Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1994, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information


Eureka Spgs AR 72632-9185

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Encompass Rating System by Charity Navigator

Overall Score


out of 100

This charity's score is a passing score.
This overall score is calculated from multiple beacon scores: 85% Finance & Accountability, 10% Leadership & Adaptability, and 5% Culture & Community

Learn about the Encompass Rating System: Overview | FAQ | Release Notes

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...   Finance & Accountability

This score provides an assessment of a nonprofit's financial health (stability, efficiency and sustainability) and its commitment to governance practices and policies.

Finance & Accountability Score


out of 100

The score earned by Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc. is a passing score

This V4 of the Finance & Accountability Score provides a baseline measure of an organization’s health including the indicators listed in the report below.

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

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Finance & Accountability Report


of 100 points

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio


Higher effect on score

More data  

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.

Program Expense Percentage

Amount of Credit Received

70% or higherFull Credit
60% - 69.9%Partial Credit
Below 50%Zero Points for Both Program Expense percentage AND Liabilities to Assets

Source: IRS Form 990

Board Composition

5/8 Independent

Higher effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for at least 3 board members, with more than 50% of those members identified as independent (not salaried).

The presence of an independent governing body is strongly recommended by many industry professionals to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other organizational matters.

Source: IRS Form 990

Independent Audit or Financial Review


Higher effect on score

An Audit, Review, or Compilation provides important information about financial accountability and accuracy. Organizations are scored based on their Total Revenue Amount:

Total Revenue Amount

Expectation to Receive Credit

$1 million or higherExpected to complete an audit
$250,000 - $1 millionExpected to complete an audit, review, or compilation
Less than $250,000No expectation (removed from scoring methodology)

Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio


Lower effect on score

The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990). This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and/or long-term sustainability.

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

Amount of Credit Received

Less than 50%Full Credit
50% - 59.9%Partial Credit
60% or moreNo Credit

Source: IRS Form 990



Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for a website on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency metric.

Nonprofits act in the public trust and reporting publicly on activities is an important component.

Source: IRS Form 990

Conflict of Interest Policy


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a conflict of interest policy on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.

This policy protects the organization and by extension those it serves, when it is considering entering into a transaction that may benefit the private interest of an officer, director and/or key employee of the organization.

Source: IRS Form 990

Board Meeting Minutes


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has this process in place as an accountability and transparency measure.

An official record of the events that take place during a board meeting ensures that a contemporaneous document exists for future reference.

Source: IRS Form 990

Document Retention and Destruction


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a document retention and destruction policy per the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.

This policy establishes guidelines for the handling, backing up, archiving and destruction of documents. These guidelines foster good record keeping procedures that promote data integrity.

Source: IRS Form 990

Whistleblower Policy


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a whistleblower policy per the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.

This policy outlines procedures for handling employee complaints, as well as a confidential way for employees to report financial or other types of mismanagement.

Source: IRS Form 990

Additional Information


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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 up to five of this organization's highest compensated employees. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts include salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting











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


Wildlife sanctuary or refuge (BMF activity code: 355)

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)


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.

Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc. reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Grants Received

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

For the first time in our history, Turpentine Creek closed to the public on March 17th, 2020 for three months because of COVID-19 quarantine. We lost vital Spring Break income from lodging and visitors during that time. Because we learned that tigers are susceptible to this virus, we immediately began taking extra precautions with all of our animals. Throughout 2020 we economized to ensure the daily care and feeding of our animals could continue, despite -15,737 fewer visitors, and $27,500 in PPE/safety expenses. (Resulting in the loss of -$27,396.94 net yearly income compared to 2019, despite drastic cutting of our expenses by -$102,775.88). The extreme cold forced yet another closure February 10 – 24; repairs to pipes and buildings, coupled with the loss of visitor income, pushed total February monthly revenue loss to -$37,419.08.

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

Despite the pandemic, we rescued 12 big cats in 2020. In 2021 we have rescued two servals, a hyena, and 13 big cats. We work to ensure that the animals in our care and their routines, including their daily care and weekly changing enrichment, remain unaffected by COVID-19. Meanwhile, our Education Department, established in 2018, had to make major adjustments due to COVID-19. In 2020 the program innovated to offer classes and virtual tours online worldwide through Skype in the Classroom and Zoom, reaching 3,040 students in 24 different states and 12 countries. In 2021 they have expanded Zoom and Skype in the Classroom offerings and created a dedicated Education website with downloadable curriculums for educators. Programming is focused on spreading awareness for youth to better the treatment of captive wildlife, and further the preservation of wild species and their habitats throughout the world.

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

During quarantine, we offered virtual tours. Post-quarantine, all staff wear masks and gloves to care for our animals, and all guests over three yrs. were required to wear masks anywhere on the property. We began an online reservation system to book visits, collect contact information, and restrict the number of guests allowed at one time. All tours became escorted from start to finish and include an open-air tram with bench seating that allowed us to socially distance each party. Overnight accommodations were booked with a 24-hour break to allow for deep cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces. All in-person specialty (behind-the-scenes) tours were suspended to protect our elderly animals, and the virtual tours have been adapted to specialty tours. While we've lifted the mask requirement on the tram portion of our tour since restrictions have lifted in recent weeks, we continue to require masks on all other parts of the property to protect our animals and humans from COVID-19.

Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We plan to keep the online reservation system to better track and segment potential supporters, and will also keep the tram included in our tour as a courtesy to our guests because of positive feedback we have received. Our Education department now has a following in countries from Brazil to India, and we plan to continue our virtual tours and classes, along with our Education Website and downloadable curriculums for educators.

...   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

Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc. 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 Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc.? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.

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Additional Information


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Largest Programs

Largest Programs

Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc. reported its largest program on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses


...   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


out of 100

The score earned by Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc. is a passing score.

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


of 100 points


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

To provide lifetime refuge for abused and neglected “Big Cats” with emphasis on tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses


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

Through public education we work to end the Big Cat Trade, making sanctuaries like Turpentine Creek no long necessary; together, we can preserve and protect these magnificent predators in the wild for our children’s future.

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: How we educate youth in classrooms, onsite & online about the big cat trade; how wildlife, ecosystems, & humans are interdependent, & why sustainability matters to preserve these animals in the wild.

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

Goal Two: TCWR gives people the tools to advocate for big cats, to end the Big Cat Trade within our lifetime. Once the Big Cat Public Safety Act is passed into law, cub-petting will be illegal in all 50 states.

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

Goal Three: To lower stress & better animals' physical & mental wellbeing; wellness exams, dental work, & procedures to save an animal’s life, our mission demands that we provide the best lifetime care possible.

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 encourage all our department heads to take advantage of webinars and online classes that can improve their capabilities through our Donor Perfect subscription, free online classes offered by Auburn University, and other non-profit webcasts such as those offered by Network for Good. We also invest each year in interpretive guide training for our Education Team, along with their certification by the National Association for Interpretation (N.A.I.) Another term for interpreters could be visitor experience specialists; our wildlife interpreters are critical to spreading awareness of our mission. Lastly, in order to help ensure a successful capital campaign for our future Visitor Education Center, which will house classroom and exhibit space as well as an improved gift shop with educational merchandise, we invested in an outside consultant to train our capital campaign staff. By investing in the leadership development of our team, we hope to ensure the future of our misson.

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?

Since 1992 TCWR has aided law enforcement & the court system to rescue over 500 animals from neglect & abuse nationwide, providing lifelong care. Our accreditation by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) signifies we provide the highest level of care and safety possible. We work with the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance, GFAS, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to share information to improve public education & better the care of captive animals. We spread our mission via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Tiktok, & offer online classes via Skype in the Classroom, Zoom & our Education Website. Since '97 our intern program annually attracts 100+ applicants for 18 six-month positions, & more than 350 interns from all over the globe have completed the program, many returning for multiple terms. Not only are we providing a quality background for individuals in the animal care industry but we also recruit team members from our own internship programs.

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.

This past year our communications, donor development, and gift shop teams have innovated and adapted to increase online revenue to compensate for less visitors and in-person donations. We expanded our online gift shop inventory, marketing it through social media, and also hosted a number of successful virtual auctions to generate profits for animal care/feeding. In addition, we increased donor communications through personalized correspondence and phone calls to check on our supporters during these difficult times, and inform them of our latest rescue efforts, life-saving medical procedures (such as groundbreaking chemotherapy treatments to save 12-yr-old tiger BB King's life) and new projects (like our in-ground pools to improve existing habitats). Throughout 2020 our entire team economized to ensure that the daily care and feeding of our animal residents could continue as always, despite fewer visitors, and PPE/safety expenses. Since reopening after the March 2020 quarantine, we began several safety measure, strongly urging all visitors to book their visits online, and asking all visitors to fill out a contact form prior to accessing tour availabilty, so we could notify them with any information about COVID-19 community spread. All tours we converted to being completely escorted from start to finish, with masks required anywhere on Refuge property for anyone over the age of 3. At that time tour sizes were strictly limeted to allow for social distancing measures. We also moved all our tours to open-air tram tours instead of walking, at no additional cost. Meanwhile, our lodging department has worked diligently to put our guests at ease with thorough sanitation and contactless check-in. As restrictions eased, we adapted by allowing guests to explore our discovery area once again, before and after the tram portion of their tours. Mask wearing is now optional on the tram, but reguired elsewhere. To date, no animal or guest has contracted COVID.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   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


out of 100

The score earned by Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc. is a passing score.

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


of 100 points

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

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?

Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Paper surveys, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email

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 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

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.

Due to feedback from our past interns, we have revised our Alumni Association, including the opportunity for them to become involved in our advocacy campaign and inclusion in virtual meetings where they can share new experiences and knowledge to further the welfare of big cats and other captive wildlife.


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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