no change in our financial or operating status. We are proud to receive clean audits and financial reports every year, and we had achieved a three star Charity Navigator (CN) rating based on our most recent audit.

Donations to Defenders of Wildlife are put to good use, with 73 cents of every dollar going directly into our core mission to conserve wildlife and habitat, 18 cents going to management and general expenses and 9 cents going to fundraising.

Upon investigation of this unexpected downgrade, we learned that CN had unilaterally changed its rating methodology to a system that, we believe, unfairly penalizes membership organizations like Defenders. As a membership non-profit, individuals who care deeply about wildlife can join Defenders and become part of our strong voice for wildlife. We are effective in large part because our 440,000 members and donors, as well as an additional 700,000 on-line supporters, serve as advocates for wildlife throughout North America.

To educate our members about timely and important wildlife issues and call on them to take action, such as writing to Congress, contacting federal agencies, or submitting opinion pieces to newspapers, we send frequent email and print mail outreach materials. Part of the purpose of these mailings is fundraising, but a much larger part is education and/or advocacy. Under SOP 98-2, a well established accounting standard set forth by the independent Financial Accounting Standards Board, non-profit organizations are permitted to allocate part of the costs for these mailings to core program expenses and part to fundraising expenses. These standards, which have stringent criterion, have been in place and supported by the accounting profession and the Internal Revenue Service for the past 15 years. Despite this history, CN has now unilaterally decided to disallow these “joint allocations,” and has made adjustments to Defenders’ audited numbers. We strongly disagree. Organizations that are not member-based are not affected by this change as they are not conducting mailings to their members or the public and therefore do not have these types of costs.

Their adjustment puts all of the costs for member outreach into the fundraising category. Because of this change in CN’s rating system, they now have inflated our overall fundraising costs to 30%, rather than the 9% that had been properly recognized under the federally accepted joint allocation standards. This has subsequently created a misconception that Defenders is spending an inordinate amount of donor funds on fundraising compared with other organizations and a corresponding low amount on our mission-driven programs.

Charity Navigator told us that they are implementing the changes resulting from their new methodology on a rolling basis, and therefore there are quite a few non-profit ratings on their site that have not yet been changed. This may result in inconsistencies when donors utilize a feature on the site to compare what they consider to be similar organizations.

Defenders of Wildlife is a voice for imperiled wildlife in the halls of Congress, in the administration, in the courts and on-the-ground in vital ecosystems around the nation. Wildlife has a powerful voice when I can stand up and advocate with more than one million members and supporters behind me. The reality of having a powerful advocacy voice is that we must spend money to continue to grow, educate and engage that constituency.

Charity Navigator is now applying a one-size-fits-all yardstick for evaluating all charities, regardless of the wide differences on how they are organized, whether they operate on a membership model, how effective they are in achieving results, and whether they engage in public advocacy. Dan Pallotta laid out quite well the downside to this rigid approach in his post on HarvardBusiness.org (http://blogs.hbr.org/pallotta/2009/06/efficiency-measures-miss-the-p.html). He notes that in 1997, Physicians for Human Rights had a 2 star rating from Charity Navigator, yet their effectiveness was such that they received the Nobel Peace Prize that same year.

I am deeply concerned about this situation. Effective and necessary membership or advocacy organizations should not be unfairly penalized by an arbitrary star rating system that discards years of well established accounting standards. We believe that donors are not being well served by this rating system, and the charities that help our environment, wildlife, children, the elderly and others in need will be hurt as well.

Thank you for considering a donation to Defenders of Wildlife. I hope this explanation provides you with confidence that we value every dollar that donors like you give us and will use these funds effectively to conserve wildlife. If you have further questions on this issue, please don’t hesitate to call as at 1-800-385-9712 or defenders@mail.defenders.org. Jamie Rappaport Clark



1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I know that Defenders does really great collaborative work with ranchers and other stakeholders to protect wolves, bears, and even bison. From their 2011 Annual Report, I also see that they used 91% of their funds on program and support services and only 9% on fundraising.

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 1

I had no idea that these guys spent so little on programs and so much on fundraising and administrative costs..It must have changed recently. I'm throwing their stuff in the recycle bin as soon as I'm done this rating

Review from CharityNavigator

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Less than 52% of their income goes to program expenses. That should be criminal. I'm stopping any future donations to them. I'll be giving my donations to Animal Legal Defense Fund (4 star, 84.4% to program), Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (4 star, 90.9% to program) and Animal Welfare Institute (4 star, 94.4% to program). Defenders of Wildlife is a ripoff. I wish I could take back my previous donations.

Review from CharityNavigator

8

Donor

Rating: 2

Up until today I had an automatic monthly donation set up and had for years. Today I began researching all of the organizations I currently donate to and am thinking of donating to. I would rather donate to an organization that pays it's CEO/president a minimal compensation rather than one so exorbitant. Defenders of Wildlife pays one of the largest salaries of any of the groups I researched today. I'm canceling my donation.

Review from Guidestar

4 Medlee S.

Donor

Rating: 2

When I was a regular donor, there was no way to identify your membership renewal...there's no place on the form to add your membership number. Hence, I got duplicate memberships because I didn't renew EXACTLY as I did the year before. When I decided to cut back expenses, Defenders refused to stop sending requests for $$ after sending many requests...I send their form back in the postage-paid envelope.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I honestly don't remember how I came across this site. But they pulled me in with their wolve slaughter prevention. I ended up signing a petition and felt good about it. But a little while after I did so I have been getting e-mail after e-mail asking me to donate money NOW! One e-mail even stated "have you gotten outlr last messages Liz?" Sorry but I have NEVER gotten e mail after email from ASPCA, best friends animal society, WWF. Basically The NON PROFIT organizations that one would think needs the most help don't hound you at all! This organization is like 90% profit sounds like! The people that run this thing get the most money out of the donation! Basically if you love wolves and want to protect theirs or any other habitat. Make sure you go to a NON PROFIT donation charity! Or at least look it up on here!

1

Donor

Rating: 1

Like many of the other reviewers, I have found Defenders to be lacking in the management of their funds and totally unresponsive to suggestions as to how to improve their efficiency. Specifically, I do not like their executive pay scale or the constant mailings. I have written to them three times to remove my name from their mailing list to no avail. I have informed them that my decision to no longer support them is based on the information and reviews on Charity Navigator, but they don't seem to care. So be it! There are many other environmental organizations who do excellent work.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 2

I used to donate to this organization, but now send my donations to other wildlife organizations that don't inundate me with mail, and sent gifts that I have declined. The organization does good work, but have lost control of their donation request process.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 3

I am grateful for the information provided by Charity Navigator, and I personally mostly look at program, administrative and fundraising expenses, including the president's salary, as well as reviews (I don't agree with giving so much importance to the rest). According to these criteria, Defenders is not performing well. I too have been solicited for extra donations for the wolves, and I am disturbed to read comments by donors on this issue. I have found a charity called "Wildlife Conservation Network" in California, which seems to be doing the kind of work I thought Defenders was doing, and I decided to make the switch.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I used to donate, until I learned more about the high salaries obscenely out of line for a charity. And their sellout of the wolves. And their constant appeals for yet more money. Where exactly is it going? Why can CN only give 2 stars? That's a huge red flag.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 1

Pretty tired of them taking credit for work that they are barely involved in. They are touting themselves as the leader in washington's wolf issue, and we all know that groups like Conservation Northwest and Wolf Haven are much more involved on the ground for real change. It's sort of crappy of them to fundraise on that message.

6

Donor

Rating: 2

I use to love donating to this charity, but had questions regarding how they raise monies to protect the wolves and also their adopt a wolf cub program. It seems that there are countless mailings, and in my mind, I am thinking "what a waste of trees!" I donated every year until recent hard times have made it difficult for me to continue donating to my favorite charities as much as I have in the past. I notified them that I wanted to cancel my monthly donations in their Adopt a Wolf Cub Program. They complied. However two months after I opted out of the program, my credit card was charged for a monthly donation amount. I called them and asked AGAIN, to remove me from the program. After a month went by, my credit card was charged for another monthly donation. I went through all the phone numbers they list to try to connect with someone who would cancel my membership and monthly donations. I did end up with someone who assured me that the matter would effectively be taken care of. However, I constantly have to be on my guard, watching my credit card monthly statements to be sure that no more charges are being levied against my account. It's sad because I love animals and want to see the wolves protected. But to this date, the slaughter of wolves in Wyoming and Montana from airplanes is still being done, and I see no real effective action on the part of Defenders of Wildlife.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This organization will not take "no" for an answer! Requests to stop sending me materials that I do not want fall on deaf ears. I have received approximately 2 appeals per month for the past 9 months (which is when I started logging appeals). Perhaps this organization actually does do something connected with environmental conservation; I don't know, because all I get is generic "If you care about wolves/polar bears/whatever, send us money". Like everyone else, I have had to reduce charitable giving in these hard times; I am now targeting my donations to organizations, mainly local, where I know what they are trying to do, can see the results, and be confident that they are not selling my name to other organizations, DOW fails on all counts.

4

Donor

Rating: 1

Defenders of Wildlife recent disappointed members by their lack of sufficient protection of wolves in Montana and Idaho. The following is a quote from:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7881510/opinion_defenders_fails_to_defend_wolves.html?cat=48

'Last Friday, the 18th of March, will be a day forever emblazened into the minds of wolf advocates and supporters throughout the nation, as it was on this day that Defenders of Wildlife and 9 other plaintiffs in the two delisting lawsuits to restore federal protection to wolves, sold out these passionate advocates."
"For an organization that took in over $28million last year, according to their ***IRS filing for 2009, I personally think they could do a lot better if perhaps they didn't pay out 43% of their contributions in salary and compensation, including over $360,000 in annual compensation for Rodger Schlickeisen, CEO of Defenders of Wildlife and another $2.5 million for the other 14 officers of Defenders of Wildlife. I think perhaps its time we took a good hard look at these organizations, and especially the money they generate in highly lucrative salaries, and start asking some tough questions."

Best to read the whole article.

This organization will not see any more donations from me until they demonstrate that they are actually what they say they are and not just an organization of high salaried impostors.

Review from CharityNavigator

24

Donor

Rating: 5

Defenders of Wildlife does so much for the animals. They are my favorite charity. They were instrumental in getting the wolves back into Yellowstone, and have been fighting ever since to keep these same wolves safe if they wander outside of the park. I am proud to be a member of this fabulous organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Defenders of the Wildlife is a first class organization working to support animals. Their work on protecting Wolves in the Southwest specifically is really worthwhile. Check them out.