Mission: Farm Sanctuary pursues bold solutions to end animal agriculture and foster just and compassionate vegan living.

Established in 1986 as America's first organization dedicated to the rescue and refuge of farmed animals, Farm Sanctuary has set a number of precedents in the movement over the past several decades, including: Urging passage of the first federal laws to protect animals on factory farms; Initiating the first cruelty convictions at stockyards and slaughterhouses, and; Forming the largest farm animal rescue and placement network in North America.

Through our comprehensive education, research and advocacy initiatives, Farm Sanctuary works to bring public awareness to the plight of farm animals; shed light on the disastrous impact of industrialized animal agriculture on our environment, public health and social justice, and; forge a new food system rooted in compassion and justice for animals, people, and our shared planet.

Farm Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1985, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.farmsanctuary.org

 3100 Aikens Road
Watkins Glen NY 14891 

  P.O. Box 150
Watkins Glen NY 14891

  607-583-2225


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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.




Good

This charity's score is 85.16, earning it a 3-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 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

This organization has issued a response to this ratingView this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

68.7%


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

13.4%


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

17.7%


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

3.7%


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

$0.17


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

2.60 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

1.39%


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)

Partial

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 W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Megan Watkins, CEO, Executive Director

$219,000 (1.78% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

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:

Prevention of cruelty to animals (BMF activity code: 913)


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.


Farm Sanctuary reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

  • Staffing


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

The pandemic negatively impacted both earned and contributed revenue for Farm Sanctuary. The closure of our shelters resulted in the elimination of income earned through visitor tours; major events; cabin rentals; and all related merchandise and visitor services income. Contributed revenue was impacted by a decline in major gifts; the cancellation of our annual fundraising gala; and the temporary suspension or redirection of various funding sources. Leadership made the decision to postpone hiring for a number of open staff positions that were included in the 2020 budget plan. All major capital projects were put on hold. The Board of Directors had previously instituted a reserve policy in preparation for such an unprecedented event, whereby a minimum of six months of operating reserves is maintained at all times. For the first time in at least six years, Farm Sanctuary dipped into these reserves as a result of significant income shortfalls even after expense cuts.


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

When the pandemic compelled Farm Sanctuary’s departure from classrooms, our humane educators skillfully pivoted to a virtual program format, learning and implementing new technologies, and creatively adapting to effective methods of remote teaching that enabled us to engage broad new audiences of learners across the country. We also focused on expanding the accessibility of our programming through downloadable curriculum and teacher resources, as well as the production of pre-recorded classes to render our programs fully accessible to students with visual and auditory disabilities. Additionally, we used the pandemic-related suspension of our onsite visitation and tours as an opportunity to reimagine our public programming, resulting in the creation of a new Events and Experience team focused on the design of inclusive visitor experiences and events that will help ensure all who visit Farm Sanctuary, whether in person or virtually, feel a true sense of belonging.


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

Farm Sanctuary closed our shelters, suspended all public programs, and instituted new employee sick leave policies for the safety of our guests, staff and animals. We were compelled to change many of our daily operating procedures overnight to ensure the health of our shelter team, and thus maintain an optimal level of care for our animals. We closely monitored early reports of the virus’ actual or potential transmission to certain species, and took steps to ensure that our caregivers followed the same safety protocols when interacting with our residents as they do with fellow humans. We invested in the stockpiling of several months’ worth of essential medications for our animals, anticipating a disruption in supply chains as most of the medicines are produced internationally. The temporary closure of our veterinary hospital partners, as well as the continuing overall reduction in available veterinary appointments, resulted in care through increased mobile visits and by telemedicine.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Farm Sanctuary understands that the pandemic has not occurred in a vacuum. It intersects with many of the other issues that have plagued our country, including racism, violence and political division. Systemic inequities were only exacerbated by the pandemic, which disproportionately impacted communities of color where there are more frontline workers and less access to adequate healthcare. Farm Sanctuary’s purpose is grounded in advancing the welfare of farmed animals but, just as the pandemic, our purpose neither exists in a vacuum. We know that our efforts going forward must recognize and address the systemic inequalities connecting all social justice issues if we are to succeed in realizing our vision for a world where sanctuary replaces exploitation for all animals, both human and nonhuman. We have renewed our commitment to equity and inclusion in all that we do, engaging the diverse communities that together comprise and lend strength to the farmed animal protection movement.


Official Charity Response


Farm Sanctuary has received a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator based on scores of 97 for Accountability & Transparency, and 79.23 for Financial Health. In assessing Financial Health, Charity Navigator’s performance metrics take into account programmatic, administrative and fundraising expenses to determine whether an organization’s budget is adequately dedicated to the fulfillment of its charitable mission. Farm Sanctuary’s fundraising expenses reflect 17.7% of our operating budget, while Charity Navigator’s benchmark for functional expenses spent on fundraising is between 10-15%, thus directly impacting our score. Farm Sanctuary’s expenses in this area comprise planned, strategic investments in fundraising capacity to build our endowment and infrastructure over the past several years. As an organization, we are fortunate to have a robust, multi-channel system of generating revenue that has sustained us through periods of economic uncertainty over the past 35 years, including the recent downturn caused by the pandemic. While some of these revenue channels are low cost and other fundraising initiatives more expensive, Farm Sanctuary embraces all as essential tools for engaging, sustaining and expanding broad public support of our mission. Additionally impacting Farm Sanctuary’s Financial Health score is our program expense ratio of 68.7%. A standard industry benchmark of at least 70% toward programming is recommended. As previously noted, Farm Sanctuary’s focus over the past several years has been on building the optimal organizational infrastructure that will ultimately serve as the foundation of our programming, providing us the resources and expertise to successfully carry out our work. With this infrastructure in place, Farm Sanctuary is now focused on designing, enhancing and implementing the programs through which we will achieve our charitable goals and objectives in the critical years ahead. This includes significant strategic investments in new and existing programmatic initiatives intended to elevate both our mission and our movement, while expanding our lifesaving impact for farm animals at the systemic level. As in all aspects of our operations, Farm Sanctuary is committed to accountability and transparency in our financial administration and reporting. We are committed to responsibly raising and spending the charitable funding required to implement our work in the most effective and efficient ways possible for the animals depending upon us. Our commitment is not only to these animals, but also to our donors and partners who make all we do possible.

Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
5/1/20212019 85.16
5/1/20202018 86.41
12/1/20182017 88.58
2/1/20182016 88.41
6/1/20172015 89.95
5/1/20172015 85.66

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

6/1/20162014 91.93
Rating Version: 2.0
12/22/20152014 95.18
7/1/20152013 94.43
2/1/20142012 92.89
10/1/20132011 86.99
12/1/20122011 84.59
9/20/20112010 82.18
Rating Version: 1.0
12/22/20102009 83.85
11/1/20092008 87.19
11/1/20082007 89.28
8/1/20072006 90.40
9/1/20062005 90.43
8/1/20052004 93.03
9/1/20042003 90.40
8/1/20032002 90.31
10/15/20022001 90.35

...   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

Farm Sanctuary 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.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Farm Sanctuary reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$4,289,033

Spent in most recent FY

52%

Percent of program expenses


RESCUE, SHELTER, AND ADOPTION: PROVIDING RESCUE, REHABILITATION, AND CARE FOR ABUSED AND NEGLECTED FARM ANIMALS AS WELL AS OFFERING SERVICES INVOLVING ADOPTIONS, ANIMAL PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE, AND ANIMA ... (More)


$3,002,759

Spent in most recent FY

36%

Percent of program expenses


EDUCATION AND OUTREACH: CONDUCTING PROGRAMS AND DISSEMINATING LITERATURE AND INFORMATION TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT FARM ANIMAL ISSUES. THESE PROGRAMS INCLUDE FARM TOURS, EDUCATION CENTERS, CONFERENC ... (More)


$925,763

Spent in most recent FY

11%

Percent of program expenses


ADVOCACY AND ACTION: REACHING OUT TO CONSUMERS, BUSINESSES, AND COMMUNITIES TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO CONSIDER FARM ANIMAL ISSUES IN THEIR DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES. IN ADDITION, MONITORING FEDERAL AND STA ... (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

Not Currently Scored

Farm Sanctuary is currently not eligible for a Leadership & Adaptability score because we have not received its L&A survey responses.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that the organization has not yet submitted data for evaluation.


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...   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

Not Currently Scored

Farm Sanctuary is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

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.


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Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


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 award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

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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