Mission: The Anti-Cruelty Society (also known as the SPCA of Illinois), is Chicago's oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization. Founded in 1899, the Society i ... (More)

The Anti-Cruelty Society is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1937, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.anticruelty.org

 157 West Grand Avenue
Chicago IL 60654 

  312-644-8338


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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 95.36, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2020, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

79.6%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

8.0%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

12.2%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

3.1%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.13


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

5.36 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

16.15%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Tracy Elliott, President

$164,712 (1.22% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Other school related activities (BMF activity code: 059)

Other youth organization or activities (BMF activity code: 349)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


The Anti-Cruelty Society reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received

  • Balance Sheet


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

As an animal welfare organization, we continued to care for animals throughout the pandemic. ACS moved to a split schedule for staff to ensure keeping staff safe but we made the commitment to keep all staff at full salary. With all of our revenue paused due to the pandemic, we relied on donations and the PPP loan to keep operating. All events, community programming and eventually adoptions used virtual engagement although we shifted to a hybrid model when it was deemed safe to do so.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

All of our programs paused in the early part of the pandemic to be quickly replaced with virtual programming, leading to a hybrid model for some programs. We used this as an opportunity to reach out into the community to provide access to veterinary services and most importantly food as people were having a difficult time finding or affording pet food. We launched a monthly Pop Up Pet Food Pantry that has provided 700,000 pet meals in 18 months. Some of our programs are still on hold or limited engagement as the volume of interactions exceed the space limitations we implemented to keep our staff and community safe. The virtual programming in some cases helped expand access such as the teen Vet Mentoring program which saw a nearly 200% in participation for the virtual program. Also, during the pandemic, we revised all of our procedures to meet the needs of the programs to ensure we were consistent in our program and service delivery.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

We focused on staff throughout the pandemic recognizing the toll the pandemic had on everyone. This included snacks, dinners, and zoom entertainment. We learned how to be more flexible both with staffing issues and concerns, as well as how we managed and cared for our animals or engaged with people in general. We focused on building new initiatives, such as a Best Place Task Force to help us provide support for our staff. We implemented a quality council and instituted a quality process including having all senior staff become Lean Six-Sigma certified. We implemented new and innovative events and fundraising opportunities such as Pet Portraits and a Dog Cookbook, both of which introduced us to many new supporters. We also focused and targeted all of our fundraising to support specific and necessary programs such as our safety net programming including SAFE (short term accommodations for emergencies) and Pop Up Pet Food Pantries.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We evaluated the work flow of our staff including how each person's skill set fit with their role and we separated jobs to best meet those skill sets. This is an innovative way to help staff be more content with their jobs. This has cut our retention rate in half. Our events such as Pet Portraits and a virtual Bark From The Heart (replacing our 5K walk) have elements that we intend to maintain as they targeted new audiences. Some of the community education programs that became virtual will remain hybrid as they are more accessible.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
12/1/20212020 95.36
11/1/20202019 90.06
7/1/20192018 91.91
8/1/20182017 91.30
11/1/20172016 92.80
10/1/20162015 91.64
6/1/20162014 91.79
Rating Version: 2.0
10/1/20152014 91.20
11/1/20142013 82.20
8/1/20132012 82.64
7/1/20122011 88.68
9/20/20112010 90.79
Rating Version: 1.0
6/1/20112010 86.97
9/1/20102009 82.68
3/1/20102008 75.02
2/1/20092007 79.64
10/1/20072006 89.72
10/1/20062005 84.22
12/1/20052004 81.59
11/1/20042003 77.24
11/1/20032002 90.84
10/15/20022001 92.53
4/15/20022000 92.22

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

The Anti-Cruelty Society cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at The Anti-Cruelty Society? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



The Anti-Cruelty Society reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$6,757,081

Spent in most recent FY

60%

Percent of program expenses


SHELTER SERVICESTHE SOCIETY WORKS TO MATCH ADOPTABLE ANIMALS WITH SUITABLE AND PERMANENT HOMES. THE SOCIETY IS AN OPEN-DOOR SHELTER, MEANING IT ACCEPTS ANY ANIMAL IN NEED 365 DAYS A YEAR. THE FOSTER P ... (More)


$2,461,814

Spent in most recent FY

22%

Percent of program expenses


VETERINARY AND CLINICAL SERVICESTHE SOCIETY MAINTAINS A VETERINARY STAFF PROVIDING SPAY AND NEUTER SERVICES TO PETS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND TO OTHER ANIMAL WELFARE GROUPS THAT DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO  ... (More)


$1,474,530

Spent in most recent FY

13%

Percent of program expenses


COMMUNITY PROGRAMSOUR COMMUNITY PROGRAMS DEPARTMENT, WHICH FACILITATES MANY OF THESE EXTERNAL INTERACTIONS, IS DIVIDED INTO TWO SEPARATE AREAS OF FOCUS: HUMANE EDUCATION AND VOLUNTEER SERVICES. OUR HU ... (More)


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by The Anti-Cruelty Society is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


The Anti-Cruelty Society builds a healthy and happy community where pets and people thrive.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


Build a humane Chicago for pets and people


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Best Care for Animals. Provide the highest level of comprehensive care for every animal in our care and to the families we serve in the community.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Best Care for Communities. Expand best care services beyond the shelter and become embedded in communities to serve as a bridge to human services while providing support to families and their pets.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Best Care for People. Encourage access to communities, people, resources, and information to inspire and engage generations of animal welfare advocates.

Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

We have a Leadership Academy for all staff who manage people to help them learn how to become better managers. We offer quarterly all staff meetings to keep the staff up to date and we provide a weekly update to all staff. We also offer monthly trainings on a variety of leadership development topics.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

We work with partners through a Chicagoland coalition for animal welfare organizations. We have implemented partnerships to share staffing with smaller organizations. Our staff are active presenting at local and national conferences and we have representatives on state-wide and national animal welfare organizations to support advocacy for the field. We are often looked to as an expert for media in a major media market and we have a very active social media outreach that shares content about animal welfare advocacy.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


With most of our internal programs paused during the pandemic, ACS focused its efforts within the community by providing pet food and pet care supplies to housebound seniors, monthly Pop-Up Pet Food Pantries in Chicago's most underserved communities and Dog Wellness fairs within the community to provide access to care for wellness visits and vaccinations. These services are all offered free of charge. We also opened our facility to provide free spay/neuter services for community (feral) cats while providing expanded field services work in the community for abuse and neglect investigations. We were awarded the Game Changer Award in 2021 from Metropolitan Family Services for the extraordinary support provided within the community.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Tracy Elliott

President

Klein Steven H

Chair

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by The Anti-Cruelty Society is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.


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Culture & Community Report

100

of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.


Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:


How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Community meetings or town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees


How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve


With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners


What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

We evaluate our adoption and foster experiences to determine how we can better serve our customers. For adopters, we have added a follow-up call protocol to connect with people who have adopted animals within days of their adoption providing them with additional support and information. For fosters, we have expanded our staff to help support fosters with caring for animals. We have also set up private facebook pages for each audience to help build a stronger community who is always open to supporting each other. Each group is monitored daily by a dedicated staff member.



Methodology


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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