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Gorilla Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Education, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Protection of Endangered Species

Mission: To bring interspecies communication to the public, in order to save gorillas from extinction, and

Programs: Educational outreach to raise awareness about gorillas through publications, dvd, educational programs, website, in-person presentations, and teacher curricula.

ongoing interspecies communication research, through continuing observations of the use of american sign language by gorillas, and research into gorilla behavior and welfare.

conservation activities: humane education and promotion of gorilla conservation through outreach programs in africa, as well as sponsorship of field research projects on gorillas to advance their ultimate survival.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Most of the information presented on the organization's 990 and in the donor/fundraising material is completely inaccurate. Funds raised could not possibly be used for gorilla conservation in the wild as the only record of donation is from the 1990's, the foundation does not support in-person educational outreach as stated, a review of medical records displays that the female gorilla is unable to have a baby and does not tolerate the presence of another gorilla, there is no real or legitimate scientific research being collected or produced, and the Foundation's headquarters could not be moved to Maui as the company offering the land withdrew support almost a decade ago. Yet each of these items, and many more inaccuracies, are used in donor materials and appear on IRS forms. Another notable deception is the President's salary of a mere $15,000/ year. What the 990 does not display is the salary of her partner, also employed by the foundation, who presumably finances the Lexus and large hillside property on Skyline Blvd. where the two live.

Review from Guidestar



Rating: 1

The Gorilla Foundation is a total scam run by lunatics. Koko and Ndume are real, the "mission" of TGF is not. They are protective and hidden from public view so no one ever knows the real story behind the Koko money machine. Donors, demand accountability and full transparency before giving TGF your money.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The director of the Gorilla Foundation was taken to court in 2005 (by two different workers) and I took Penny Patterson's side in this scandal. But from the "Chimp Trainer's Daughter" I have learned that even though people donate over a million dollars a year to Penny ... for some reason the inspections of the facility are not what they should be. Penny has two gorillas to take care of, that's it. She is also linked to a gorilla charity in Africa which according to CTD , doesn't exist. I would not give a penny to this charity.

1 Rachel77

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Gorilla Foundation has been around for years, and Penny and her team continue to do outstanding work with the gorillas and promoting awareness. When I was in 5th grade, I discovered and read "KoKo's Kitten". The book gave me a new appreciation for the primate world. I began writing letters to the foundation and recieved handwritten responses in return from them, even from Penny herself. I decided to hold a can drive at the elementary school I attend and we raised funds for the gorillas. I received a very special letter and 8x10 picture signed by KoKo herself!! The money they raise is distributed for multiple purposes including the new BIGGER habitat that was built, medical and general care of the gorillas, upkeep of the preserve , awareness and continued studies among a multitude of other things. They rely on donations to continue to do the work they do. I am 28 years old now.....and still love and appreciate the primate species as much as I did when I was a kid! Would LOVE the opportunity to volunteer or work at The Gorilla Foundation! LOVE the work you do!!! Thank You.

Review from Guidestar


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

weird charity, nobody really know what thy do to save gorilla, an obscure charity!

1 Brie S.


Rating: 5

I am in awe of what the Gorilla Foundation is able to do with the funding they have.

Review from CharityNavigator