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Archive for August, 2011

National Federation of the Blind: #7 Expert-Identified People with Disabilities Nonprofit

August 31st, 2011

The #7 nonprofit, the National Federation of the Blind, has made substantial progress towards the integration of blind into society. Learn more about the exceptional work that the National Federation of the Blind supports.

The National Federation of the Blind is the largest organization of the blind in America. Interested sighted persons also join. Founded in 1940, the Federation has grown to include over 50,000 members. The ultimate purpose of the National Federation of the Blind is the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality. This objective involves the removal of legal, economic, and social discriminations; the education of the public to new concepts concerning blindness; and the achievement by all blind people of the right to exercise to the fullest their individual talents and capacities. It means the right of the blind to work along with their sighted neighbors in the professions, common callings, skilled trades, and regular occupations.

(Learn more at:

According to our experts, the National Federation of the Blind’s legislative work has resulted in national policy change for blind people in law, regulation and court cases. The organization has also dramatically improved accessibility of new technologies in the marketplace for blind people. The National Federation of the Blind works with major corporations around the country to create jobs for people with disabilities. Over the past 4 years, the National Federation of the Blind has engaged in a wounded warrior employment project. They have established pilot sites in North Carolina, Texas and Colorado and one of the only nonprofits to have a memorandum of understanding with the army. Read more from US people with disabilities experts here to learn more about the great work the National Federation of the Blind is doing.

National Association of the Deaf (NAD): #8 Expert-Identified People with Disabilities Nonprofit

August 26th, 2011

Our #8 nonprofit, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), strives to empower deaf individuals through advocacy and education. Read more to find out why the NAD is one of the most widely known deaf advocacy organizations in the United States:

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.

Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value.

The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The NAD also carries out its federal advocacy work through coalition efforts with specialized national deaf and hard of hearing organizations, as well as coalitions representing national cross-disability organizations.

On the international front, the NAD represents the United States of America to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), an international human rights organization.

Individual and organizational membership makes it possible for the NAD to ensure that the collective interests of the American deaf and hard of hearing community are seen and represented among our nation’s policy makers and opinion leaders at the federal level.

The NAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by the generosity of individual and organizational donors, including corporations and foundations.

(Learn more about them at:

According to expert reviews, the National Association of the Deaf serves as an advocate for human rights and a better life quality for 35,000,000 deaf and hard of hearing Americans.  The NAD has advocated for better visual communication technologies and high quality education for deaf people, families and professionals who serve them, and interpreters. The NAD works through coalition efforts with specialized national deaf and hard of hearing organizations, as well as coalitions representing national cross-disability organizations, to accomplish their goals. Read more expert reviews here to find out more about the high impact of the NAD’s work.

Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit Countdown: Highlighting Nonprofits #9-15

August 25th, 2011

In addition to the organizations highlighted above, there are many more nonprofits that are advocating for animal rights in the United States. These 7 other expert-identified nonprofits were noted for their high impact work.

#9 Animal Legal Defense Fund

Since its founding, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has done exceptional work in the area of animal law and has broadened its base both in attorney involvement and in reaching out to law schools and laws students. The organization also does top notch litigation and has very strong leaders- including the founder who still works for the organization but passed along the helm to another very capable and talented leader. According to experts, they were the first and are still the premier organization focused on the legal system with relation to animal issues. Read more about them here.

#10 Mercy for Animals

Mercy for Animals conducts investigations of farms and slaughterhouses and creates a great deal of awareness when the media picks up on these stories. They also have a very consistent and large grassroots effort to educate individuals about factory farming with consistent outreach in many of the largest metropolitan areas on the U.S. Read more about them here.

#11 Humane Alliance of WNC (Humane Alliance)

Humane Alliance of WNC is responsible for setting the gold standard for high quality high volume low cost spay/neuter programs. They captured and documented the critical elements of their success and have been willing to share this from day one. They continued to improve when they built a national training center and secured the funding partnerships to ensure that organizations across the country would have the opportunity to take advantage of this model. Dozens of high impact clinics have opened across the country as a result. Read more about them here.

#12 Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd has been effective at focusing worldwide attention and significant action on the plight of whales in particular, even while under pressure from foreign governments. Decades ago Greenpeace was the leader in this field, and they have been surpassed, at least in terms of impact, by Sea Shepherd, according to experts. Read more about them here.

#13 New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS)

The New England Anti-Vivisection Society has been extremely effective in assessing the use of animals in research from a scientific perspective. Rather than focusing entirely on the ethics of using animals in research, they are assessing whether such practices are actually effective at producing improved medical treatment for humans. Additionally, the organization has been quite effective at raising awareness for animal rights issues. Read more about them here.

#14 Society for Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA)

According to experts, the Society of Animal Welfare Executives is the industry leader for professionals in the animal welfare field.  They set best practices, provide valuable networking and problem solving opportunities on an international level, and provide valuable resources such as training opportunities.  Their Certified Animal Welfare Administrator program is the gold standard and recognized as a means to identify leaders in this field. Read more about them here.

#15 Center for Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Center for Biological Diversity educates the public about threats facing species, has a sound scientific basis, and brings legal action on behalf of species in need. The Center files lawsuits to save endangered species and their habitat and hundreds of thousands of acres of land have been saved as a result of their work. Read more about them here.


Remember, these top 15 organizations are only a few of the great animal welfare nonprofits! View our entire list of expert-identified animal rights and welfare nonprofits in the United States here: and dig deeper to review what experts had to say about each organization. These organizations are doing important advocacy work on behalf of pets as well as domesticated and wild animals, so please consider donating to them to show your support. You can feel confident that your donation is going to support an outstanding group of nonprofits making a real impact in communities across the nation.

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): #1 Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit

August 24th, 2011

Today, we recognize the #1 expert-identified animal rights and welfare nonprofit in the US: Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

HSUS has an extremely large network of supporters due to their professional activism and high impact animal rights campaigning. In addition to supporting initiatives to control pet overpopulation, HSUS networks to educate and train other organizations based on HSUS’s methodology. Read to find out why experts overwhelmingly voted for HSUS as the top animal rights and welfare nonprofit:

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization—backed by 11 million Americans, or one in every 28. Established in 1954, The HSUS seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals—a world that will also benefit people. We are America’s mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation and neglect, as well as the most trusted voice extolling the human-animal bond.

(Learn more about them at:

Humane Society of The United States is the largest animal protection organization in the USA. According to our experts, they effectively influence change in a variety of areas and their campaigns often make national news. Their leadership in the farm animal welfare arena has been vital in changing laws in states like California, Ohio and Colorado. Read more reviews from animal rights and welfare experts here to learn more about the national projects that HSUS supports.

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals): #2 Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit

August 24th, 2011

Our #2 nonprofit, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), is one of the most influential and popular animal welfare organizations in the US and has over 1 million supporters nationwide. The ASPCA is widely recognized for their programs to stop animal cruelty, however the organization is in charge of many other initiatives that advocate for animal rights as well, read on to learn more about this nonprofit.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world. Our organization was founded by Henry Bergh in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and proud to boast more than 1 million supporters across the country.

(Learn more about them at:

According to our experts, the ASPCA’s work in general public awareness and advocacy is very impactful and familiar to most people; what is less known is the very important work they have done in researching, identifying, and promoting best practices for animal shelters. That work has shaped much of modern animal sheltering. Read more expert reviews here to learn more about other notable initiatives supported by the ASPCA.

PetSmart Charities: #3 Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit

August 22nd, 2011

PetSmart Charities emerged as the #3 animal rights and welfare nonprofit based on expert reviews. This independent nonprofit foundation makes immense contributions to local shelters and animal rights groups across the nation. Read more to find out how PetSmart Charities, in collaboration with PetSmart, is creatively attacking the issue of shelter overpopulation:

We are the largest funder of animal-welfare efforts in North America. We have provided $134 million in grants and programs benefiting animal-welfare organizations and have helped save the lives of more than 4.5 million pets through our PetSmart Charities® Adoption Centers located inside every PetSmart® store. We have been able to accomplish this through the support of PetSmart, Inc. Since 1988, PetSmart, Inc.’s founders have made a conscious decision not to sell dogs and cats. Instead, they allocated space in their stores for pet adoption agencies to utilize to help address pet overpopulation.

(Learn more about them at:

Experts agree that this nonprofit foundation plays a critical role in finding homes for stray and neglected pets. PetSmart Charities is the largest grantmaker funding spay-neuter programs and advancing adoption of homeless pets. Their focus is entirely on companion animals, but experts believe that the impact is profound. They have enabled 4 million adoptions to date and distributed $109 million in grants in their fifteen year history, primarily to local shelters. To find out what the experts think of PetSmart Charities and their work, read more expert reviews here.


Best Friends Animal Society (Best Friends): #4 Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit

August 22nd, 2011

The #4 nonprofit in animal rights and welfare, Best Friends Animal Society (Best Friends), played a key role in substantially decreasing the overwhelming number of dogs and cats killed in shelters over the last 30 years. Read on to learn more about how the Best Friends Animal Society has greatly reduced the number of homeless pets in America.

Best Friends Animal Society is guided by a simple philosophy: kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us. In the late 1980s, when Best Friends was in its early days, roughly 17 million dogs and cats were being killed in shelters every year. Despite the commitment of shelter workers to the animal in their care, the conventional belief was that little could be done to lower that terrible number.

Best Friends’ No More Homeless Pets campaign created a new vision: A grassroots effort to place dogs and cats who were considered “unadoptable” into good homes, and to reduce the number of unwanted pets through effective spay and neuter programs.  Since then, the number of dogs and cats being destroyed in shelters has fallen to approximately 5 million a year.  There has been much progress, but there is still much more to do.

The next phase of this work — bringing the number down to essentially zero — will take more work and some bold new initiatives.  Shelters are crowded with pit bulls, dogs abandoned after being bought from pet stores, stray cats rounded up on the streets and not looking their very best when they’re brought in, and other pets abandoned or neglected.

As the flagship of a grassroots network of people and organizations that care about animals, Best Friends continues to lead the way towards this future.  And that’s why our purpose remains: A better world through kindness to animals.

(Learn more about them at:

Best Friends Animal Society has worked extremely hard to help grassroots organizations through out the United States. They offer an annual conference, bringing speakers on many topics in animal welfare to give their expert opinion. According to experts, there has not been a natural disaster in this country involving animals that Best Friends has not aided both with volunteers, and financing. They also have a large pet sanctuary in Utah. To find out what else the experts think about Best Friends, read more expert reviews here.


Farm Sanctuary: #5 Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit

August 22nd, 2011

The Farm Sanctuary is the #5 animal rights and welfare nonprofit. This organization provides a number of services that benefit farm animals, including rescue and care, adoption services, education, and investigation of maltreatment cases. Read more about the powerful impact of The Farm Sanctuary’s work below:

Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 to combat the abuses of factory farming and to encourage a new awareness and understanding about “farm animals.” At Farm Sanctuary, these animals are our friends, not our food.

We started out by visiting farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses to document conditions, and we found animals literally left for dead. Hilda, a sheep found on a pile of dead animals behind Lancaster Stockyards, was the first animal to be rescued by Farm Sanctuary. She lived with us for more than a decade, and died of old age.

Through the years, we have rescued thousands of animals, and educated millions of people about their plight. People are shocked to learn about the intolerable conditions that are commonplace on today’s industrialized farms.

Our rescue and education work continues, as we advocate for laws and policies to prevent suffering and promote compassion. We are reaching out to legislators and businesses, and working to bring about institutional reforms.

When Farm Sanctuary started in 1986, it was a fledgling, all volunteer organization that was funded by sales of veggie hot dogs from a VW van. Today, Farm Sanctuary has grown to become the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, with hundreds of thousands of supporters. Farm Sanctuary remains solidly committed to our mission to end cruelty to farm animals and promote compassionate living through rescue, education and advocacy efforts. Please join us. After all, a compassionate world begins with you!

(Learn more about them at:

According to the experts, the Farm Sanctuary has been at the forefront of advocating in the area of agricultural animals for a prolonged period of time. This organization has helped people in this country see farmed animals as deserving of protection and respect.  They have pursued legal strategies, as well as education and community outreach and coordinated activism.  Their work has led to changes in how farmed animals are treated at slaughter and they have been deeply and successfully involved in helping to define improving guidelines for animals being raised for food.  Their efforts have helped people focus on the largest category of animals in need. Read more expert reviews here to learn more about Farm Sanctuary’s great work.

Maddie’s Fund: #6 Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit

August 22nd, 2011

After over a decade of work in animal welfare and advocacy following extensive organizational restructuring, the #6 expert-identified nonprofit foundation, Maddie’s Fund, continues to invest its resources in a number of areas that vastly benefit animals and animal rights groups. Read more about the type of work that this fund supports:

Maddie’s Fund was established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield as The Duffield Family Foundation in 1994. In January 1999, the Board of Directors restructured the Foundation, defined its mission, implemented a new operating methodology and adopted the name Maddie’s Fund. Maddie’s Fund is helping to create a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. To achieve this goal, Maddie’s Fund is investing its resources in building community collaborations where animal welfare organizations come together to develop successful models of lifesaving; in veterinary colleges to help shelter medicine become part of the veterinary curriculum; and in the implementation of a national strategy to promote accountability and transparency in animal shelter operations. Maddie’s Fund is named after the family’s beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997.

(Learn more about them at:

According to experts, Maddie’s Fund has pioneered the no-kill movement by funding local shelters and programs to help them implement and sustain life saving programs. Maddie’s Fund has also funded shelter medicine programs at major vet schools across the country and has made shelter medicine an important part of a veterinary education.  Read more expert reviews here to learn more about how the Maddie’s Fund has contributed to animal rights and welfare at large.


Alley Cat Allies (ACA): #7 Expert-Identified Animal Rights and Welfare Nonprofit

August 22nd, 2011

The #7 nonprofit was founded in response to the growing issue of crowded animal shelters. Alley Cat Allies (ACA) fights against euthanasia in animal control pounds and supports all groups that provide humane care of stray cats. Here’s a brief description of the organization’s meaningful work:

Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Alley Cat Allies has charted a course set on animal control and shelter industry reform and humane treatment through activities including:


  • Advocating for pounds and shelters to keep public records of animal intake and kill rates, for public and mandatory government oversight, and for increased pound and shelter accountability.
  • Mobilizing and educating the public and leading the national movement to end the killing of cats and to protect and improve their lives.
  • Supporting the efforts of, and acting as the national voice for, thousands of individuals and groups across the U.S. who provide humane care for stray and feral cats.


Alley Cat Allies was founded in 1990 by two women who recognized that stray and feral cats’ needs were not being met by the animal control pound and shelter system. They realized that when well-meaning citizens called pounds and shelters about feral cats, their only response was to kill them.

We have the power to spare animals excruciating pain by making better choices about the food we eat, the things we buy, and the activities we support.

(Learn more about them at:

The experts that reviewed ACA gave positive feedback about the work and impact of this organization. With a very narrow focus on helping feral cats, Alley Cat Allies has organized thousands of volunteers around the country to provide direct care for feral cat colonies in local communities. Experts believe that the group has had the largest impact on changing the public perception of feral cats in recent years, challenging conventional wisdom about the impacts of cats on urban wildlife, and generating acceptance of innovative techniques such as trap-neuter-return. Read more expert reviews here to find out more about how Alley Cat Allies is impacting the treatment of cats in animal shelters nationwide.


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