Faunalytics’ 2019 Year In Review
What a year! Thanks to your support, 2019 was the most productive and impactful year in the nearly two decades that Faunalytics has been helping advocates help animals. In recognition of our achievements, we have been designated an ACE Standout Charity and a GuideStar Platinum Nonprofit.
Keep reading to see what Faunalytics accomplished in 2019 and please donate by end of year to have your gift matched! With your help, we’ll achieve even more for animals in 2020!
Building An Effective Movement
Faunalytics is a different kind of animal advocacy group. Instead of working directly to persuade people, companies, and governments to improve attitudes, behaviors, and policies toward animals, Faunalytics seeks to improve animal advocacy itself. Most of Faunalytics’ work is devoted to building the capacity of the animal protection movement, which has the potential to make a big and lasting impact but isn’t a focus for most animal groups.
We describe Faunalytics’ work to help animals in our Theory of Change. Our programs seek to identify effective strategies and tactics to better inform animal advocates, find opportunities for more effective activism, gauge the movement’s impact, and strengthen alliances to benefit animals. In turn, our research and resources are used to influence individuals, companies, policies, and laws. Just another day spent building an effective movement!
In 2019, Faunalytics took our focus on movement-building to a new level. We undertook studies to increase donations and volunteering for animal causes and worked directly with dozens of organizations and advocates to help them be more effective for animals. We also informed the work of many thousands of advocates, academics, and interested people through our website, research library, and other resources. Here are some highlights:
- By the end of 2019, we will have added more than 200 new studies to our comprehensive research library. This includes identifying new research on important topics, summarizing and interpreting the results, and highlighting the most important data for advocates. In 2019 we will also publish more than 50 blogs exploring key topics and strategies.
- This year, Faunalytics assisted more than two dozen groups and advocates through our newly established office hours and other pro bono support. For example, we helped Animals Now analyze and disseminate very promising results about their Challenge 22+ program’s impact on meat consumption. We also updated the research advice section of our website to help advocates conduct their own studies while sticking to best practices.
- Currently about 1% of all giving in the U.S. goes to animals, and Faunalytics wants to help increase that number. We’ve made donor research one of our focal points — our most recent experiment compared appeals focused on individuals versus statistical victims. This builds on our donor study from earlier in the year and follow-up analyses describing who supports animal causes and how much they give, also published in 2019.
Funding is important, but so are people! Animal advocates experience burnout and compassion fatigue. Some of them suffer from discrimination or harassment. To build an effective movement, we must work together to find solutions. In November 2019, Faunalytics launched a major study of former and current advocates to better understand the topic. Results will be published the second quarter of 2020. See the pre-registered details.
Doing Research For Good
Key aspects of Faunalytics’ work for animals are our independent studies and resources. We combine deep experience in animal advocacy with PhD-level expertise in research and evaluation to answer the most critical questions. To ensure our research has the greatest possible impact and helps as many advocates and animals as possible, early in 2019 we created a new research prioritization framework while also increasing our focus on independent studies.
In addition to those mentioned above, in 2019 Faunalytics completed studies to track attitudes and behavior, gauge the impact of corporate animal welfare commitments on public opinion, and understand which plant-based food labels are most appealing. We also created new graphic resources about companion animals and summary videos for our major studies. Below is a summary of the studies and resources we published in 2019.
- Corporate animal welfare campaigns have great potential to reduce animal suffering, but their impact on consumers is still unclear. The continued success of these approaches relies on understanding the public’s reaction to corporate changes. Faunalytics has made corporate campaigns a focus for our research, starting with a qualitative study of how people respond to announcements of cage-free commitments, including a summary video.
- Faunalytics believes in the power of both institutional and individual change and we have a track record of studying meat consumption, veg*ism, and how to encourage more ethical food choices. In 2019 we continued this work with several new resources including an in-depth study of food labeling alternatives to “vegan” or “plant-based.” We summarized the findings in a new video and followed up the main study with an analysis of the association between eating conventional meat and alternative products.
- Faunalytics completed the 12th and final year of the animal protection movement’s only longitudinal study of opinions and behavior about animal issues. The Animal Tracker covered a wide range of animal topics and provided detailed demographic information for a representative sample of U.S. adults. We published a summary covering all 12 years of the study. You can also access all past reports and datasets or explore our graphing tool.
Faunalytics focuses on studying farmed animals and “meta” topics that apply to all animals, but we know that reliable data is important for everyone. To this end, we summarize the best and latest information for some topics in our interactive graphic series of “fundamentals.” We published a new fundamental for companion animals and started another one for wildlife that will be published in early 2020.
The Future Of Faunalytics
All of our accomplishments in 2019 are only possible because of Faunalytics’ generous supporters and our incredibly talented team. We nearly doubled the capacity of our research team, which allowed us to complete ten new studies and analyses during the year. Dr. Jo Anderson continues to lead our independent research with the support of PhD candidate Tom Beggs. They are joined by Karol Orzechowski who spearheads our research library and visual content.
We had more news in 2019, which marked the conclusion of a five-year plan to find my successor. As Faunalytics’ founder and sole executive director for nearly 20 years, I’m thrilled to ensure that we will continue to help create a more informed and effective animal protection movement under new leadership. Brooke Haggerty will shift from operations manager to acting executive director as of January 1, 2020. I will remain active on the board of directors and stay involved with the team to help support Faunalytics’ priorities, programs, and projects. See our blog for details about the change.
Thanks to our small-but-wonderful team, our board of directors and advisors, our dedicated volunteers, and our thoughtful supporters, Faunalytics will be even more productive in 2020. We have big plans to conduct high-impact research studies, create new online resources, and expand our team to increase our impact for animals and advocates. See our detailed blog covering our plans and priorities for 2020.
Animals Need Us. We Need You.
I’m so proud of our team and of our accomplishments in 2019. I hope you will agree that it’s an impressive set of achievements for a team of just five people (three of whom were part-time). Thanks to your support, Faunalytics is doing the challenging, often unseen work of equipping animal advocates with the information they need to be as effective as possible. It’s the kind of quiet yet powerful work that will be critical to the future success of the animal protection movement.
On a personal note, I have enjoyed working closely with many of you over the past 20 years. As my role changes, I ask you to please show Faunalytics even more love so that we can continue for the next two decades and beyond! It’s incredibly important to me that Faunalytics succeeds and thrives both during and after the transition in leadership, but we need your support!
Please contribute to Faunalytics’ life-saving work! Right now, you can double your gift! All donations are being MATCHED by a generous supporter through December 31st, up to $25,000.
Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for animals and for Faunalytics in 2019. Together we’ll make even more progress for animals in 2020. Happy holidays!