Faunalytics’ Pro Bono Support: How We’re Doing
Faunalytics’ entire existence as an organization is about helping the animal advocacy movement be as informed and effective as can be. We accomplish our mission every day through the presence of our Research Library, Fundamentals series, Explainer videos, and Original Research program. However, as extensive and in-depth as those resources are, they can sometimes be a lot to dig through, and sometimes your research and data questions may be so specific or particular that we haven’t answered them (yet!).
At the beginning of 2019, Faunalytics began holding regular Office Hours and making a more concerted effort to connect with our users and provide open, 1:1 support for individual advocates and organizations. 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.
Below, we dig into both how our pro bono support program has been used, as well as some of the feedback we’ve gotten since we started.
The figures below show the rough topics and cause areas covered by the pro bono support program, defined by the support provider after each session. The percentages may not add up to 100% because sometimes more than one topic or cause area applies.
In total, since we began tracking in 2020, the program has helped 122 advocates and organizations across the broad range of topics and cause areas shown above. More specifically, we have helped people with everything from questions about designing their own research, finding particular stats to use in research projects or for advocacy materials, finding data to help support / bolster legal advocacy campaigns, and so much more. Truly, our pro bono support is as individual as the advocates who take us up on it.
The pro bono support survey was launched in August 2020, and we started tracking how many people were sent the survey in 2021. It’s worth noting that not every advocate who receives personal support receives the survey, typically because the amount of support provided was low or the person has completed the survey before.
The response rate since 2021, when we started tracking invitations sent, is 71%.
It’s always great to hear that we’ve answered people’s questions, and that they are generally satisfied with the information we’ve provided. Sometimes, we’re not able to answer a question directly — often because the research on that specific question doesn’t exist. In such cases, our team always makes an effort to provide some data that will at least set them on the right course, and potentially reveal other sources that may be useful to them.
Moving from satisfaction to usage, we see encouraging numbers as far as how much support recipients believe that what they’ve learned will be useful and applicable to their work.
Finally, while all of these quantitative results are wonderful to see — and with this baseline, we’ll be able to continue to track these numbers to better understand how we can keep improving this program.
However, the numbers above don’t tell the whole story. Below is some selected feedback shared with permission from the people who provided it. Comments like these let us know that we’re on the right track with serving the animal advocacy community, and we’re 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!
- “Jo is incredibly smart and super helpful. She is always friendly and her input/feedback is extremely spot on. She conveys her knowledge in a positive way, without it feeling critical. We are so grateful we found Faunalytics and have been happily spreading the word to other animal advocates. Thank you!” – Wilhelmina Waldman, Well Beings
- “I’m really grateful to Jo for taking the time to review the post-event survey for EA Global: Reconnect. All of her comments were very helpful, ranging from minor language changes to more strategic suggestions like section order and question framing.” – Barry Grimes, Centre for Effective Altruism
- “Creating an effective survey can be challenging. Jo shared ideas to adjust some of our questions to make sure we get the information we need to make the best decisions. I’m enthusiastic that these changes will help us make a difference as we advance humane education to create a better world for animals, people and the environment.” – Zoe Weil, Co-founder and President, Institute for Humane Education
- “Our 30-minute session with Jo was incredibly useful. She asked great questions about our project that really helped us to understand the next steps that we need to take. We are really grateful that you provide this service. Thank you, from everyone at the Beyond Carnism team.” – Beyond Carnism
- “Zach was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. He pulled together a robust list of resources in an extremely short amount of time. I look forward to sharing what I learned with grad students and other audiences.” – anonymous
- “1) Some flexibility in office hours would be helpful since we’re in a different time zone. 2) Perhaps some further guidance would be useful on how to improve our searches on your library” – All Creatures Great & Small, India [Please note that we have acted on the first suggestion by expanding our Ask A Researcher office hours to twice a week at different times to accommodate a much wider range of time zones. For the latter suggestion, we will be creating an updated guide to our website and Library search feature.]
- “I am so appreciative of the work you do and of the support I received from Karol. He listened, offered great feedback, was supportive of my efforts, followed up and was kind. I am so grateful and will use what I learned to further my advocacy efforts.” – Jennifer Tourkin, Student, Institute for Humane Education
- “Faunalytics has helped verify new calculated data regarding the environmental impact of animal derived materials for Collective Fashion Justice twice now. Being able to have a trusted seal of approval on these new numbers is very important for our credibility, and it’s great to have access to support that ensures we aren’t spreading any false information because of errors.” – Emma Hakansson, Collective Fashion Justice
- “The office hours and your competence and availability plus the willingness to work pro bono are key to an agile and effective cooperation with charities. It is flexible and uncomplicated! I will do my best to keep praising your work.” – Thomas Hecquet, Animal Society
As with many of our resources, the interest in our Office Hours has been growing steadily since its inception, and we’re excited by how much it’s gained momentum. It’s just one of the ways that we stay connected directly to animal advocates and advocacy groups, and it helps us to keep our collective ears to the ground of what kinds of questions advocates want answered. If you haven’t stopped by yet, check out the details and drop in when you need to! We’re here to help.