Mission: Austin Pets Alive! fills critical gaps in Austin's animal live-outcome rate by identifying the key groups of animals that are typically euthanized in a shelter setti ... (More)

Austin Pets Alive is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2000, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  https://www.austinpetsalive.org/

 1156 West Cesar Chavez
Austin TX 78703 

  512-961-6519


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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 93.72, 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 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

80.2%


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

8.8%


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

10.8%


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

3.3%


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

$0.10


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

0.84 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

27.10%


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.
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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 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 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



ELLEN JEFFERSON, EXEC DIRECTOR

$110,000


ALEXIS BARDZINSKI, VETERINARIAN

$109,283


RUSTY TALLY, PRESIDENT

$0


MIKE ROVNER, TREASURER

$0


GERRI KAPPLER, SECRETARY

$0


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:

Activity data not reported from the IRS


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.


Austin Pets Alive reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Balance Sheet


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

COVID-19 made for a tough year, but it was one that proved our ability to adapt and flourish in a crisis, a characteristic that has long been a defining feature of APA!. We had to make a rapid adjustment to our fundraising strategy as our expectations for event, cause-marketing, and business sponsorship income plummeted. We also saw grant funding pulled away from animal welfare to focus on human distress (understandably). Yet our new strategy, based on extensive engagement of individual donors, meant we ended the year $1M over our projected annual contributions. This made up for a near total loss of revenues from 3 thrift stores, which normally provide significant revenues for our programs but were closed for much of the year. A forgiven PPP loan also helped us end the year in the black and avoid any lay-offs. This allowed us to stay on track with a multi-year strategic plan that calls for rapid growth and launching a capital campaign in the near future.


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

While we were able to adapt our own operations and support them through a new funding strategy, COVID-19 left many of the shelters we work with in distress, and so we increased our operations to take in more of their pets. Our intake grew from a usual 10K a year to 12,504. To manage this, we reviewed the protocols of our programs and found ways to reduce contact between humans in handing off pets to the clinic or to adopters and fosters, digitized documents and moved more of our processes online, introduced adoption interviews through video chat, and created a new foster program for contactless pick up of dogs. We moved most of the animals normally cared for in our shelter into foster care. The lifesaving academy we run to teach animal welfare staff from all over the U.S. ceased in-person classes, instead creating online webinars, forums for discussion, online versions of our course work, and greatly increased 1:1 mentorship via phone or video chat.


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

We had all staff who do not work hands-on with animals work from home to reduce contact among people, and divided frontline onsite staff and volunteers into A/B teams so that COVID could not spread across entire staff. We already work primarily through digital processes and paperwork but found ways to move even more online, and to hold all meetings through video-chat. We found ways to engage donors through viritual meetings, even with happy hours where we delivered cocktails to their homes to enjoy during meetings. We increased our use of Facebook live videos to keep our community updated and connected with our mission, and generally found more ways to engage our community in sustain lifesaving of the animals that have no where else to turn.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The major innovation of 2020 was a movement that started out as a way to help the many shelters we teach and mentor across the U.S. deal with the challenges of the pandemic without reducing lifesaving in shelters. This Human Animal Support Services project (HASS) rapidly became a national collaboration, led and hosted by our American Pets Alive! national outreach and education division, to completely re-imagine how animal services are offered to communities across the U.S. HASS re-focuses the work of shelters on preventing animals coming into shelters and brings a stronger focus to serving the human and their pets together. Nearly 40 cities are now implementing this new "shelter without walls" model. Over 700 animal welfare professionals participate in weekly meetings, webinars, and 31 working groups to identify and solve barriers to developing this model. We expect this project to transform animal sheltering and serve both people and pets better far into the future.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
7/1/20212019 93.72
5/1/20202018 95.01
5/1/20192017 99.10
6/1/20182016 93.92
9/1/20172015 83.84

...   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

Austin Pets Alive 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



Austin Pets Alive reported its two largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$7,017,335

Spent in most recent FY

83%

Percent of program expenses


The Organization promoted and provided the resources, education, and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals.


$1,348,067

Spent in most recent FY

16%

Percent of program expenses


The Organization provided structured learning experiences for staff and volunteers from other shelters and rescues to come and learn about the innovative programs that the Organization has developed.


...   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 Austin Pets Alive 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

100

of 100 points

Mission

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


Austin Pets Alive! fills critical gaps in Austin's animal live-outcome rate by identifying the key groups of animals that are typically euthanized in a shelter setting and maintaining comprehensive, innovative programs to address the problems these animals face. APA! developed specialized new programs to care specifically for these groups, thereby reducing their staggering over-representation on euthanasia lists and directly increasing the city's save rate. With a safety net for homeless pets now established and sustainable in Austin, Austin Pets Alive! transfers in at-risk pets from across Texas, and is further scaling its impact nationwide by helping other communities replicate its successes through education. This takes place chiefly through the Maddie's® Learning Academy, which brings students from across the U.S. to learn hands-on and through classwork directly from APA! leaders how to create a safety net for all shelter pets in their communities.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

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


A day when every shelter pet gets a true chance at the life they deserve.


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: Sustainable Growth - Improve financial health and fundraising capacity, develop succession plans, hire key directors to strengthen executive leadership, align work and staff with our values/culture

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


Goal Two: Make Austin the model for animal welfare - develop plans to constantly reassess, improve on and teach best practices; become known for exemplary customer service; improve on PR to inform and inspire

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


Goal Three: Reimagine animal services - lead in rebooting the animal services industry, using evidence/data, policy work, and nationwide collaboration to make systematic, fundamental changes in best practices

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


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

We have recently created a new role for and hired a Strategic HR Director, part of whose responsibility is to greatly improve onboarding of new executive leadership and managers, organize executive leadership meetings and management meetings where leadership and management are discussed, and to provide management training. This covers topics such as how to hold more effective meetings, resolve conflict, mentor staff, create more meaningful performance reviews, etc. The entire organization has recently undergone a review of compensation, roles and hierarchies, work load per role, and time devoted to staff development; and directors and managers are now going through a process to learn how to analyze and act on results.

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

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Examples: We are partnering with for-profit industry stakeholders on research to assess the supply and demand of shelter animals. Our organization is generally considered a thought leader in animal welfare, and our leadership are members of national committees and councils, speak frequently at conferences, and work with universities to publish research based on our programs. We are currently leading and hosting a national collaborative project to re-imagine animal services that includes several hundred animal welfare professionals, animal industry stakeholders, researchers, and data scientists. We engage daily in marketing through various social media channels, blogs and websites to raise awareness of our cause. We have on our staff a talented Director of Policy and Government Relations who works on local, state and national policy related to animals on behalf of shelters across the U.S. as well as our own.

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.


When COVID-19 threatened to shut down animal shelters across the country and reduce lifesaving, we used the network and platforms we had developed through our lifesaving academy to create a forum for animal welfare professionals to gather, discuss and assist each other in response. This rapidly turned into the national collaborative Human Animal Support Services project, to completely re-imagine how animal services are conceived of and extended to communities. The project now includes 39 cities implementing the new animal services model, 31 working groups, involving hundreds of animal welfare professionals, researchers, veterinarians, data scientists, for-profit animal industry stakeholders, etc., volunteering to identify and overcome obstacles to what will be a profound change. Because animal services are most often needed by people facing problems with keeping their pets, we have entered the new territory of human welfare as well, and are building partnership in this sector.

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

100

out of 100

The score earned by Austin Pets Alive 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

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?

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


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

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


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

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


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

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.


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

Note: The organization did not respond to this question.



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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