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2019 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

91 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Ian Somerhalder Foundation was incredibly generous to our rescue in helping us raise funds for a very difficult rescue/abuse case. We were notified very quickly that we had been approved for the gift, and received the funds much faster than I had expected. Thanks in part to their help, Oliver has made a full recovery! We are very grateful for their support!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ginger had a severe wound when found. It took her 3 months to heal - multiple surgeries, 45 days at the vet, 2 foster homes, 1 adoption!!
Her medical expenses were quite hi and the Iam Somerhalder Foundation helped us immensely!! We are a very small totally volunteer rescue organization.
Thank you !!!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you ISF for granting our small non-profit the funds to help Clyde get the emergency surgery he needed! We are grateful that with your help we were able to give him the chance at a happy, healthy life and ultimately to find his forever home!

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ISFVeronica 09/22/2019

We are so happy we were able to help Clyde. Thank you for all you have done for him. This happy face is perfect!

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with ISF for over 7 years now. I have watched them grow and expand and unlike most organizations that get larger and forget their original goals, ISF has continued to pursue their original goals and enhance them into larger goals to better communities and the treatment of animals and our environment. It is a beautiful organization with a beautiful heart and I so enjoy being a small part of it as a volunteer. They truly inspire others and inspire to encourage others and give confidence to keep their goals spreading.

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 09/20/2019

We are so happy to have you as a long time volunteer. Thank you so much for lending us your amazing talent!

Ariel L.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They helped us not once but twice, both times with parvo virus cases that are very expensive to treat! Thankfully their grant helped us pay some of the bills. We are truly appreciative!!

Ariel LaValle
New York Safe Haven Animal Rescue

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ISFVeronica 09/15/2019

We appreciate everything your rescue has done to help so many dogs in need!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so happy that a foundation Iike this exists to provide support to all the vulnerable animals that need help in all manner of difficult situations.

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ISFVeronica 09/15/2019

Thank you!

Lauren V.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a great foundation! They have generously helped our small nonprofit with the veterinary care expenses for our medical miracle Glory. Their granting process is very streamlined, and their team is responsive and easy to work with. Thank you so much for your support and all you do for the community! We love the Ian Somerhalder Foundation!

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ISFVeronica 09/03/2019

We were so happy we were able to help this little cutie. Thank you for saving her, making sure she is now healthy, and finding her the perfect forever home.

Review from Guidestar

1 Alex L.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Previous Volunteer-
The people I have met through ISF have become like a family to me. Starting in undergrad with an article, I slowly became more involved. Years later I am so glad I did. ISF is focused on what I am most passionate about and I love to educate others about it. As a humane educator and veterinarian in progress, I feel confident in promoting and sharing the mission of ISF both personally and one day professionally. I would not be the same person if not for Ian and ISF.

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 09/03/2019

Hi Alex, Thank you so much for all of the amazing volunteer work you did with ISF. We are so proud of all you are accomplishing now as you continue to help animals through learning veterinarian medicine!

Previous Stories
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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!

Comments ( 1 )

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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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This foundation has generously helped my small nonprofit with many veterinary care expenses over the years. Their granting process is very streamlined, and you get a response very quickly. We love the Ian Somerhalder Foundation!

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ISFVeronica 08/23/2019

We are so happy to be able to work with you! Thank you for helping animals in need!

Natalie H.5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i'm not a charity just a private person who has now learned about our beloved planet our animals & our oceans without this organization i would still be in the dark about so many things ....so many ways to help,you can donate or make a purchase how easy is that ....listening to Mr. Somerhalder speak you know without a doubt he is totally committed & speaks from his heart THANK YOU SIR FOR ENLIGHTENING ME ON THE WAYS TO HELP & PROTECT OUR PLANET, ANIMALS & OCEANS

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ISFVeronica 08/13/2019

Thank you for the review Natalie. We are so happy to have you on board helping protect our planet and its creatures. It takes a team!

Monica B.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former volunteer, I much enjoyed being part of such a great foundation. It was great to work collaboratively with so many like minded individuals to affect real change both locally and globally.

Comments ( 1 )

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ISFVeronica 08/13/2019

We appreciate all of your time Monica!

Lisa M.13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization and fantastic people to work with. They care about the community / environment as a whole.

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ISFVeronica 06/10/2019

Thank you for volunteering!

TBelda

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at The Ian Somerhalder Foundation for almost 7 years.

I found ISF at a time where I didn't know how to affect change or to be of help to the environment, its creatures and the issues that threaten this world we live in. ISF changed that from day one, morphing hopelessness into empowerment and helping me be of help where it matters.

Over the years, through showing up, being part of this foundation, collaborating with people, working on relevant causes, fighting for those that do not have a voice and educating those that do, I've learned that everyone's contribution matters. That we have in us the power to make this planet a better, safer and more sustainable places. That human beings can rise to the occasion and be extraordinary and that animals have in them an infinite capacity for love.

I can't say enough good things about ISF, about the people that work tirelessly to make it happen. To the people that share our dream and help in any way they can. For me, it's been an extraordinary journey in the company of the most amazing like minded people that have become friends, family, mentors and living inspirations. I am grateful beyond words to be part of such a great foundation!

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ISFVeronica 05/14/2019

Thiffany, We are so grateful for all of the hard work you put in daily and your mad amazing artistic skills. Thank you for being so instrumental in making ISF what it is today.

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

2 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.

Comments ( 1 )

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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