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Best Friends Animal Society

AKA Best Friends

Kanab, UT

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Best Friends Animal Society

Also Known As:
Best Friends
Physical Address:
Kanab, UT 84741 5000
EIN:
23-7147797
Web URL:
www.bestfriends.org
Blog URL:
blogs.bestfriends.org
Leadership:
Mr. Gregory Castle
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Legitimacy Information

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Fiscal Year Starting: Jan 1, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: Dec 31, 2012
Revenue
Total Revenue $64,032,553
Expenses
Total Expenses $52,268,565

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Basic Organization Information

Best Friends Animal Society

Also Known As:
Best Friends
Physical Address:
Kanab, UT 84741 5000
EIN:
23-7147797
Web URL:
www.bestfriends.org 
Blog URL:
blogs.bestfriends.org 
NTEE Category:
D Animal related 
D20 Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) 
D Animal related 
D61 Animal Training, Behavior 
D Animal related 
D01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations 
Ruling Year:
1971 
How This Organization Is Funded:
Individual donations
Planned giving
Corporate/Foundations donations

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Mission Statement

The Mission of the Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets®.

A multi-year analysis of key balance sheet, income statement, profitability and liquidity measures is available for this organization. Financial SCAN includes a detailed financial health analysis and peer comparison and benchmarking tool. Learn More

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Financial Data

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Revenue and Expenses

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Balance Sheet

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A multi-year analysis of key balance sheet, income statement, profitability and liquidity measures is available for this organization. Financial SCAN includes a detailed financial health analysis and peer comparison and benchmarking tool. Learn More

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Forms 990 Provided by the Nonprofit

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Financial Statements

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Annual Reports

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Leadership (GuideStar ExchangeThe GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to regularly update key information directly to GuideStar. It provides richer and broader information about their programs, impact, finances, people and more. September, 2013)

Mr. Gregory Castle

Term:

Since Apr 2009

Profile:

Gregory Castle is one of the Founders of Best Friends and the former president of the No More Homeless Pets in Utah campaign.  Gregory initiated "Utah's Week for the Animals".  Now in its 10th year, it includes educational and public awareness programs, special discount spay/neuter services, pet adoption fairs, and public service awards.  Supported by the governor, Utah's Week for the Animals has become a model for cooperative efforts in the humane community throughout the country.    Gregory has been traveling across the country to speak at conferences, and to other sanctuaries, shelters and organizations to help others in their work towards 'no more homeless pets'.   Gregory grew up in England and is a graduate of Cambridge University with a master's degree in  philosophy and psychology.  His background includes extensive administrative and accounting work for non-profit human services anad church organizations.



Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

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Program: Puppy Mill Initiative

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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit Additional Information A Charting Impact Report consists of an organization’s responses to the five questions. Helping validate this self-reported data are three reviews. Once an organization has used the online interface to complete its report, its responses will produce a document with a unique URL that will be shared on this website, on your GuideStar profile, on the reports of charities participating in BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluations, and – in the future – with other websites and information sources about nonprofits. We encourage organizations to use this URL to share their report on their own website and through their own media channels. Participants will receive guidance about promoting their Charting Impact Report, along with other benefits, once they publish their report.

The work of Best Friends began nearly 30 years ago at what is now the largest no-kill sanctuary in the country, located in the majestic red-rock canyons of southern Utah. Since then, Best Friends has grown it's reach and now serves as a national leader in the no-kill movement. During 2012-2016, Best Friends will be responsible for saving approximately 300,000 shelter animals through its direct program efforts and its support of the No More Homeless Pets® Network partners.
For more in-depth information about this organization's impact, view their Charting Impact Report.

Expert Assessment

Best Friends Animal Society has a large pet sanctuary in Utah. They have worked extremely hard in helping grass root 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. Read More »

Expert Reviews and Comments

2011 Philanthropedia Top Nonprofit

This organization is a 2011 Philanthropedia top nonprofit, recommended by experts as having high impact.

These expert reviews were generated through Philanthropedia's research methodology to identify high-impact nonprofits. Learn more


Evidence of Impact

Best Friends Animal Society has a large pet sanctuary in Utah. They have worked extremely hard in helping grass root 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.

Raising Awareness
They have garnered public support for their operations in Kanab, Utah, to house and adopt or provide lifetime care for animal that are not adoptable. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have increased awareness of puppy mills, animal overpopulation and euthanasia. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends has had an enormous impact on education of the public and animal rescue (e.g., Vick's dogs). Other
Great Reach
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 from 15 million in 1990. Nonprofit Senior Staff
First, Best Friends impacts the lives of 1800 to 2000 animals every single day. They have a wonderful facility in which everything is designed with the animals in mind: They give dogs plenty of room to run and play. They give the cats a wonderful indoor/outdoor facility. Every step they take is informed by tremendous focus on what will make the animals have a good life. Second, they also work hard at adoption. Third, Best Friends is working HARD to reduce the number of homeless dogs and cats in the country, via their "No More Homeless Pets" program, which involves low cost spay neuter, etc. Researcher and Faculty
Best Friends Animal Society has a large pet sanctuary in Utah. They have worked extremely hard in helping grass root organizations through out the United States. They offer an annual conference, bringing speakers on many topics in animal welfare to give their expert opinion. There has not been an natural disaster in this country involving animals that Best Friends has not aided both with volunteers, and financing. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Visibility
Best Friends has visibility in combating dog fighting, like in the Michael Vick case. Researcher and Faculty
Excellent Services
They have a model sanctuary when most sanctuaries are far from ideal. They also have strong grassroots advocacy efforts. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The organization has good adoption practices. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Focus
By focusing on four reasonably specific initiatives, Best Friends has and can continue to make an impact in areas that may be diluted in other areas. An example is the "Saving America's Dog" campaign - dealing with the challenges facing pit bull type dogs is challenging given the continuing myths and apparent media bias. By highlighting this important issue, Best Friends brings it to a much wider audience. The other initiatives also relate to the core of the "No More Homeless Pets" message. Staying focused means Best Friends can have a true impact. Researcher and Faculty
Great Programs
They have had tremendous impact on re-educating animal professionals to the realistic possibilities of "no-kill" communities. Throughout the past 10-15 years they have implemented marketing & support programs that provide assistance to communities to move away from high euthanasia and focus on possible solutions. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They are a great organization that do a great amount of good for companion animals. Their annual conferences are excellent. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Great Ambition
Best Friends has given the public at large, donors, and animal welfare professionals hope that the US can truly reach homeostasis--zero pet population growth and no more euthanasia of unwanted pets. They were the first large-scale, successful sanctuary for companion animals. They house many more animals than they adopt. Their message is clear; society and those of us in animal welfare have a responsibility to keep healthy adoptable animals alive throughout their natural lives. Other
They made us believe in a vision of No More Homeless Pets back when most of us thought killing animals in shelters was a necessary evil - and they've been showing the way to NMHP ever since. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Collaboration
The work they do in helping new non profits get on the right foot and pointed in the right direction. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Innovation
Best Friends has moved forward with the times. In recent years they have started branching out to shelters, legislators and the public to create awareness. They are the gold standard for a sanctuary based on their policies, programs and specific outreach. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Strong Education Programs
Personal experience with them as a member and volunteer has shown me the strength of their volunteer and educational programs. Researcher and Faculty
Good Organization
I have visited Best Friends' sanctuary in Utah and observed the dogs rescued from Michael Vick. Nobody there gets excessive salaries and the facilities are excellent and in a lovely setting. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Helped Save Animal Lives
Best Friends opened one of the first "no-kill" animal sanctuaries. Realizing that animal sanctuaries cannot be replicated on such a scale that shelter killing of pets could be prevented, Best Friends initiated their No More Homeless Pets campaign. This campaign helped communities implement programs to save lives in their communities. Best Friends has grown rapidly since the sanctuary opened in 1984. The leadership has gone through several significant changes in the past ten years as the founders have retired from operations positions. Other

Organizational Strengths

According to experts, Best Friends does not convolute their mission, purpose or vision. They are specific, fiscally conservative and respectful of other non-profits. They are also very skilled in marketing through social media and print media.

Excellent Marketing
Their marketing campaign has been very successful over the last few years and their income has increased significantly. They have expanded their operations to help animal nationally not just at their sanctuary. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They are very skilled in marketing through social media and print media. I believe they have built a membership base of over 300,000 in the last several years. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends' magazine "Good News" about animals - is something that is unique in the field. By staying as positive as possible it inspires people to help (or do better) rather than attempts to guilt them into donating. The marketing materials tend to have the same positive message - a very welcome change from many animal advocacy organizations. Researcher and Faculty
Best Friends' marketing and public relations are particularly strong. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have good marketing, solid public relations, and great volunteers. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends has exhibited incredible marketing and PR skills and has applied them to the benefit of BFAS as well as a broad network of small rescue organizations. They are inhabiting and succeeding in a niche that AHA abandoned in the early 1990's. BFAS makes a tremendous contribution by providing direct service, cutting edge leadership, and support, networking and training for small rescue groups. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Clear Vision
A better world through kindness is a perfect tagline for what all of us in animal welfare hope to see in our lifetime. Best Friends exemplifies this by loving and caring for their 2000 animals and showing everyone what is possible. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends does not convolute their mission, purpose or vision. They are specific, fiscally conservative and respectful of other non-profits. In a nutshell, they play well with others and are quick to learn support if asked. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Focused Goals
The consistency of their message and their focused goals make Best Friends a great organization. Researcher and Faculty
Dedicated Leadership
The leaders and staff of this organization are absolutely dedicated to making a better world for the animals. Most people could not even name one of the leaders of the organization, because the leadership is so focused on helping the animals that they simply do not have time to or interest in getting fame. Visitors to the facility can see this devotion in action. Also, their location is absolutely beautiful, making it a wonderful place for people to do volunteer vacations and get involved in the day-to-day care of the animals. Researcher and Faculty
Grassroots Successes
Their grassroots advocacy is great at motivating donors and members to become involve in "animal politics" local and nationally. Their work on behalf of defeating BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) was great as well. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Effective Programs
They select communities (via grant applications) and assist with funding projects that help to implement programs which reduce euthanasia of shelter animals. They have an incredible network of financial resources. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Excellent Organizational Structure
They are not a "me too" organization. Much about their programs, their facilities, their location, their organizational structure, and their fundraising strategies fly in the face of conventional cookie cutter animal shelter programs. Because they are different, they have created an environment in which adopters, supporters, staff of other animal welfare organizations, and even casual visitors want to be a part of their culture and their cause. They have created a unique value proposition for their audience. Other
Assisting Other Organizations
The have focused their resources on a few core issues which they can have a major impact on nationally. They really work well at assisting other organizations to get a positive start. The changes they have made in the last couple of years to their programs is right on target. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Strong Leadership
Best Friends benefits from strong leadership. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Strong Staff
Best Friends' staff is remarkable. I have heard speakers from the group several times in varying contexts (at a law school as a guest speaker, at a state bar conference, etc.) and they have been friendly, approachable, well-educated on the subjects on which they speak, and good advocates for their organization. I assume they have good finances as well. Other
Best Friends has strong staff and marketing. Researcher and Faculty
Effective Fundraising Efforts
They have a narrow niche and is effectively expanding their fundraising efforts. Other

Areas for Improvement

According to experts, the amount of money spent for the number of animals impacted is very high. To make a greater impact, Best Friends Animal Society must pursue more partnerships in the sector.

Cost Effectiveness
The amount of money spent for the number of animals impacted is very high, they could do more for more animals if they wanted to. Also, they are somewhat misleading the public as they do not accept all animals into their facility. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Greater Reach
They should be able to provide care for more animals. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Best Friends needs greater reach into more states. Researcher and Faculty
Best Friends runs a wonderful magical sanctuary but their knowledge and influence and support for local groups on national level is suspect especially in legislative matters. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Improve Editing on Communications
Best Friends seeks to protect companion animals and injured wildlife, and their work is focused almost exclusively on those two groups. I think it's fine to focus on a certain population, as they have done. But I do not think it's ok to give space in their magazine to a guest author who advised readers, essentially, that there's no need to feel guilty about eating meat because humans are complex creatures. I cringe every time I think about that editorial and how many farmed animals may have suffered and died as a result of Best Friends giving the guest some space in their magazine. I don't mind if BFAS stays out of the debate on farmed animals, but if they're going to get into the topic, they should at least get into it on the side of the animals. The highest levels of leadership seem often to be occupied by men. Although they provide great leadership, it would be wonderful to see more women involved. Researcher and Faculty
Leadership Stability
They should get better at researching issues before call to action to members and donors. They also need more leadership stability. Nonprofit Senior Staff
More Business Mindset
In their current workshop conferences, they need to do more to encourage the business aspects of running an organization, and continue to bring in speakers that do not talk about things as they are or were, but more as they should be. Nonprofit Senior Staff
More Marketing Efforts
The television program "Dogtown" did a lot to raise this organization's profile. It is a major commitment of time and resources but if something similar could be done again I believe Best Friends would benefit from the exposure. Best Friends has recently (in the past few years especially) be willing to hire real experts in their field. Best Friends should continue to do so - it can only help its reputation. Researcher and Faculty
More Outreach
I wish they did more outreach to local shelters. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Working with other Organizations
They have an incredible network of financial resources and to some degree have a negative impact on donations going to local organizations. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They isolate themselves from the mainstream animal welfare industry. For example, they do not participate in national expos and training given by other organizations. This gives them the reputation with some organizations as being elitist. They have a habit of referring to any organization that euthanizes healthy adoptable animals as "kill" shelters which is inflammatory and creates defensiveness from those organizations. Best Friends does euthanize animals, but they refer to themselves as a "no-kill" shelter. This moniker gives the public the impression that no animals are ever euthanized which is misleading. Other
I find it very unfortunate that Best Friends often takes an antagonistic approach against other animal advocacy charities in the public arena. Researcher and Faculty
Best Friends remains in general isolated from the animal welfare community at large. Their employees are not members of SAWA and I do not see them participating at the leadership level in many other collaborative animal welfare efforts. This is not true in specific as they did, for instance, participate in the Asilmar Accords. They have a unique business model and have implemented it successfully, although many of us who have spoken with the founders know this success did not come easy. I would vehemently encourage them to stop referring to animal shelters that euthanize for space as "kill" facilities. This verbiage and attitude breeds contempt, defensiveness, and divisiveness. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Narrow Geographical Focus
They can become more focused on a smaller number of geographic areas to maximize impact. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Mostly Focused on Fundraising
Best Friends has a vast annual income but in terms of actual animals saved and impactful advocacy, it is primarily in the realm of fundraising rather than animal life saving. This agency supports the no-kill philosophy in theory, but does little -- considering their income level -- to actually save lives. Nonprofit Senior Staff

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