Faunalytics’ Pro Bono Support: 2023 Progress
If you’re a fan of Faunalytics, you already know about our Original Research, Research Library, Fundamentals, and Faunalytics Explains series. One of our newer resources that’s been gaining steam and helping advocates is our Pro Bono Support program. Through it, we provide free, one-on-one research and strategy support to animal advocates around the world.
At the beginning of 2019, Faunalytics began holding regular Office Hours and making a more concerted effort to connect animal advocates and provide 1:1 support. As the pilot program progressed and gained steam, we began tracking various metrics related to it in 2020, and have begun soliciting direct feedback on the program from the people who use it. Since then, we have helped more than 300 advocates find critical data, design their own research, strengthen alliances in the movement, and more!
Below, we explore how our Pro Bono Support program has been used over the past year and since its inception, and look at feedback from advocates about their experiences.
We cover research on many different topics in animal advocacy, and we’re proud to support animal advocates who also work in a wide variety of cause areas across the globe. The figures below show the topics and causes covered by our Office Hours over the past year, defined by the advocate who attended after each session.
Do note that the percentages may not add up to 100% because sometimes more than one cause area applies for a given advocate. So far in 2023, we have already supported 55 advocates and organizations across the wide range of cause areas and topics described below.
While we are 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 are proud 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 — for some, the amount of support they received may be low for a given question, or advocates may have already filled out our survey after a previous session. Below, you will find responses to our survey – the response rate since 2021, when we started tracking invitations sent, is 90%.
As you can see, 96% of respondents said we partially or completely answered their question, which is the same as last year’s result. Likewise, 100% of attendees were at least somewhat satisfied with the outcome of their session, which again mirrors the 100% of attendees last year.
While we are pleased to see that the vast majority of respondents are satisfied with our support, we know there is always room for improvement. It is noted that a larger percentage of folks this year reported we only partially answered their question (13%) compared to 9% last year. 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 the exact 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 with 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 will be using our advice in their work going forward. This helps us understand the impact of our pro bono support program. As is evident below, this year’s numbers are very encouraging.
We are delighted to see that 100% of attendees for the third year in a row state that they will probably or definitely use what they learned in their work. This suggests that our support is making a direct impact in the movement, and is a needed resource.
Interestingly, how advocates plan to apply the information has changed quite a bit from previous years. Most notably, “To improve your advocacy materials (e.g., adding facts)” and “To inform other research that will be useful to advocates” saw major increases compared to the previous years, while “To improve internal practices at your organization” decreased from 35% in 2022 to only 4% in 2023. It’s encouraging to us to see such a large increase in advocates conducting their own research, and able to use our services to do so.
Finally, while all of these quantitative results are wonderful to see, the numbers above only tell part of the story. Below is some selected feedback shared with permission from the people who provided it. Comments like these let us know that we are on the right track with serving the animal advocacy community, and we are incredibly proud to share such positive words about what we do. We also truly appreciate suggestions about how we can improve the support we provide.
- There’s no doubt that you folks really care about what you do. You’ve been such a great help to us and the generosity you show with your time motivates me, and undoubtedly others in animal advocacy, to do the same. More specifically, Andrea was very helpful today and took her time with everything. No part of the session felt rushed. Thanks! ~Stephen F., Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
- Very many thanks to Karol for taking the time to help the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition contribute to our curriculum for the development of our high school and college student advocates. ~Kiely Smith, FFAC
- Really great service for advocates. Andrea was so friendly and helpful. I got a lot of insight from having a Zoom call rather than just over email. And Andrea was kind enough to follow up with me via email too and respond to other questions. ~Natalie Braine, Animal Think Tank
- It is very useful for us to have value-aligned people with animal welfare science experience to weigh in on whether wild animal welfare projects are likely to actually address welfare, and how they can be improved. ~Luke Hecht, Wild Animal Initiative
- I’ll definitely use some of the techniques and questions she suggested and she was kind enough to offer to look over my survey drafts. ~Jennifer Wyglinski, VegFest Inc
The survey results are clear: our pro bono support program continues to be a valuable resource for animal advocates. If you have not already, be sure to learn more about the program and stop by a session that suits your schedule and needs.
We’re also excited to report two additional team members will soon be joining karol, Andrea, and Zach in holding weekly office hours, increasing our availability as well as expanding the times we are available. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find ways to be even more effective for animals.