Faunalytics’ Priorities for 2019
Empowering Advocates And Saving Animals
As we near the end of 2018, I want to say how grateful I am to all of Faunalytics’ supporters, volunteers, staff members, and partners. We’ve had an incredible year and it’s all thanks to your generosity and ongoing support. If you have not had a chance yet, I encourage you to read our 2018 year-in-review blog that we posted last week.
In 2019, Faunalytics will strive to maximize the effectiveness of our original research in a number of ways. Recently, we have begun to formalize a cause prioritization process that we have used for years. Research topics are prioritized according to their potential impact. Impact can take different forms, which Faunalytics ranks in this order:
- Impact through topics that include many animals
- Impact through research that can be used by many advocates
- Impact through quick response to urgent questions for immediate use
- Impact through basic research on unstudied topics
To learn more about our thoughts on prioritizing research to address each of these types of impact, please visit this new page on our site. In addition to our original research, we’ll also be summarizing and sharing hundreds of external studies in our research library and continuing to make improvements to our online resources.
Please keep reading to discover Faunalytics’ planned studies for 2019! I’m excited about our in-progress and planned research and I think you will be too. At the end, I also talk about our “room for more funding.” We’re a small team doing big things for animals and advocates, and I would be grateful if you’d take the chance to double your donation.
Having completed four major projects in the past six months, Faunalytics isn’t slowing down! We’re currently working on six new studies to address important questions for farmed animal advocates and “meta” topics that help the entire movement:
- Faunalytics is wrapping up a partner project to evaluate alternative names for “vegan” or “plant-based” products, including a head-to-head comparison of a diverse set of terms to see which names work best with which audiences. We’ve already completed data collection, so please watch for results by February 2019!
- We are well underway on a qualitative study of consumer response to corporate animal welfare commitments (specifically, cage-free eggs), based on social media comments. A team of trained researchers is identifying themes in the dataset now, with results expected by mid-year.
- We’re analyzing results from a U.S. sample of more than 1,000 donors to animal causes. Our focus is providing an in-depth look at who donates, as well as detailed information about how and why they prefer to do so. Advocacy groups will be able to use the results to shape their donation appeals and methods.
- Faunalytics is designing a study to evaluate the effectiveness of using social norms (e.g., “more and more people are reducing their meat consumption”) for veg*n advocacy. Faunalytics aims to find the best way of using these messages in a campus setting to increase plant-based meal purchases.
- Faunalytics is seeking to understand why some animal advocates become inactive after a few months or years, while others stay engaged long-term. We’re designing a new study of lapsed advocates to address issues like emotional burnout, social support, having a meaningful impact, and perceptions of conflict within the movement.
- Finally, We’re currently working with a group of animal funders to create a new database and mapping tool for animal-related grants. The Animal Funding Atlas is currently in “private beta” as we refine the tool and add more grant data. We’ll continue our work next year to build a platform for more effective animal grant-making.
Studies We’re Thinking About
The Faunalytics team is working hard on projects that will continue through mid-2019 (see above), but we already have big plans for new studies to follow! Our emphasis will be on “meta” topics that serve the entire animal protection movement as well as a focus on farmed animals. We’re also going to add 200 or more study summaries to our extensive research library and provide new tools and resources to help you help animals more effectively. Here’s a snapshot of our tentative study plans:
- Four years ago, Faunalytics conducted groundbreaking research showing that lapsed vegetarians and vegans in the U.S. outnumber current ones. Now we’re thinking about a longitudinal study looking at new veg*ns and reducetarians at multiple time points over the crucial early months of their new commitment. We will look at which habits, tools, and resources help people stick with the diet over time, so that advocacy groups can target their messages effectively and retain as many as possible.
- Our current study of consumer responses to corporate cage-free egg commitments will provide an overview of the type and prevalence of responses to welfare commitments. We hope to take this study a step further by investigating key responses—for instance, complacency versus motivation for more reform—in more detail. We plan to run a simple experiment to provide strong causal information about how different ways of pursuing or presenting reform influence consumer acceptance and behavior.
- Humane education with children is one of the most theoretically promising avenues for expanding the ranks of animal empathizers and advocates, but one of the least studied. Faunalytics would like to undertake this challenging task by partnering with humane educators of school-aged children to compare the outcomes of children who receive humane education against a control group of age-matched students from the same schools.
- How do donors make decisions about which types of animal causes to support? Does more money going to companion animals necessarily mean less to farmed animals, or is it just that companion animal causes are much more visible? Using an experimental design, we will look at how much people donate when they have just the option of donating to a farmed animal cause versus the option of donating to multiple animal causes.
In addition to the ideas above, we’re constantly talking with other advocates and researchers to identify new study opportunities. A few possibilities we’re considering include an experiment to determine which specific animal issues serve as effective “on ramps” to encourage broader animal advocacy, research focused on China, and more donor research to increase contributions to animal causes.
To get more details about these planned/proposed studies, please go here.
Our Room For More Funding
In a recent review of resources for animal advocacy, Animal Charity Evaluators concluded that capacity building efforts for the movement should receive more funding. Not surprisingly, we agree! Faunalytics is entirely dedicated to building the knowledge and strategic capacity of animal advocates by providing answers to critical questions through research.
With the in-progress and planned studies described above, plus our extensive research library, Faunalytics is inspiring more effective animal advocacy. But we need your support to keep the momentum going and move forward on our planned studies. Specifically, we’re seeking to raise an additional $200,000 for next year, which breaks down as follows:
- $115,000 to design, conduct, analyze, and share results from 5-6 new studies
- $69,500 to increase staff capacity across research, operations, and communications
- $14,500 for technical improvements to our website, research library, and email alerts
Faunalytics focuses on providing the kinds of insights that most animal protection groups lack the resources or the expertise to obtain on their own. It’s about helping advocates work smarter for animals to make the most of our limited resources. With your generous support, we look forward to many more studies that will help all of us find the best ways to help animals.
By focusing on research that answers key questions for many organizations at once, Faunalytics’ independent studies are a smart investment for effective animal advocacy. Support for our programs is highly leveraged because our independent research is used widely, our library shares hundreds of studies per year, and we help some of the most effective groups measure their impact.
Your support of Faunalytics is crucial to making this happen. Right now, you can double your gift! All donations are being MATCHED by a generous supporter through December 31st, up to $15,000. Can we count on your tax-deductible gift this year?