Mission: For nearly 150 years, Charleston Animal Society has been preventing cruelty to animals. Nationally and internationally recognized as a model of lifesaving success.

Charleston Animal Society is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1965, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.charlestonanimalsociety.org/

  2455 Remount Road
North Charleston SC 29406 

  843-747-4849


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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 86.35, 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. 

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

80.4%


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

3.9%


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

15.5%


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

7.0%


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

$0.20


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

2.91 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

4.53%


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 can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. 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



Joe Elmore, Chief Executive Officer

$236,123 (3.10% 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:

Activity data not reported from the IRS


Foundation Status:

Organization that normally receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one-third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes.  509(a)(2) (BMF foundation code: 16)


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.


Charleston Animal Society reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Grants Received


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

In May of 2020, Charleston Animal Society projected between a $1.3 and $2 million-dollar shortfall due to significant loss of program revenue and cancellation of major fundraising events involving large groups of people. We applied for and received a PPP loan and were able to retain staff. In addition, although the Animal Society has remained open and active, with a managed scale-down of operations during the national state of emergency, we expect to see a surge in needs as operations continue to scale up. Unfortunately, a reduction in workforce and shortfall in revenues will contribute to the challenges in meeting those needs. Additionally, approximately 25% of the Animal Society’s income is from Charleston County government as its vendor for the disposition of animals (most animal shelters are government agencies); Charleston County has notified us of a reduction in the contract, which is already subsidized each year by approximately $1M from Animal Society donors.


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

Changes to core functions include: 1. Helping people keep their pets Outreach connects people to services in urban and rural areas of the County. Assistance is reduced pending funding. 2. Finding families for homeless animals Due to the economic crisis, we have waived or reduced adoption fees to place animals as quickly as possible. This has significantly diminished much-needed program revenue. 3. Preventing births of unplanned litters The clinic suspended public spay/neuter in order to not strain the human system of medical supplies. This has led to unplanned, unwanted, litters of animals, which families cannot afford. To meet demand, medical staff requires overtime, which the Animal Society is not in the position to pay. 4. Guiding children to grow into humanitarians Our education team teaches lessons in compassion that in turn, transfers kindness towards others. Camps size reduced from 25 to 10.


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

Our team restructured every component of daily operations to remain open 7 days a week. We safely managed to care for nearly 15,000 animals, fostering 1,759 of the most vulnerable, and adopting 4,248 into loving homes. Per the American Animal Hospital Association guidelines, we ceased non-emergency surgeries thus saving valuable PPE for human hospitals. The team utilized social media and our website to encourage adopters to view available animals prior to coming into the shelter to reduce foot traffic. Plexiglass and masking following all CDC guidelines enabled us to remain fully operational. The Pets for Life outreach team provided support in supplies, food (via safely distanced porch drops), and veterinary care to 1,620 families to keep their pets healthy and at home. The humane education team created lessons in compassion for virtual learning to stream into homes. They taught 3,501 children at the request of teachers helping with their social-emotional stress during the pandemic.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

At this time, we are carefully monitoring the CDC recommendations. Incredibly, our 79 staff shelter and clinic teams are currently at 90% fully vaccinated. The success of the virtual lessons in compassion taught by the humane education team will continue as Charleston County schools reopen. Also, shelter staff at our Animal Resource Center will continue the use of safety windows to greet the public and distribute much-needed pet food, supplies, and veterinary support going forward.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
5/1/20212019 86.35
4/1/20202018 87.73
12/1/20182017 94.16
12/1/20172016 95.14
11/1/20162015 95.27
6/1/20162014 95.47
Rating Version: 2.0
12/22/20152014 91.29
6/1/20152013 95.97
5/1/20142012 95.37
12/20/20122011 91.11
2/1/20122010 86.93
9/20/20112009 86.27
Rating Version: 1.0
2/1/20112009 96.02
2/1/20102008 98.32
12/17/20082007 87.94
12/15/20072006 91.34
12/15/20062005 80.82
1/1/20062004 96.32
2/1/20052003 90.11

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   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

Charleston Animal 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 Charleston Animal 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



Charleston Animal Society reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$3,721,585

Spent in most recent FY

59%

Percent of program expenses


Animal Care


$867,024

Spent in most recent FY

13%

Percent of program expenses


Veterinary Treatment


$329,335

Spent in most recent FY

5%

Percent of program expenses


Education


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   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 Charleston Animal 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


For nearly 150 years, Charleston Animal Society has been preventing cruelty to animals. Nationally recognized as a model for lifesaving success, the Animal Society has become a thought leader in the animal welfare field. They said it couldn’t be done. They said the South was too far behind. They said our state and region were not progressive enough. They were wrong. In 2013, Charleston Animal Society built the first No Kill Community (Charleston County) in the southeast, ending the unnecessary euthanasia of animals, not only across South Carolina’s largest city, but an entire county. Caring for upward of 20,000 animals each year and teaching the value of compassion to thousands of children, Charleston Animal Society has transformed how we approach compassion toward both animals and each other. With focus, strategy and determination, along with a commitment to others, Charleston Animal Society is successfully navigating COVID and continues to be on the forefront of animal welfare.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


Charleston Animal Society will not rest until every animal in need of a loving home has one and people treat animals and each other with kindness, respect and compassion.


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: To build the first No Kill State (South Carolina) in the southern half of the United States, from East Coast to West Coast, by 2024, as evidenced by all 46 counties achieving their measure of success.

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


Goal Two: To enhance the lifesaving capacity of the animal welfare field as evidenced by continued progress in reducing companion animal 1. unnecessary euthanasia 2. overpopulation 3. cruelty and/or neglect

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Three: To be our community's charity of choice and sustain the highest tier of a cadre of charity ratings.

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

Charleston Animal Society (CAS) has built a culture of investing in its staff and encouraging leadership and participation in “paying forward” to build a safer and healthier community for all. Staff are encouraged to pursue continuing education, professional development and credentialing. The organization as a whole also pursues this. CAS provides full funding for these opportunities. Currently, CAS has more Certified Animal Welfare Administrators (the vanguard of animal welfare credentialing) than any other organization in the country. CAS actively provides overall training, updates and emerging trends to the entire staff with specialty training by functional area. Julie Morris Leadership Development Fund: In October of 2019, the Board of Directors established this Fund to support the strategic long-term development of senior leadership, both staff and Board, to ensure able and exemplary leadership of the organization. Note: This fund currently sponsors a bachelor's degree.

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?

Charleston Animal Society (CAS) collaborates with multiple organizations to make communities safer/healthier for families. As a leading disaster responder, CAS works with organizations across the southeast to evacuate shelter animals out of harm's way during hurricanes, flooding and other disasters, along with large-scale animal cruelty operations. In addition, CAS works with shelters across South Carolina's 46 counties to rescue the most at-risk animals, providing refuge for them and/or transporting them to other animal organizations, such as those in the northeast. CAS is regularly asked to present at conferences, webinars, courses of instruction, etc. in both animal welfare and marketing/fundraising. CAS has organized national training for area organizations and animal control/law enforcement personnel to obtain professional certification. CAS is a leading/founding member of the SC Animal Care/Control Association, SC Animal Legislative Coalition and No Kill South Carolina.

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.


As each and every one of us struggled to navigate the uncertainties of an unprecedented global pandemic in our lifetimes during 2020 and 2021, many private sector entities were set back or ended. Not only did CAS effectively respond to COVID, it stepped up its effort to help others in their time of need, supported by its 18,000+ membership. Note: A CAS member is one who gives a gift of their time (volunteer), home (adopter) or income (donor). CAS began watching the spread of COVID in January 2020, made preparations and sailed forward into the storm, not knowing when or if it would successfully arrive on the other side. The lifesaving organization continued to operate 24/7, only reducing its elective surgeries (appr. 5,000) in response to the nationwide shortage of critical supplies needed for the human healthcare system. As an animal hospital, CAS uses the same supplies as human hospitals. In fact, when CAS learned of the dire shortage of supplies at Charleston’s VA Hospital, CAS donated supplies to the VA. In addition to its assistance to the VA Hospital, CAS reached out to struggling organizations across our state and region to assist them. From the Lowcountry to the Pee Dee to the Midlands and to the Upstate, CAS was there and continues to be when COVID crippled their operations by taking in animals from their overcrowded shelters and helping them market adoptions. In July 2021, CAS organized the largest annual adoption event (PickMe! SC) for dogs and cats in the United States achieving upward of 2,000 adoptions across South Carolina. During the most active hurricane season on record (2020), the Gulf States were pummeled on top of the pandemic. CAS was there time and again, responding when no one else would or could, to evacuate hundreds of animals out of harm’s way. One of the measures of how dedicated the CAS staff is in saving lives and being prepared to help others is that 92% of the staff were fully vaccinated against COVID by Memorial Day.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


Joe Elmore

President & Chief Executive Officer

Laurel Greer

Chair

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Charleston Animal Society is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback or Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen and Equity Practices sections of their Candid profile.

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.


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. 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.



Methodology


We've partnered with 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.


Learn more about the methodology.

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. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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