Faunalytics’ 2022 Community Survey Results
For many people surfing the web, online surveys range from slightly annoying to the bane of existence. Whether they promise prizes or not, we’re all used to ignoring calls to give even more of our personal information to companies, and with good reason — don’t we give them enough data already?
For Faunalytics, surveys are crucial. Gathering data from survey respondents is a large part of what makes our Original Research possible, and our Research Library contains thousands of studies that function in much the same way. What’s more, our annual survey of the Faunalytics community is vital: it tells us how well people understand what we do, how they use our resources, what we’re doing really well, and what we can improve upon.
In the following blog, we explore the quantitative and qualitative results and discuss how we plan to use the results moving forward.
Survey & Participants
The 2022 Faunalytics Community Survey ran for the last two weeks of May and received 395 valid responses with 282 complete surveys (71%). This is down slightly from the past two years but is still a very respectable response. While it’s impossible to ensure that this survey is representative because we don’t know exactly who makes up the Faunalytics community, a representative sample of the same size would have a margin of error of ± 4.9%.
Overall, we remain on the right track when it comes to serving our core audience: 97% of the sample agreed that our work is high-quality, and 82% thought our work was either “extremely” or “very” valuable to animal advocacy. We also found that 96% of the sample would probably or definitely recommend us to others — something that an organization with a small budget such as ours relies on to spread the word, so thank you!
Digging deeper, 79% agreed that Faunalytics’ work has helped guide their advocacy decisions, and 74% said that our work was “extremely” or “very” valuable in their area of primary interest — on par with our results last year, and both positive indicators. The results related to area of primary interest were high across the board: 77% of those whose primary interest is animals used for food; 83% of those whose primary interest is animals used in science; 67% of those whose primary interest is wild animals; 58% of those whose primary interest is companion animals; and 65% of those whose primary interest is in other topics. These broadly positive results seem to speak to the depth and breadth of our Research Library, which contains nearly 5,000 study summaries on a huge variety of topics.
The resources most often used were our Original Research studies (62%), email alerts and newsletters (44%), and library summaries (59%). Use of our Fundamentals is now up to 37% of advocates, and the use of our video resources is trending upward as well, perhaps due to our new Faunalytics Explains series which we launched last year.
Below, we look more closely at the quantitative results, including all impact-relevant data, both positive and negative.
About You: Community Characteristics & Demographics
Faunalytics’ community is involved in advocacy in a range of different ways. The most common, which together account for 83% of the sample, are advocates, volunteers with organizations, and academics:
A large majority of the Faunalytics community are primarily interested in animals used for food (65%). With much smaller followings, the next most selected options were ‘other’ (12%, many of whom indicated “all animals” or similar), companion animals (8%), wild animals (7%), animals used in science (6%), animals used in entertainment (1.5%), and animals used for fashion and textiles (1%).
The proportion who chose animals used for food is substantially larger than reported last year (42%), but it’s because we changed the question for clarity, excluding “effective advocacy” to (a) avoid confusion with Effective Altruism as a movement, and (b) provide clearer data about the animals our audience advocates for. For comparison, the effective advocacy category made up 33% of responses last year.
Speaking of Effective Altruism (EA), Faunalytics’ audience spans the spectrum of EA-aligned and grassroots activists. While most respondents indicated that they feel at least a slight alignment with EA, our audience can be roughly thought of in thirds: about 34% describe themselves as very much or completely part of the EA community, another 34% say they are not at all part of the EA community or don’t know what it is, and the remaining 33% fall in between.
Since 2021, we have been collecting data about the demographics of our Community Survey respondents so that we can better support our audience and prioritize equity and inclusivity. This year, our respondents shared the following characteristics:
- 67% women, 31% men, 2% non-binary and other genders
- 15% BIPOC/People of the Global Majority
- 17% LGBTQIA+
- 8% people with disabilities
Interestingly, the proportions of people who identified as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, or having a disability were identical to last year’s. The proportion of women and non-binary people was slightly lower than last year, when we saw 72% female, 26% male, 3% non-binary and other genders.
Key Performance Indicators
Note: These questions were not asked of first-time website visitors, and people who said ‘no opinion/don’t know’ were excluded.
- 97% of the sample agreed that our work is high-quality.
- 82% thought our work is either extremely or very valuable to improving animal advocacy.
- 74% said our work is either extremely or very valuable within their area of primary interest. Specifically:
- 77% of those whose primary interest is animals used for food
- 83% of those whose primary interest is animals used in science
- 67% of those whose primary interest is wild animals
- 58% of those whose primary interest is companion animals
- 65% of those whose primary interest is in other topics
- 96% said that they would probably or definitely recommend Faunalytics to others.
- 79% agreed that Faunalytics’ work has helped guide their advocacy decisions.
- 74% said that Faunalytics’ work has improved their own or their organization’s advocacy efforts.
- 64% agreed that Faunalytics’ work has helped them or their organization reduce suffering and save animal lives. 23% said ‘neither agree nor disagree’ and 12% disagreed. Although this figure is lower, it is important to note that this is a higher bar for us to meet.
- 94% agreed that they understand what Faunalytics does.
The first question below was administered in previous years, but the other three are new in 2022 to assess aspects of our pro bono support program.
- For animal advocacy research and data, 59% of people often or always turn to Faunalytics first, while 20% say they rarely or never come to us first.
- For assistance finding or interpreting research/data, 42% of people often or always turn to Faunalytics first, while 38% say they rarely or never come to us first.
- For assistance designing or conducting their own research, 30% of people often or always turn to Faunalytics first, while 54% say they rarely or never come to us first.
- For assistance getting more involved in advocacy, 33% of people often or always turn to Faunalytics first, while 51% say they rarely or never come to us first.
KPIs Over Time
The graph below shows the percentage of positive values (e.g., very/extremely valuable, probably/definitely yes) for all KPIs over the past few years. Overall, they have remained fairly consistent since 2020 but a few have increased.
Use Of Resources
This year, the percentages of people who had used each of our main resources are as follows:
- Original research studies: 62%
- Email list (newsletters & alerts): 44%
- Library summaries: 59%
- Fundamentals: 37%
- Research Advice section of website: 12%
- Video summaries of research: 17%
- Pro bono support (e.g., via email or office hours): 5%
This figure provides a year-over-year comparison for use of resources.
Use Of Resources Over Time
Compared to 2020 and 2021, there are increases in the use of our Fundamentals and video research summaries. There are decreases in reported use of the email list, Research Advice section of the website, and pro bono support.
There has historically been some confusion over Library summaries vs. email alerts, with people not realizing that the links they follow in the emails lead to the Library. We clarified the wording this year so the 2022 numbers should better reflect true usage.
Awareness Of Resources
This year, the percentages of people who were aware of our main resources are as follows:
- Original research studies: 83%
- Email list (newsletters & alerts): 68%
- Library summaries: 76%
- Fundamentals: 63%
- Research Advice section of website: 39%
- Video summaries of research: 33%
- Pro bono support (e.g., via email or office hours): 33%
This figure provides a year-over-year comparison for awareness of resources.
Awareness of Resources Over Time
Ways Of Using Our Resources
We asked respondents how they have used our resources. Overall, 94% of respondents had put our resources to concrete use, in a wide variety of ways. Here is the complete list:
- To stay up-to-date on the latest relevant research: 73%
- To improve advocacy materials (e.g., by adding facts): 40%
- To improve advocacy techniques (e.g., outreach method): 29%
- To help choose an advocacy strategy: 28%
- To learn about why research and data are important: 21%
- To help design their own research or impact evaluation: 15%
- To help progress in an animal advocacy career or volunteerism: 11%
- To improve internal practices at their organization: 5%
- To help obtain funding or increase donations: 3%
- Other ways: 6%
This list shows the many, varied ways that Faunalytics helps build capacity for the movement.
First-Time Website Visitors
Visitors who reached the survey via the website were asked whether it was their first site visit or not. 49 first-time visitors responded, most of whom (67%) found us through a Google search.
- 74% of first-time visitors said Faunalytics is a good fit for their needs (completely or very much)
- 96% said they would probably or definitely visit the site again in the future
- 74% said they easily found everything they were looking for, 13% found what they were looking for with difficulty, and 13% didn’t find what they were looking for.
While we love numbers, we always want to get a richer and nuanced understanding of how our audience feels about us. The final part of our Community Survey asked respondents to share feedback about which of our resources have been the most useful to them and what we can do to improve. These responses are just as valuable as quantitative data, in different ways.
We’re always happy to see how our resources help advocates to be more effective and efficient. For example, Britty Mann of Planted Society said:
Faunalytics helps us use real data to measure the effectiveness of different advocacy strategies and disseminates timely information that helps us navigate how we show up for animals in different ways. As an advocacy organization, we depend on these essential findings when considering how we spend our limited resources.
Another advocate put it even more concisely:
Faunalytics is the first place I look for recent and relevant research about the most effective ways to reduce the suffering of farmed animals.
Faunalytics believes in the power of research to help the movement — and individual advocates — increase our impact for animals. That’s why comments like this one, from Maneesha Deckha from the University of Victoria, are so encouraging:
Faunalytics improves the rigour of the animal advocacy movement through its emphasis on facts and data and so I am glad it is out there for everyone to visit. I also direct my students to the website when relevant when they are exploring research topics and designing their research. I feel inspired and energized when I engage with the website and I hope they will too.
In addition to bringing rigor, we had advocates remark on the accessibility and relatability of our resources for advocacy — a key aspect of our mission. Jackie Norman from Vegan FTA, said:
I feel Faunalytics has definitely made me a better, more informed advocate…The biggest way it helps me is giving me up to date statistics and information on pretty much any subject at my fingertips. As a vegan, I can be great at telling people why they shouldn’t eat, use or exploit animals in any way but non-vegans want facts, statistics, more evidence than just my opinion as a ‘bleeding heart vegan’. Faunalytics keeps me well armed with all the knowledge I need. I’m also pretty bad at retaining a lot of heavy information but Faunalytics presents it in a way that is easy to read, understand and digest. We are so lucky to have you on our side!
This is just a small snapshot of the positive and encouraging suggestions that we got from you. It’s both heartwarming and affirming to see all of the constructive ways that you use Faunalytics as a resource, and that we help you to help animals.
Incorporating Your Suggestions
Last year, we had three suggestions that came up frequently: expanding our resources with a global focus, ramping up our visual resources, and making our work even more accessible. We implemented those suggestions in a variety of ways.
In expanding our resources with a more global focus, we kept our eyes open for research to summarize and add to our Library. Check out this selection of study summaries that we’ve added to our library since the last Community Survey:
- Elephants In Their Backyards
- Aquaculture In Africa: Promises & Tradeoffs
- Chinese Consumers Perception Of Plant-Based Foods
- Animal Advocacy In Africa: The Time Is Now
- Farmers, Wildlife, And Conservation In India
- The State Of The Rhino 2021
- Urban Chinese Consumers & Cultured Meat
- Tuskless Elephants In Mozambique
- What Drives Plant-Based Eating In Different Cultures?
- What Makes Mammals Targets For Folk Medicine?
- Indians Say They Don’t Eat Meat, But Many Still Do
- We Demand Justice For Animals. What About People?
- South African Consumers Are Ready To Embrace Plant-Based And Cultivated Meat
- Attitudes Towards Lab Animals In Different Countries
- How Do Chinese Consumers Feel About Lab Grown Meat?
- In India, Zoonotic Disease Might Encourage Plant-Based Diets
- Russians Have Been Eating More Plant-Based Alternatives During The Pandemic
- Antarctic Management: A Fresh Perspective With Ancient Roots
- Do Cows get Seasick?
- Vietnam’s Cat Meat Trade
- Veganism In Post-Socialist Estonia
- Cephalopod Welfare In The E.U. And Beyond
- The Environmental Impact Of China’s Food Demand
- Cooperating To Combat The Asian Wild Animal Trade
And that’s not even including our original report, Attitudes Towards Chickens & Fishes: A Study Of Brazil, Canada, China, & India, which comes in English, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Hindi.
On that note, we also began to translate our resources in earnest, including both Original Research and study summaries from our Library. You can check out our growing list of translated resources here. And fear not — we’re working on improvements to our website’s sorting and display that will make navigating these articles a breeze.
In terms of ramping up our visual resources, we continued our overall pace of releasing Fundamentals, Infographics, and Factsheets. However, we ramped up production on the Faunalytics Explains video series. Since our Community Survey last year, we’ve added videos covering everything from animal agriculture subsidies to wool production to the potential barriers in the process of going veg.
- Are Plant-Based Food Labels Confusing?
- Does Anticipated Stigma Prevent Consumers From Going Veg?
- Estimating The Impact Of Conservation Action
- Countering Big Beef’s Playbook
- Is Aquaculture The Lesser Of Two Evils?
- How The USDA Props Up Animal Agriculture
- Pulling The Wool Back From Our Eyes
Finally, to help make our work even more accessible, in addition to making things easier for visual learners, we’ve been paying special attention to simplifying language as much as possible in our editorial process. We’ve also been going through our library summaries (starting with the most recent) and bolding the key findings to make them stand out more. These are subtle but important steps we’re taking to improve the uptake of what we do.
Constructive Suggestions & Moving Forward
In this year’s survey, we identified a few themes in our suggestions for improvement:
- Do more outreach and promotion / publicity: This theme is both encouraging — it shows that you believe in what we do and want more people to know about us! — and a bit difficult because as a small organization with a relatively small budget, it can be challenging to spread the word about what we do. That said, we’ve been slowly increasing our publicity budget over the past couple of years, and are constantly monitoring the ROI of online publicity campaigns to understand how we can advertise more effectively. That being said, we are strong believers that the best publicity is via word of mouth and organic sharing, and that’s where you can help: when you see resources of ours that are useful for you, make sure to share them and shout us out!
- Connecting more with advocacy groups and academics: We received a fair number of comments that encourage us to provide more support for animal advocacy organizations, and make more of an effort to connect with academics. We’re pleased to say that both of these are areas where we are making strong progress: in 2021, we helped 66 different organizations and advocates with direct, 1:1 support through our Office Hours program, and in 2022, we began to do direct outreach to academics whose work we cover in our Research Library. We’ve also recently kicked off a Research Ambassador program, where representatives of Faunalytics will provide free presentations to talk to advocates around the world, all about what research exists to inform your work for animals, the latest insights related to animal protection in your country, and how to apply data to your campaigns. Presentations are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
- Continue to expand research focus globally, and more translated resources: We’re encouraged to see that our audience is increasingly looking at animal advocacy in a big picture, global way, and showing a desire to share our resources in different languages. As mentioned above, these are projects we’re engaged in, and we look forward to continuing them in earnest.
This year, as with last, we’ll be looking closely at the suggestions you’ve made, and we will identify ways we can meaningfully respond. We look forward to implementing your ideas as much as we can, and becoming a better resource for you — and for the animals — in the process.
As we noted last year, our Community Survey is time-limited, but we welcome your feedback year-round. If you have feedback on our work, you can reach us directly via DMs and comments on all of our social media channels, you can leave comments on any blog post and study summary in our library, you can contact us privately and directly through our site, and you can drop in on our office hours if you have specific questions about what we do, or how we do it. We always do our best to respond to every comment and email, but please be patient with us. Our team is mighty but small — thoughtful and thorough responses can take time.
Thank you again for making our annual Community Survey a success. If you have questions or comments about anything you’ve read, or you have further ideas on how we can help you improve your work, reach out to us and let us know. We’re listening.