I do find it troubling that disgruntled employees have the freedom to write fictional reviews that have no connection to reality. Negative reviews are admitted former employees. Tiger Haven has a CPA who enters all receipts, and this is sent to another independent CPA for a audited financial report every year. There is no cash coming into the organization from visitors, gift shops or concessions. All donations are entered by a independent data entry company and deposited into a Tiger Haven bank account. No room, for any ill fated donations. Fundraising cost are a ongoing challenge. Tiger Haven DOES NOT have multiple non profit charters and organizations that we hide fundraising cost in like so many others. Many others raise money through another organization, then donate it to the functional organization to legally hide the high cost of fundraising. Tiger Haven is also not open to the public like a road side zoo, so all funding must come from other sources that does not use the exploitation of the animals to raise their funds.
I am responding to your comments regarding our fundraising expenses and charity rating on Charitynavigator.org I hope that this letter will address your concerns.
Tiger Haven is designated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This status, however, does not mean that we get any federal money or any kind of subsidies for doing this type of work. Tiger Haven is 100% funded by contributions from donors. Several years ago, it became clear that we could no longer rescue cats unless we did something drastic to raise funds. At that point, we hired a professional fundraising company. This is extremely costly, but the funds that it generates far surpass any funds we could hope to secure by ourselves.
Tiger Haven’s mission is to take care of neglected, abused, or otherwise unwanted big cats. That is what we do best. When we investigated our options prior to hiring the fundraising company, we realized that this type of work was best outsourced to professionals.
The expense breakdown is alarming when looked at out of context. What sites like charitynavigator.org do not tell you is that fundraising is difficult and inconsistent at best. They also group a lot of different costs into the “administrative” category. This administrative category is not a synonym for “salaries”. Our staff is extremely underpaid for the amount of work that we do. This category includes all aspects of our fundraising such as filing a yearly permit to solicit donations (for each of the 50 states), obtaining donor lists from other organizations, bookkeeping, publishing and graphics, etc. Further, Tiger Haven is our only corporation; we do not have a parent company or other affiliate nonprofit corporations to "hide" expenses.
Another issue that is not addressed by the charity rating is the amount the percentages represent. For instance, one national Humane Society uses 19% of their income on fundraising, but that translates into $24 MILLION since their income is $148 MILLION. Twenty-Four million dollars will go a very long way to find new donors.
Tiger Haven has 280+ mouths to feed daily and our method of fundraising generates enough money (on a fairly regular basis) that we do not have to worry where the next food shipment is coming from. We are looking into alternate fund sources, however, and are always open to suggestions