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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ian Somerhalder Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Children & Youth, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The organization's mission is to advance science; promote the conservation of natural resources such as forests, lands, or wildlife, for the benefit of the entire community; provide relief to the poor, distressed, or underprivileged; and support other organizations conducting activities exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code. The foundation aims to empower, educate, and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.

Target demographics: the environment, all creatures, youth empowerment and grassroots initiatives

Geographic areas served: Worldwide

Programs: Grants Program
ISF emergency medical care grant for animals - Established in February of 2014. The grant provides financial assistance to animal welfare organizations, agencies, and individual rescuers responsible for the care of animals recovering from abuse, neglect, injuries suffered from a traumatic event, or other illness. The purpose of this grant is to provide animal victims a second chance by alleviating their rescuers of the financial stress of treatment so they can focus on facilitating the animal's adoption into a permanent, loving home. In 2014, ISF granted $75,000 helping 204 creatures, including dogs, cats, horses, and other farm, exotic, and wildlife animals. Each animal's journey showed us the true meaning of strength, love, and will, for both man and animal.
Individual grants - ISF granted $5000 to the Savory Institute in support of its charitable mission to promote large-scale restoration of the world's grasslands through holistic management using properly managed livestock to heal the land and empower others to do the same. The Savory Institute seeks to remove barriers on the path to large-scale success through activities such as conducting research, creating market incentives, and raising public awareness.

Public Outreach & Education - provides information to educate and engage supporters and to create public awareness of issues that are vital to ISF's charitable mission. In 2014, ISF provided daily social media postings to more than one million supporters via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The ISF website currently provides information, educational content, and assistance, including 15 to 20 new articles per month, creative supporter challenges, and access to ISF's grant programs. ISF also began an extensive redesign of its website which will allow it to deliver even more program content in a user-friendly way. ISF volunteer and internship opportunities allowed supporters to gain hands-on experience and ISF booths at events across the country allowed for valuable in-person outreach. ISF efforts further included strategic partnerships, celebrity engagement, cause marketing, traditional media relations, and campaigns including coal sucks, plastic straws can suck it, green your thirst, and #istandfor. ISF collaborated with and granted $3000 to Connecther in support of the Girls Impact the World Film Festival and the Green IS Award in which high school and undergraduate college students submit three- to five-minute short films that either propose solutions to environmental issues that impact women and girls or create awareness about environmental issues that impact women and girls. Topics included climate change; green energy; water; pollution, garbage, and waste reduction; bio-diversity; and other issues. One of the 2014 Green IS award winning filmmakers has gone on to screen her film about the health complications related to excessive use of chemical pesticides and the importance of organic farming for lawmakers across the middle east, triggering the introduction of new laws to stop the use of harmful pesticides. ISF's President and co-founder, Ian Somerhalder was designated as a United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador. Ian, in his role as a UNEP ambassador and as ISF's President, collaborated with ISF to "connect to go greener", with a specific call for communities - including businesses, organizations, schools and individuals - to connect their resources and skills for a more sustainable, resource-efficient way of living. As president of ISF, Ian Somerhalder appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives committee on natural resources, where he testified in support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service's plan for a ban on commercial trade in elephant ivory. He also emphasized the importance of the multinational species conservation funds (MSFC), established by Congress to provide support for the protection of elephants, rhinos, tigers, and other species. Ian encouraged the subcommittee to extend the MSFC semipostal stamp, which raises critical funding for anti-poaching activities through purchases of the stamp by the public.

ISF Creatures Program
Spay and neuter clinics - ISF went to Tylertown, Mississippi, and, in collaboration with St. Francis animal sanctuary, performed over 100 spay and neuter procedures in addition to general exams and rabies vaccinations. ISF provided both funding, via a $5,000 grant, and volunteer medical services. Spay/neuter services not only serve to control animal overpopulation, but also are often medically beneficial for animals placing them at lower risk for infection and disease. Providing free and/or affordable spaying and neutering plays an important role in our efforts to end euthanasia and animal homelessness. Creatures division campaigns - ISF's #time4thetalk campaign launched with a hilarious and informative video crafted to get people talking about the birds and the bees as pollinators. #time4thetalk followed up with monthly articles and a milk seed giveaway helping to spread the word about how important pollinators are to the survival of all creatures. The overconsumption of meat and its dangers to animals, our health, and the environment was highlighted via the Meatless Monday campaign. ISF asked people to think twice about wearing someone else's skin in the don't hide campaign focusing on conscious consumerism and why we should avoid leather, fur, and other hide-based industries. We explored the environmental hazards that come from the tanning process as well as uncovered some of the animal cruelty that is often involved in the making of these products.

ISF Youth Program (17 and under)
Youth Volunteer Program - a program for inspiring, global changemakers under the age of 18 who complete a 1 year volunteer program with ISF. Each of the youth are selected to be a part of this program from their applications describing their passions, talents and why they want to save our Planet and Creatures. Our program mission is to educate and support the rising generations to take action and to inspire hope and change for our planet. Throughout the year, the youth create and implement dozens of projects & campaigns globally including: community clean ups, shelter food & supply drives, organic gardening, anti-plastic efforts, school focused projects, recycling focused projects and individual passion projects for the betterment of the planet, animals and their futures.
Youth Days - ISF Youth Days are impactful and uniting one day mini events where kids and teens join ISF, collaborating organizations and facilities in an engaging volunteer day to help the planet. Each Youth Day is a unique experience involving our ISF mission of positively impacting either the environment, creatures or both.
Youth Days may include:
Animal Sanctuaries (Farm, Exotic, Domestic)
Parks/Nature Preserves
Schools/Clubs/Camps
Animal rescues
Recycling facilities
Businesses that practice green policies
Companies that come up with and/or make eco-friendly products
Efforts to preserve water
Efforts to decrease pollution
Efforts to positively impact underserved youth
Efforts to build character, inspire passion and cultivate talent in Youth

Community Stories

78 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organisation with genuine intentions! Love thier work!

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 12/18/2018

Thank you so much for your review and support!

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the idea of people gathering and putting in what is possible for them to help better our world. In a young adults point of view i find this very greatful, because we want for everyone to help with what they can to keep this world healthy for the future generations to come.

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ISFVeronica 12/10/2018

Thank you so much for this review and for supporting the Ian Somerhalder Foundation!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Ian Somerhalder Foundation is an amazing organization. Fiona and Phantom were sitting in pain, with nobody to help them, at an overcrowded animal control that was getting ready to euthanize animals. Fiona had been returned (at half her weight) with jaundice and was very ill. Phantom had a huge wound on his face and a painful bulging eye from several different traumas. We knew we needed to help these two get emergency care, and also find a better life. So we rescued them and brought them to an emergency veterinarian for care. We also reached out to The Ian Somerhalder Foundation who immediately said “Yes!” to our Emergency Care grant request. We were most grateful for their support as the medical bills were going to be quite large. Their support didn’t stop there, though. As Fiona and Phantom healed, we got notes of encouragement from ISF, and when these two were well, and very quickly found their forever, loving homes, ISF cheered with us at the good news. We couldn’t have asked for a more caring, compassionate and better partner than The Ian Somerhalder Foundation. The process was simple, easy and their team so very easy to work with. Thank you ISF!

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ISFVeronica 10/29/2018

We were so happy to be able to be a part of both Fiona and Phantom's healing. Thank you for all you have done to help these two beautiful, deserving cats!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our rescue had taken in a dog that has a partially healed elbow fracture, and required an expensive procedure. Since we had just started our non profit back up in March of 2018, we were limited on resources, but were bound to help this pup regardless. We reached out and followed the proper steps to fill out the application for a grant from ISF. Their application process was easy, thorough and the responses were fast. We were fortunate they were able to help us, and their team provided support throughout the entire process. Thank you ISF!!!!

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ISFVeronica 10/01/2018

It was our pleasure to work with you. Thank you for helping a dog in need!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Skippy says a huge thank you to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation for the emergency medical grant that funded his surgery! His entire rescue team is so thankful for the support and friendship that ISF provides to the rescue community and to animals like him.

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ISFVeronica 10/01/2018

It was so wonderful to be able to meet Skippy. His smile is one of a kind and his happy nature, despite all he went through, is inspiring. Thank you for helping this amazing dog heal and get his forever home!

Review from Guidestar

1 Gia Marie F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you could never be enough, very easy to communicate with.

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 08/11/2018

Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

7 Lisa B.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with a Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue and we were contacted by a high kill shelter about a young dog that was hit by a car and had broken legs. Instead of allowing the shelter to euthanize him, SSR took him into the rescue to receive costly surgery and treatment. If is was not for the help of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation grant, Leo might not have been able to receive the urgent medical care he needed to save his life.

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ISFVeronica 07/24/2018

We are so happy we could help SSR get Leo the surgery he needed. Thank you so much for all you do to help dogs in need.

Review from Guidestar

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a Board member and foster care provider for Take Paws Rescue in New Orleans. We reached out to ISF for an emergency medical grant for a small dog that had been beaten and abused until it could not walk and then surrendered because the owners could not care for the dog or afford the vet bills to help him. Buddy needed spinal surgery, and had an excellent prognosis, but the rescue could not afford the necessary surgery without significant help. ISF was quick, responsive, and saved the day. The is an amazing organization of caring individuals and I cannot say enough good things about them. Buddy had his surgery, is walking really well, is no longer in pain, and has been adopted and will live happily ever after!

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 06/14/2018

Hi Danielle, We are so happy to be a part of Buddy's recovery. Thank you for all you did to help this sweet boy to overcome such a horriable past. We are over the moon to know he now is getting all the love and care he needs.

Review from Guidestar

3 Alex L.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Where to begin? This organization is amazing. It is all about empowering others to care for the environment, it's animals, and also humans. The volunteers work together to accomplish this goal. I have had the privilege to have started with the College team and moved over to the Youth division. There is something so unique about this organization. While its main focuses are creatures and environment, there is also an amazing amount of emphasizing just being an overall good person. It has been an amazing almost 7 years, and I can't wait for more!

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ISFVeronica 06/14/2018

Hi Alex, Thank you for all you to help ISF with our youth team. We appreciate you so much!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

If it was not for the Foundation helping with medical expenses for some of the animals we have saved, I would not have been able to do as much as we have done. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation has made it possible to save more lives. Thank you!

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ISFVeronica 06/14/2018

Thank you for saving so many lives and helping animals to not only overcome their physical injuries, but also providing them such a loving environment to heal!

Review from Guidestar

2 Melanie B.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Former community crew member here. ISF gave me purpose when I was facing a tragic time in my life. It introduced me to some of the most beautiful people I've ever met and created lifelong friendships. The goal of ISF is so pure it creates light in a world of darkness. ❤

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ISFVeronica 05/29/2018

Thank you Melanie for being a part of ISF through Community Crews and continuing to be involved and supportive of our mission.

1 Steph07

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love ISF, it takes care of everything I’m passionate about!

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ISFVeronica 05/29/2018

Thanks Steph! We are so grateful you are such a huge part of ISF!

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone at ISF is so nice and sweet, they have all become like family.

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 03/26/2018

Thanks Stephanie. We feel the same about you!

3 Patti Z.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about this organization.
ISF is different. They recognize that there are challenges inherent in trying to be completely sustainable. They don't exclude you if you can't meet sustainability 100%. Rather they welcome all who are willing to take whatever steps they can towards improvement. They teach with an open mind. They encourage every effort no matter how small. Encouragement is the name of the game - not discouragement for not being 'good enough'
I always compare the philosophy that every effort counts no matter how small to playing a game at the carnival. You play and you win, but its just a small prize.
But you keep at it, you don't give up. And you keep winning small prizes.
Pretty soon you can trade in those small prizes for a large prize.
Lots of small changes WILL add up to big change for the planet, so just do what you can when you can.
Education. Effort, Acceptance. Compassion.
These are the keys to a better future.
The people I have met through ISF have vastly improved my life. The kindness and support I have experienced has honestly been life changing. I have been given the opportunity to support and help others. I have had others support and help me. I have had kids 'adopt' me as an 'aunt' with the full support of their parents who have adopted me as a friend. I have learned new skills I might not have explored had I not encountered such a supportive group of people as my ISFAMILY
I want to take a moment to add something else if I may -
I am always disheartened when I see people frustrated that the animal sanctuary hasn't come to fruition yet.
I feel bad because it seems the default thinking is that there is something untoward happening with donations.
The land has been purchased, but that is only one small step towards the realization of the dream. The reality is that there are a tremendous amount of laws and regulations to be navigated with any large undertaking and that costs money. It costs money to build the infrastructure on the purchased land. It costs money to maintain that infrastructure. It costs money to transport and then support any animals that would call this place home. It costs money to create an education center.
And the fact is it costs money to generate money.
And it takes time to generate the money.
I applaud the Foundation for simultaneously working towards the dream of a sanctuary / preserve and providing monetary grants to many other organizations to aid the planet and its creatures. They found a way to give some immediate help to the world while still working to grow this dream.
I applaud the volunteers who work tirelessly to help keep the mission moving forward.
I am a donor and supporter for the long haul. I am proud to say so.

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 05/23/2018

Hi Patti! Thank you so much for your review and all of your support throughout the years.

2 Heidi T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The dedication of each and every staff member and volunteer to the causes of ISF is highly commendable. The Youth program events are practical and make a big impact on the animal and environmental causes they serve. I am proud to be a part of this outstanding organization.

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ISFVeronica 05/23/2018

Thank you Mrs. Trace for your review and for volunteering!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Never have I ever volunteered for a more professional, positive organization! The work ISF continues to do each and every day amazes me beyond what any words could ever express. I’m honored to be a part of such an extraordinary team!

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ISFVeronica 05/23/2018

We are so lucky to have your entire family involved with ISF! Thank you.

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4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hands down the most generous and professional non-profit I've ever volunteered with! I'm proud and honored to serve its mission.

Comments ( 2 )

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ISFVeronica 06/14/2017

Thank you. We are so happy to have your family involved.

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ISFJules 06/28/2017

Hands down the most awesome and inspiring family I've ever known!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Candi Fair. I am one of many volunteers of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation(ISF).

During the several years I have had the honor to work within the Youth Focus Area, I have seen the heart and soul of ISF.....the volunteers working countless hours behind the scenes making sure everything runs like a well oiled machine...I have had the honor to be empowered not only by my fellow volunteers but especially by the Youth that we work with every day.

These Youth are passionate, driven, intelligent and full of love. They strive to heal our world and that is exactly what they are doing! From being strong voiced animal advocates, to rolling up their sleeves and cleaning up their communities, to instilling recycling programs in their schools....these kids go above and beyond to help the world and each other and ISF is that platform they are standing on to reach those high places. ISF empowers them and educates them and and gives them the tools they need to get their voices heard in a noisy ,chaotic world that drowns them out.
I have spoken with kids who are so passionate and driven about issues of bullying in their school that they talk to me with tears in their eyes and shaky voices only to watch them stand taller and stronger than most adults I know to step forward and be the one to make that initial change and help their fellow classmates find the friends and help they need.
ISF gives a voice to our smallest changemakers and boy are they being heard!

Of course the Youth is only one Focus Area within ISF...we are also involved in Animal advocacy, Environmental Conservation,focusing on water and also a brilliant Grassroots initiatives program!

ISF is an amazing non profit that is doing great things in this world..just stand back and watch us!

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 05/23/2018

Thank you for your review Candi and all the hard work you put in to empower our Youth! Together, we are making positive change every single day and we couldn't do it without you!

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5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Candi Fair and I am a volunteer within the Ian Somerhalder Foundation's Youth Division.
I personally, have seen the positive impact that this foundation has on our youth of today. ISF gives young people the tools, platforms and encouragement and education to help them find their passions and strive to see them come to life. I feel VERY fortunate to get the honor to work with kids who are actively and passionately engaging each other and their communities to "Do Better" for our world, to make an actual, tangible difference..... that's where ISF stands apart from other foundations.....the kids have the control to participate in projects and grassroot inituitives or any other positive ,change making ideas they want .....and they are doing it big!!!
I have participated in two ISF YOUTH DAYS with these awesome young people. ISF YOUTH DAYS are days set aside for our ISF YOUTH to come together in different parts of our country to roll up their sleeves and volunteer at specific locations that need our help. From traveling to Flint Michigan to help with their water crisis to traveling to Georgia to volunteer at an animal sanctuary, I have had the AMAZING privilege to witness the passion and excitement of these kids who are eager to help, volunteer, roll up their sleeves and not afraid to use their voices and speak their minds. Their ideas, heart and pure will, encourage me everyday! Thanks to ISF our most valuable resource, our YOUTH, has a voice and are making a positive impact on our world and all it's inhabitants.

Comments ( 2 )

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ISFVeronica 06/14/2017

Thank you so much for this review Candi and for all you do to help our youth team at ISF.

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ISFJules 06/30/2017

Candi, thank you for such a genuine review and sharing your experience with anyone who may read it. We value your hard work and HUGE heart. I know the kids appreciate you every day, too!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been following ISF for the past 5 or 6 years! They are spreading an amazing message and awareness for our planet and animals! They are also some of the kindest people I have ever met! I highly recommend you check them out if you get a chance! :)

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ISFVeronica 05/10/2018

We are so happy to have you Chelsea.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Without your help with Bailey, he could not have gotten his fho surgery to correct his hip and reduce his pain. Thank you for all you do for the animals!

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ISFVeronica 03/29/2018

A picture is worth a 1,000 words! Thank you for all you did to help Bailey. His before and after photos tell a story of love. We are so greatful we were able to play a part in his success!

Review from Guidestar

1 FAACAC

Board Member

Rating: 5

ISF promptly stepped forward to help our small nonprofit save the life of an older given-up chihuahua who required complicated and expensive dental surgery to save him from further misery and the risk of a life-ending infection. When we fumbled a response to one of its emails, the foundation contact was understanding and helpful. Thank you, ISF, for all you did for Cody!

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ISFVeronica 03/20/2018

We are so happy we could help Cody. Thank you so much for all you did to help him and for being so wonderful to work with. We love this adoption photo. Have a great life in your forever home Cody!

Review from Guidestar

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

We are greatly appreciative of the ISF for their support with many of our rescued animals' emergency vet care needs. The foundation is quick to respond and be of service, and we can feel how much they love animals just in their correspondence with us. Thank you, ISF!

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ISFVeronica 02/26/2018

Thank you for all you do to help animals in need!

Review from Guidestar