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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 is a solution-oriented organization dedicated to saving rare animals and plants, conserving habitat, and building a broad constituency for protecting wildlife and wild places. We harness the skills and expertise of more than 100 scientists, wildlife specialists, educators, activists, economists, and attorneys to work in the halls of Congress, state legislatures, the courts, local communities, and more than a dozen offices in North America. We develop and encourage conservation of entire ecosystems and interconnected habitats while protecting predators that serve as indicator species for ecosystem health. Through this multi-pronged approach of education, advocacy, research and litigation, we specifically work to protect native animals and plants, restore and preserve habitat, and advocate for conservation legislation.

Geographic areas served: North America

Programs: Defenders of Wildlife's operating programs include: (1) Species Conservation, including restoration/protection of wolves and bears in their natural habitat and wild bird conservation; (2) Legal actions and Endangered Species Act reauthorization; (3) Habitat Conservation, including the Habitat for Bears Campaign, Alaska wolf protection and forestry issues; and (4) Oregon Biodiversity Project, a state conservation effort through public education and joint activism joined with the development of technological instruments to survey state biodiversity.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Donor

Rating: 5

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

3

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.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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

7

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

3

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!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

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

3

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.

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.

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.

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.

2

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.

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.

8 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

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