Like many folks who love animals and want to help, I take the steps to research that my hard-earned dollars are truly being used to help make a difference. Mark Meyers, his family and devoted staff are super stars in this regard. Despite how busy they are and the long hours they work in harsh conditions, I have actually received a hand-written note from Mark thanking me for a recent donation. That is class. He is a man of great integrity, passion for this cause and an excellent business person who has built an organization that effectively creates positive change for the lives of thousands of donkeys, burros, mules, and similar equines (even some goats!) He's a hero in my eyes. Thank you, Mark, and your team.
Review from Guidestar
I have donated to this charity for quite some time. I own and love donkeys, and they do not deserve the neglect and abuse that they often receive.
I admire what the Meyer's are doing and have some understanding of the commitment and the funds that it takes.
I think they are a very worthy charity. One review was commenting about their $90,000 salary as excessive. I think it is very reasonable given their hard work and devotion to their cause.
I live on the other side of the country in Virginia where we do have animal abuse and neglect problems like every other place (i.e., too many!) but not so much of donkeys, who as one of the other reviewers said, are stodgy and not glamorous. Very true, and so they need help even more! The high fundraising costs @ PVDR are unfortunate and I am sure Mark and Amy are the first ones who would like to have a better solution, but it is what it is. They don't have the time to do it themselves; what is important that they are out there every day giving all they have in time and devotion to the hands-on work. I don't think $90,000 annually for two people is a lot. I am sure this just covers their home, utilities and absolute necessities. Why, I'm sure they don't even have time to spend money on anything else. I am a volunteer animal (pets) rescuer and TNR practitioner myself and I understand and admire what they do.
After checking some charity ratings sites, I'm having some doubts about how money is spent, and I totally applaud the work the Meyers' have done. The thought of neglected and abused donkeys makes me sick, and I think donkeys and burros are totally worthy of everyone's donations, the most folks can afford. However, the Meyers' draw a combined $90,000 salary (as of 2012). Frankly, I think that's a lot. You can think me wrong on that, okay. And it does bug me that about half our donations goes to fundraising. Can't there be a better way to get the word out? The last plea I got this week even included six 1¢ stamps to supposedly help me when postage goes up. (?) Why waste even six cents this way? And unless they have printing costs donated, all the glossy postcards of donkeys cost money too. I don't know, I'm just feeling a little conflicted. As an ex-marketing person myself, I hate seeing donations going to greedy PR b@stards.
I really admire Mark and Amy Meyers for spending their lives helping animals as stodgy and unglamorous as the donkeys and burros. They care deeply for these animals and I want to help them. However, I have a huge problem with the amount ot money they spend on fundraising. According to Charity Navigator, they spend more money on fundraising (46%) than they spend on the donkeys (44%). This is unacceptable! I sent them $300 so far this year. It bugs me to think that nearly half of my money went into the pockets of the over-priced middle men.
Review from Guidestar
After checking Charity Navigator, I have to say they do spend a high percentage of their money soliciting funds. I realize that it is a vicious circle. That you have to spend money to get money but perhaps they need to evaluate their 'target audience'. I did find the heart tugging story of Floyd a bit heavy handed but lots of animal rescues do that. I was going to send them a donation but when you see the high percentage of income used for fund raising it is disheartening.
I cry thinking about the suffering, neglected, abused and forgotten donkeys. Mark and Amy Meyers who founded Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue are the true hero's. in addition to all the huge amount of work they do, they still have the time to keep us informed of what's going on every step of the way! Please read Marks' books, Talking With Donkeys' and you will understand why He does what He does! "El nombre de burro es Melquiades."
I followed PVDR as a donor for years before I finally volunteered at their last open house. These people couldn't be more dedicated to one of the most overlooked animals, the donkey. They run a huge, nation wide organization, serving thousands of abandoned and abused donkeys. They spend countless days driving thousands of miles to pick up and care for these domestic and wild donkeys. At their facilities, the donkeys receive life long care and boarding. No one is getting rich off this project, it is done strictly for the love and dedication to these misunderstood animals. I think this is a great non profit and they deserve your donation.
I am very choosy about who I give money to. I researched and found these people to truly care and help donkeys and a few other critters. You don't hear of many rescue's going above and beyond as they do at PVDR. My goal is to visit them in person one day and meet them and all those wonderful donkeys. Moneys goes to help the animals and thats what counts. Hopefully they will be able to continue this wonderful rescue and continue to help donkeys everywhere. It's hard work both physically and mentally. It takes special people to do what they do. They should be proud to call themselves rescuer's. A wonderful way to help is to have a automatic amount taken from your credit card monthly. It gets done without having to think about it, it's a good donation for a great cause.
My love of donkeys lead me to PVDR and all the great work that they do. It's something special when you can see your donated monies at work. Mark Meyers, family, staff, and Burr Collies run a first rate operation.