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MERCY FOR ANIMALS Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 03/20/2014: MERCY FOR ANIMALS

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 09/08/2014: MERCY FOR ANIMALS

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AKA  MFA
Los Angeles, CA
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GuideStar Summary

&1002; GuideStar Exchange Committed to transparency ?
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&1002; Registered with IRS Legitimacy information is available
&1002; Evidence of Impact Expert Assessment and Reviews available
&1002; Financial Data Annual Revenue and Expense data reported
&1002; Forms 990 2012, 2011, and 2010 Forms 990 filed with the IRS
&1002; Mission Objectives Mission Statement is available
&1002; Impact Summary Impact Summary from the nonprofit is available
  4 stars Average rating from 4 Personal Reviews | Write a Review

Basic Organization Information

MERCY FOR ANIMALS Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 03/20/2014: MERCY FOR ANIMALS

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 09/08/2014: MERCY FOR ANIMALS

* The 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.
Also Known As: MFA
Physical Address: Los Angeles, CA 90046 
EIN: 54-2076145
Web URL: www.MercyForAnimals.org 
Blog URL: www.MFAblog.org 
NTEE Category: D Animal related
D01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
D Animal related
D20 Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs)
Ruling Year: 2004 
Top Funders: Individual donations
Grants
Merchandise sales


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Mission Statement

Mercy For Animals is dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.

Legitimacy Information

This organization is registered with the IRS.

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Annual Revenue & Expenses (IRS Form 990, January 2012)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 01, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2012

Total Revenue $2,440,585
Total Expenses $1,629,180

Revenue & Expenses

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Balance Sheet (IRS Form 990)

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Forms 990 Received from the IRS Additional Information
IRS Form 990 is an annual document used by approximately one-third of all public charities to report information about their finances and operations to the federal government. GuideStar uses data from Form 990 to populate its database with financial information about nonprofit organizations. Posting Form 990 images on the GuideStar website is an ongoing process.

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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

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Mr. Nathan Runkle

Profile:

Since founding Mercy For Animals a decade ago, Nathan has overseen the organization's growth into a leading national force for the respectful and compassionate treatment of farmed animals. A grassroots organizer and coordinator for many years, Nathan has organized hundreds of demonstrations and outreach events across the country - ranging from protests outside pork and egg producer conventions to parade marches, educational exhibits, and more. Through his work with MFA, Nathan has been an outspoken advocate for animal rights, appearing in hundreds of newspaper, television, and radio interviews, including National Public Radio, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune. During the formative years of MFA, Nathan conducted numerous investigations and rescue operations at factory farms, livestock auctions, and rodeo events. Nathan led teams of MFA investigators into Ohio's four largest egg factory farms, exposing egregious animal cruelty and neglect, as well as directly rescuing dozens of animals in dire need of veterinary care. Nathan spearheaded the organization's efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for over 500 hens rescued from a battery-cage facility dilapidated by a tornado. Nathan has spoken with and worked alongside elected officials, corporate executives, heads of international organizations, professors, farmers, celebrities, and film producers to pass landmark farmed animal protection legislation, raise public awareness about vegetarianism, and implement animal welfare policy changes.

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Board Co-Chair

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Board Orientation & Education ?
Why does this matter? Without clarity around their responsibilities and expectations, board members are not positioned to succeed. They may find themselves challenged to fulfill their governance responsibilities or frustrated by the expectations that the organization has set for them. BoardSource recommends that every new board member participate in a formal orientation process, and that all board members sign a pledge or agreement committing to their board service and to all of the responsibilities and expectations that come with service. Ideally, board members also should participate in a formal governance training program prior to serving on a board.

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Response Not Provided
CEO Oversight ?
Why does this matter? Oversight and management of the chief executive is one of the board’s most important legal responsibilities. The CEO or executive director is the board's single employee, and - just like any other employer/employee relationship - regular and written assessment is critical to ensuring that the chief executive and board are communicating openly about goals and performance. BoardSource recommends that boards conduct formal, written reviews of their chief executives on an annual basis, which should include an in-person discussion with the chief executive and distribution of the written evaluation to the full board.

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Response Not Provided
Ethics & Transparency ?
Why does this matter? A commitment to handling conflicts of interests is essential to creating an organizational culture of transparency. Boards should create and follow a policy for identifying and handling conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. BoardSource recommends that organizations review the conflict-of-interest statement and require signed disclosures from all board members and senior staff on an annual basis.

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements within the past year?
Response Not Provided
Board Composition ?
Why does this matter? The best boards are composed of individuals who bring a variety of skills, perspectives, backgrounds, and resources to tackle the complex and strategic challenges confronting their organizations. BoardSource recommends that boards commit to diversity and inclusion by establishing written policies and practices, which include strategic and intentional recruitment of diverse board members, continual commitment to inclusivity, and equal access to board leadership opportunities.

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Response Not Provided
Board Performance ?
Why does this matter? Boards need to regularly assess their own performance. Doing so ensures that they are being intentional about how they govern their organization, which is a critical component of effective board leadership. BoardSource recommends that a board conduct a self-assessment of its performance a minimum of once every three years to ensure that it is staying on track with its roles and responsibilities.

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?
Response Not Provided

Officers for Fiscal Year (IRS Form 990)

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Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation (IRS Form 990)

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Programs

Program: Undercover Investigations (GuideStar Exchange,
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Budget:
--
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Other Named Groups

Program Description:

@import url(http://www.guidestar.org/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Load.ashx?type=style&file=SyntaxHighlighter.css); Mercy For Animals' undercover investigations reveal that animal abuse is rampant in the meat, dairy and egg industries. Wired with hidden cameras, MFA's team of undercover investigators document the harsh realities for billions of cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys who are forced to endure intensive confinement, abusive handling, painful mutilations, careless neglect, and merciless slaughter. Through the power of video documentation, Mercy For Animals' investigators act as the eyes and ears for the public, who are kept largely in the dark about factory farm conditions. Undercover investigations are a vital part of our grassroots activism, education, and advertising efforts aimed at opening consumers' hearts and minds to the plights of farmed animals and empowering people with the accurate information they need to make humane food choices.

Program Long-Term Success:

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Program Short-Term Success:

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Program Success Monitored by:

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Program Success Examples:

@import url(http://www.guidestar.org/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Load.ashx?type=style&file=SyntaxHighlighter.css); MFA's investigations have achieved major, measurable successes, including helping to pass landmark farmed animal protection legislation; prompting one of the country's largest egg producers to move away from battery cages; leading law enforcement to raid an investigated facility; and encouraging major restaurants, grocery chains and food wholesalers to end their supplier relationships with facilities caught abusing animals.  In 2011, McDonald’s and Target dropped Sparboe Farms as an egg supplier, as a direct result of an MFA investigation which revealed workers abusing chickens, hens crammed into battery cages unable to even spread a wing, dead hens left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption, and other sadistic and malicious acts of animal cruelty. Another recent MFA investigation into E6 Cattle Company in Texas led to the release of four baby calves. They were placed in a sanctuary, while the owner of the factory farm pled guilty to cruelty to animals after our cameras proved that animal abuse was not only existent on that factory farm, but commonplace.  MFA’s newest investigation reveals extreme cruelty and violence to turkeys on Butterball’s factory farms. Between November and December 2011, an MFA investigator documented shocking abuse and neglect at a Butterball turkey semen collection facility in Shannon, North Carolina. MFA’s hidden-camera footage reveals injured, sick and suffering birds being beaten, kicked, stomped and dragged – unable to stand up or walk, and being left to die without any veterinary care. Following the investigation, MFA immediately went to law enforcement with extensive video footage and a detailed legal complaint outlining the routine violence and cruelty documented by the investigator at this Butterball facility. On December 29, 2011, state law enforcement officials obtained a warrant and raided the facility on grounds of cruelty to animals. With over a dozen investigations logged since 2002, MFA has exposed millions of individuals to the plight of animals confined in factory farms and has been a leader in creating change in animal agribusiness.

Program: Legal Advocacy (GuideStar Exchange,
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Budget:
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Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Other Named Groups

Program Description:

@import url(http://www.guidestar.org/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Load.ashx?type=style&file=SyntaxHighlighter.css); In 2012, MFA established a legal advocacy department to strengthen its efforts on behalf of farmed animals by: pushing for enforcement of animal protection laws; outlawing inhumane factory farming practices; using civil litigation to punish factory farms’ fraudulent, deceptive, and often illegal conduct; and holding the government accountable for its responsibility of regulating the agricultural industry. MFA’s legal advocacy work has contributed to a staggering number of animal cruelty arrests and convictions, sending a clear message to the meat, dairy, and egg industries that animal abuse will not be tolerated.

Program Long-Term Success:

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Program Short-Term Success:

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Program Success Monitored by:

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Program Success Examples:

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Program: Education (GuideStar Exchange,
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Budget:
--
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Other Named Groups

Program Description:

Mercy For Animals' education department strives to reach people with information on the cruelty animals are forced to endure on factory farms. Our efforts have inspired droves of people to adopt a vegan diet, sparing countless animals lives of pain, deprivation, and misery. Spearheaded by our grassroots coordinators, volunteers, and interns, MFA has held thousands of educational outreach events, humane education lectures, video screenings, and other grassroots events to inform and inspire. Our media and advertising campaigns also reach millions of Americans with information about factory farming and compassionate food choices.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

In 2011, over 250 ads – strategically placed on train platforms, on the outside of buses, and in the interiors of buses and trains – asked Chicagoans to consider the plight of farmed animals when sitting down to eat. The same year, MFA launched three cutting-edge, pro-vegetarian ads on MTV, bringing viewers face to face with the harsh realities farmed animals suffer on stockyards and in slaughterhouses before becoming someone’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. MFA continually receives feedback indicating that our advertisements have moved many viewers to change their perspective. For example: "Shocking, yet informative commercial ... It's just so sad and horrifying! Today was grocery shopping day and I was extra careful today because this was fresh in my mind."  "I was looking for a recipe to make turkey for Easter dinner, so I clicked on the link that said "if you eat turkey..." I was horrified by what I saw...I just can't eat meat anymore." We have had literally thousands of people tell us that they have been affected by our advertising campaigns and were moved to eat less meat or adopt a plant-based diet.

Program: Corporate Outreach (GuideStar Exchange,
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Budget:
--
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Other Named Groups

Program Description:

In 2012, Mercy For Animals launched its corporate outreach department with the goal of working with the largest corporations in the country to create positive change for the greatest number of farmed animals. In just six months, our efforts have already led to historic announcements and important policy changes by some of the nation’s largest food retailers. After months of behind-the-scenes discussions with MFA, Sears/Kmart and Costco Wholesale committed to completely eliminating the use of abusive gestation crates in their pork supply chains. Mercy For Animals’ corporate outreach department is currently speaking with more than 100 grocery stores, fast-food restaurants, and other food companies about important issues affecting farmed animals. After releasing a shocking undercover investigation exposing animal abuse at a Walmart pork supplier, Mercy For Animals is currently encouraging Walmart to take a stand against gestation crates.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

In one year alone, MFA volunteers distribute over half a million pieces of pro-vegetarian literature at over 1,500 outreach events. Reducing and eliminating consumer demand for cruel animal products is the best way to address farmed animal abuse at its root cause. Leafleting holds incredible power in building a kinder future for all animals.
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit

In the past year, Mercy For Animals has opened the hearts and minds of tens of millions of Americans to the plight of animals who suffer behind the closed doors of our nation’s factory farms. From historic, unprecedented criminal prosecutions of animal abusers, to major corporate animal welfare policy changes, to educating youth and young adults in classrooms across the nation, MFA has successfully pushed for breakthrough changes on behalf of the terrified cows, chickens, pigs, and other animals trapped in the dark confines of factory farms. MFA’s undercover investigations into Ontario Livestock Sales, Christensen Farms, Bettencourt Dairies, and Butterball helped to bring abusive practices to light. Corporations including Costco, Kmart, and Kraft foods reacted by adopting new policies that will reduce the suffering of millions of pigs and cows. In 2013, Mercy For Animals will continue to expose the horrors of factory farms and slaughterhouses through our hard-hitting undercover investigations. We will hold animal abusers accountable by working with law enforcement to prosecute factory farms for cruelty to animals. Through our legal advocacy and corporate outreach efforts, we will work to pass laws and promote policies that provide greater protection to animals suffering on factory farms. MFA’s presentations, outreach materials, advertisement campaigns, and media events will help to inspire countless people to adopt a vegan diet.

Expert Assessment

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 »

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

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.

Raising Awareness
They have conducted high profile investigations of factory farms that get the public's attention. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Undercover investigations of the treatment of farm animals bring the atrocities that animals experience to light. Media coverage garners the public's attention and sways opinion. Other
Mercy For Animals (MFA) work in planning, executing, and publicizing the results of undercover investigations into animal cruelty at major CAFOs and animal production facilities seems to me to be among the most influential in the sector from the perspective of reaching average people who have not been exposed to animal welfare or rights concerns in the past. I'm convinced that their undercover investigation of animal cruelty at Norco Ranch--an egg-production facility in California--on the eve of the pivotal referendum on Proposition 2 had a big impact on public opinion on these and related issues nationwide. MFA is very adept at combining "boots on the ground" investigation techniques in various Ag states with new media technology that makes it possible for state policy issues to become national media events. This impact is amplified by a well-conceived, well-integrated, ecumenical approach to public outreach that uses traditional grassroots activist strategies such as tabling, pamphleting, social events, and galas, as well as award-winning documentary filmmaking (Fowl Play: The Untold Story Behind Your Breakfast, etc.) and other new media. Researcher and Faculty
They have video and expose a lot of atrocities. They both get those atrocities stopped and raise attention to farm animals. Researcher and Faculty
Through undercover investigations which garner extensive press coverage and educational outreach, they are reaching the mainstream with information about the conditions in which farmed animals are kept and the ways in which individuals can take action to address these conditions. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Mercy For Animals has played a significant role in bringing farm animal cruelty to the American public's attention, with their investigations and public awareness work. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have done exceptional investigative work exposing the truth behind animal treatment on factory farms. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Over the last few years Mercy for Animals has become a leader in investigative reporting in the farm animal welfare arena. Their footage has helped to sway public opinions during important times, like during the ballot initiative in California. Foundation Professional
Great Reach
They reach an enormous amount of individuals with the plight of farmed animals through undercover investigations (coupled with media exposes), grassroots outreach, etc. Millions of individuals learn of the plight of today's farmed animals through this organization. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Effective Marketing
They conducted very important undercover investigations and had the know how to make the information go viral. They have a huge impact compared to size staff and budget. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have led a string of high profile undercover cruelty investigations that have been expertly publicized. Other
Great Outreach
Mercy for Animals conducts excellent investigations of animal cruelty garnering national news coverage and criminal charges; they have excellent vegetarian outreach programs both online and in person; they publish excellent online resources for compassionate living. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The Farm to Fridge tour is AMAZING and has a further reach than any outreach program besides Vegan Outreach. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Communication
They have done a tremendous job shining a spotlight on some of the hidden realities of day-to-day farm animal production industries. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They pursue effective direct action and undercover work. They are good at reaching out directly to the public. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Great Programs
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. Nonprofit Senior Staff
MFA is doing spectacular work. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Great at Producing Videos Uncovering Animal Cruelty
Investigating and publishing videos of animal cruelty is a huge strength. Nonprofit Senior Staff
There is no other organization that fearlessly investigates the cruelty inflicted on animals as MFA. MFA is dedicated to the most difficult of tasks, remaining consistent to the task of uncovering abuse when other organizations falter. MFA provides a necessary service to society on a relatively small budget. Nonprofit Senior Staff
So far this organization has only one program that I am aware of, its undercover investigations and undercover videos. However they do an incredible job at this one thing and have had a tremendous impact on public interest in farm animal welfare. They are to be commended. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The strategic undercover investigations and videos of this organization are invaluable. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Nobody does a better job of carrying out, packaging, and promoting undercover video investigations than MFA. Other

Organizational Strengths

Mercy for Animals has an immensely talented and dedicated crew of employees and attracts legions of volunteers. They are also fiscally responsible and make a great impact choosing campaigns that are not only effective, but cost-efficient.

Raising Awareness
They have good advertising campaigns that raise awareness. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Effective Organizational Structure
They have skilled, charismatic, and articulate leadership and the small size of the organization make it nimble and effective. Other
Strong Leadership
Mercy For Animals has charismatic leadership in the person of its Executive Director Nathan Runkle. Runkle is young, passionate, energetic, a good delegator, and very savvy about media outreach. He does an excellent job of presenting the animal rights message as an outlook on things that any rational, emotionally-healthy, well-adjusted person would be sympathetic to on a variety of levels (animal compassion, human social justice, environmental integrity, etc.). Regarding operations, MFA is excellent at targeting facilities for investigation that have "sterling" reputations, so that when people consider the evidence, they can't resist thinking "well, if things are THIS BAD at THIS place, they must be even worse everywhere else". Finally, I think that MFA gets respect (at least in the circles in which I travel) for being unwavering in its commitment to *vegan* outreach and education that targets *mainstream* audiences. Whereas other high-impact non-profits (PETA) alienate potential audiences with sexist publicity stunts (women in "lettuce bras") or ridiculous outreach campaigns (neuter your dog because porn star Ron Jeremy says so) or by adulating even the tiniest of incremental changes (HSUS praising Wolfgang puck for keeping foie gras out of his boxed dinners), MFA stays consistently on message: veganism is the most direct and consistent way for a single individual to change the world on these matters and a mainstream person can make this change rather easily and can expect to reap significant benefits. Researcher and Faculty
Nathan Runkle is an amazingly dedicated leader with a great presence. They know how to reach the public and how to make animal rights look professional. Professionalism is their strongest aspect. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The leadership has a clear vision for the organization and has steadily grown its finances and support. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The leadership of MFA has done an excellent job of establishing the organization as a premiere animal advocacy and investigations organization. It is well run and has a clear, consistent vision and mission. Researcher and Faculty
Cost-Efficient Strategy
They have an immensely talented and dedicated crew of employees and attract legions of volunteers. They also get a big bang for the buck, choosing campaigns that are not only effective, but cost-efficient. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They operate on a shoestring and accomplish an enormous amount. Their strategic approach is having a real impact. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Cutting Edge Outreach
Their investigative team is top notch, no one's is better. Also their public outreach is phenomenal, creative, cutting edge. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Excellent Marketing
Their organizational structure and marketing are excellent. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have a very strong media impact despite their limited size and budget. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Clear Focus
Mercy For Animals has strong leadership, a clear focus, a simple message (raising the public's awareness of the sentience of farm animals and comparing it to companion animals). Nonprofit Senior Staff
Solid Work
They boast high quality production values for all its work. Other
Rapid Growth
Mercy for Animals has a small devoted staff. They do a great job of creating great marketing campaigns. While they are a smaller organization, their growth in the past few years has been immense. Their investigations regularly make national news. Foundation Professional
Solid External Relations
They work well with other organizations. Nonprofit Senior Staff

Areas for Improvement

According to experts, their best work is at the national level. Their regional offices could be developed a bit more to be more effective.

Better Legislation
It needs to do better in passing laws. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Better Marketing
They could use greater exposure and name recognition. Other
In flipping through Mercy for Animals' newsletter and publications, I often think that the quality of the writing and proofing could be a bit more consistent. I also think that MFA would do well to consider some campaigns that engage religious audiences more directly, as some other high impact organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS Faith Outreach) have recently done. Researcher and Faculty
Consistency
Duplication of Efforts
The organization duplicates efforts that need not be duplicated within the animal advocacy community, in pursuit of getting their name out there. While these efforts might be good for the organization, they're not the best use of donor money. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Educational Focus
There needs to be more education in factory farming. If consumers don’t understand the inhumane practices of factory farming, the practices will persist. Researcher and Faculty
Expansion
It needs to be bigger so it can do more of what it is doing. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Keep expanding! Find ways to increase main stream outreach. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Their best work is at the national level. Their regional offices could probably be developed a bit more to be more effective. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Improved Fundraising
Mercy For Animals could benefit from increased fundraising and an increased supporter base. Respectfully so, they are a vegan animal rights organization, however this approach may alienate certain sectors of the American public who could be otherwise engaged. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Mercy for Animals needs better development/fundraising work. Other
Management Practices
I don't know their inner workings as well, but I have heard feedback from workers that they push them to the point of breaking. Nonprofit Senior Staff
More Engagement
They should focus on engagement rather than seemingly exclusively focusing on exposes. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Working with other Organizations
They could develop stronger ties with other animal protection organizations that could help expand its reach. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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