Faunalytics’ Pro Bono Support: 2022 Progress
You may be familiar with our Original Research program, Research Library, Fundamentals series, and Faunalytics Explains videos, but did you know that we also provide free, one-on-one research and strategy support to animal advocates around the world?
We launched our pro bono Office Hours program in 2019 to connect with our users and offer more individualized advice for individuals and organizations. Since then, we’ve helped more than 200 advocates find critical data, design their own research, strengthen alliances in the movement, and more!
To track how we’re doing, we began collecting metrics and soliciting feedback on the program in 2020. Last year we published a blog about our achievements, and now we’re excited to share an update on our progress.
Below, we explore how our pro bono support program has been used over the past year, as well as feedback from users about their experience.
Just as we cover research on many different topics in animal advocacy, we’re also proud to support animal advocates who work in a wide variety of cause areas. The figures below show the topics and causes covered by our Office Hours over the past year, defined by the support provider after each session.
Note that the percentages may not add up to 100% because sometimes more than one cause area applies.
So far in 2022, we’ve supported 56 advocates and organizations across the wide range of cause areas and topics described above.
While we’re available for many different research, strategy, and general support questions, we tend to find that most people who attend our Office Hours need help finding data to inform their projects and campaigns, scoping problems related to their work, and designing research projects of their own. We’re glad to be able to help in all of these areas and more!
After making use of our pro bono support program, we ask participants to fill out a voluntary survey about our performance. Not every advocate who receives a survey completes it, often because the amount of support they received was low or because they already filled out a survey after a previous session.
Below, you’ll find responses to our survey over the past year. The response rate since 2021, when we started tracking invitations sent, is 93%.
As you can see, 96% of respondents said we partially or completely answered their question, which is similar to last year’s result of 97%. Likewise, 99% of attendees were at least somewhat satisfied with the outcome of their session, compared to 97% of attendees last year.
While we’re pleased to see that the vast majority of respondents are satisfied with our support, we know there is always room for improvement. We always make an effort to provide comprehensive answers to everyone’s questions, but sometimes it’s not possible to answer a question directly — for example, there may not be research available on a particular topic. In those cases, we do our best to guide the attendee on the right course, whether that means providing them similar data or directing them to other resources where they may find helpful information.
We also ask our attendees to weigh in on the usefulness of our support, and how they’ll be using our advice in their work. This helps us understand the impact of our pro bono support program. As is evident below, this year’s numbers are encouraging.
We’re delighted to see that 100% of attendees will probably or definitely use what they learned in their work. This has remained the same since last year’s survey, and it suggests that our support is making a direct impact in the movement.
It’s also interesting to know how advocates plan to apply the information. For example, most attendees said they will use what they learned to measure the effectiveness of an advocacy program, inform their advocacy decisions, or improve internal practices at their organization. This is different from last year, where most attendees used what they learned to inform other advocacy research, measure the effectiveness of an advocacy program, or improve advocacy techniques.
In addition to quantitative data, we also ask participants to weigh in with written comments about their experience attending our Office Hours. This input helps us paint a fuller picture of how we’re doing, and we’re extremely proud to receive such glowing feedback.
We also appreciate constructive comments that tell us what we can do to improve! For example, last year attendees requested sessions in different time zones. As a result, we’ve tried to make our program more accessible to advocates around the world.
Below is some selected feedback over the past year, shared with permission from the people who provided it.
- “I’m so thankful a coworker referred me to Faunalytics. I can’t believe that I got such quick and helpful responses! I will definitely come back to the site to help me as I research.” April Piazza-Shelp, Instructor of Anthrozoology, Beacon College
- “I reached out, despite having missed office hours. Karol responded immediately and suggested I reach out to Jo, then Jo responded, in way more depth than I could have expected, and provided exactly what I needed to create a much better, more useful and impactful survey.” Jennifer Tourkin, Solutionary Vegan
- “I spoke to Andrea Polanco today and wanted to say a huge thank you to her for taking the time to chat about effective animal advocacy…Our chat was very helpful and I’m so glad to know she is part of a community and organization that make[s] themselves available like this and are doing their best to help animal advocates everywhere be more effective with their forms of outreach…” Conor Flynn
- “Talking to Jo in office hours and getting her valuable insight as a research director into how to make my [graduate school] application as effective as possible was game-changing. I am further grateful for the connections Jo has helped me make through the RECAP group of social scientists with the common interest of ending animal consumption. My experience with Faunalytics has been incredibly rewarding both as a volunteer and as someone seeking support in my career goals.” Anonymous
As our pro bono support program continues to gain momentum, we can’t wait to help even more animal advocates in the coming year. If you haven’t already, be sure to learn more about the program and stop by a session that suits your schedule and needs! We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find ways to be even more effective for animals. See you soon!