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ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 05/06/2014: ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 11/10/2014: ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

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AKA  ALDF
Cotati, CA
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GuideStar Summary

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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 Charting Impact Report is available
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Basic Organization Information

ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND Organization Name provided in the GuideStar Exchange* as of 05/06/2014: ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

Organization Name as listed in the IRS Business Master File as of 11/10/2014: ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

* 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: ALDF
Physical Address: Cotati, CA 94931 
EIN: 94-2681680
Web URL: www.aldf.org 
Blog URL: www.aldf.org/blog 
NTEE Category: D Animal related
D20 Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs)
D Animal related
D01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
D Animal related
D30 Wildlife Preservation/Protection
Ruling Year: 1980 


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Mission Statement

ALDF's mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.

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

(GuideStar Exchange,
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May 2014)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2012

Total Revenue $5,936,815
Total Expenses $5,874,168

Revenue & Expenses

(GuideStar Exchange,
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May 2014)

Fiscal Year Starting: January 1, 2012
Fiscal Year Ending: December 31, 2012

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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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May 2014)

Mr. Steve Wells

Term:

Since Apr 2007

Board Chair (GuideStar Exchange,
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May 2014)

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Board Co-Chair

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Board of Directors (GuideStar Exchange,
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May 2014)

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Board Leadership Practices (GuideStar Exchange,
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May 2014)
?

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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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People information was last updated by the nonprofit in May 2014

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Programs

Program: Animal Law Program (GuideStar Exchange,
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May 2014)

Budget:
$1,029,709
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Adults

Program Description:

ALDF’s Animal Law Program™ works closely with law students and law professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. Moving toward the day when animal law is part of the curriculum at each and every law school, the Animal Law Program collaborates with students, faculty, and school administrations to facilitate the development of animal law courses and assists students in forming Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters.

Program Long-Term Success:

Arriving at the day when animal law is part of the curriculum at each and every law school.

Program Short-Term Success:

Continue to facilitate the development of animal law courses and assist students in forming Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters.

Program Success Monitored by:

The annual increase in the number of animal law courses and Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters.

Program Success Examples:

We continue to exceed our expections for new animal law courses and Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters.  There are now 130 US SALDF chapters and 7 Canadian SALDF chapters.

Program: Litigation Program (GuideStar Exchange,
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May 2014)

Budget:
$1,318,935
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Adults

Program Description:

The Animal Legal Defense Fund's (ALDF) Litigation Program files cutting-edge lawsuits to stop the abuse of companion animals, and animals abused in industries including factory farming, laboratories and the entertainment industry. ALDF staff attorney's may bring suit themselves, or ALDF may retain outside counsel to represent it; we may also file either as a named plantiff, or as the attorney's for other organizations or individuals. Our civil actions on behalf of animals often include filing amicus curiae briefs arguing the case for recognition of the bonds between humans and nonhuman animals and formal complaints against government agencies charged with enforcing laws meant to protect animals.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

Program: Criminal Justice Program (GuideStar Exchange,
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May 2014)

Budget:
$1,164,220
Category:
Animal-Related
Population Served:
Adults

Program Description:

Through our Criminal Justice Program, ALDF works with prosecutors and enforcement agencies to ensure that state criminal anti-cruelty statutes are vigorously enforced, and that those convicted of abuse, cruelty and neglect receive appropriate sentences.  We work with state legislators to enact felony anti-cruelty statutes in states that do no yet have them, and to upgrade existing laws in states that do. The criminal justice program also maintains a nationwide database of cruelty cases and current and model animal protection laws available to prosecutors, legislators and researchers.

Program Long-Term Success:

Program Short-Term Success:

Program Success Monitored by:

Program Success Examples:

Expert Assessment

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. This organization has championed the idea of using law to change the protection for animals in our society based on the change in status reflected more broadly in society with companion animals. 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 »

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

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. This organization has championed the idea of using law to change the protection for animals in our society based on the change in status reflected more broadly in society with companion animals. According to experts, they were the first and are still the premier organization focused on the legal system with relation to animal issues.

Funding
Many local animal abuse cases would not be effective or made possible without the assistance of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Their funding and expertise assists many local prosecutors and animal organizations when funding is needed for that additional work that need put into a case to win a conviction. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Partnerships
Their assistance to prosecutors of animal cruelty cases is invaluable. Other
Sound Strategy
They take important cases through the courts that otherwise would not be addressed—precedent-setting cases. Nonprofit Senior Staff
The concept of being a law firm for animals gives them unique positioning. Other
Animal Legal Defense Fund has tremendous impact by working with attorneys, judges, prosecutors, legislators, faculty, and students on matters pertaining to animal law. They hold conferences of different types, engage in litigation by way of in-house and outside counsel, sponsor the Center for Animal Law Studies, which amplifies their ability to have an impact in educational settings. Everyone in the United States who is interested in animal law has, at one time or another, received a benefit derived from their conscientious programming. Researcher and Faculty
Effective Legislation
This organization has championed the idea of using law to change the protection for animals in our society based on the change in status reflected more broadly in society with companion animals. Their groundbreaking cases and innovative legislative efforts have helped people understand the issues at stake, as well as possible solutions. They were the first and are still the premier organization focused on the legal system with relation to animal issues. Researcher and Faculty
Animal Legal Defense Fund has in the past, and continues to have, a positive impact on the legal world that is animal law. They bring forward legal actions to protect and advance the interest of animals. Other
As an attorney I'm drawn to the fact that they are the only national animal protection organization that specifically uses the courts to improve the situation of animals. Other
Animal Legal Defense Fund selects issues carefully and initiates litigation that matters and, perhaps more importantly, is winnable. ALDF also plays a key roles with law students in nurturing interest in the field and encouraging students to stay involved after gradation on a pro bono basis. Researcher and Faculty
This organization has maintained a singular focus on developing animal protection law. It has grown and seems to have filled one of the most important niches in the animal rights movement. The leadership clearly understands its role and the importance of maintaining its focus. They are excellent in delivering its vision and mission. Researcher and Faculty
Great organization that actually uses the law to impact conditions for animals. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Important push for animals from legal perspective. They are an important group. Nonprofit Senior Staff
This organization's special contribution to the sector through legal advocacy is vital. Other
Great Programs
The program that engages law students through student Animal Legal Defense Fund's and promotion of animal law courses at all accredited law schools in US (and some places abroad). Other
Strong Education Programs
Animal Legal Defense Fund has been a leader in the field of animal law since the early 1980's. Not only have they facilitated positive change for animals at the national level both through litigation and legislative efforts, they have made more of a difference than any other organization when it comes to legal education. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They are very effective in inspiring and educating law students and lawyers about legal issues affecting animal welfare. Researcher and Faculty
Strong Leadership
Since its founding, the non-profit organization 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. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Leader in their Field
This organization started animal law and the movement to protect animals through the legal system. Other
Effective Advocacy
The most fundamental way animals are protected in a society is through the laws at the federal, state and local level. The Animal Legal Defense Fund works in several areas including: filing lawsuits to stop animal abuse and expand the boundaries of animal law; providing free legal assistance to prosecutors handling cruelty cases; working to strengthen state anti-cruelty statutes; and encouraging the federal government to enforce existing animal protection laws. Foundation Professional

Organizational Strengths

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has very talented staff with innovative ideas about managing cases and organizing information to share with lawyers, law students and lay people. They developed a focus on law schools and are largely responsible for the explosion of animal law courses. They support lawyers across the country doing great work and contribute to the scholarship in the field.

Effective Outreach Efforts
One of their strengths is that they reach out to other organizations. We received a letter from them offering their services and support when a big horse abuse case that we were dealing with hit the papers, and they let us know how they could help. Another strength is that they take the financial burden off the already overstretched budgets of the smaller organizations. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Strong Staff
Their staff attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and accommodating. Other
Talented Staff
The team they have built, the resources they offer, and the campaigns they conduct are all strong. Nonprofit Senior Staff
They have very talented staff with innovative ideas about managing cases and organizing information to share with lawyers, law students and lay people. They developed a focus on law schools and are largely responsible for the explosion of animal law courses. They support lawyers across the country doing great work and contribute to the scholarship in the field. Researcher and Faculty
The competence level and dedication of the attorneys working for Animal Legal Defense Fund is impressive. They could be making much more lucrative salaries in the private sector but instead work for the benefit of animals. I think they make good strategic decisions in what cases to get involved. Foundation Professional
Excellent Marketing
Animal Legal Defense Fund has effective leadership and marketing. As it has focused efforts through the professional legal academic community the rate of success measured by percentage of schools that have animal law courses and/or SALDF's is remarkable- especially in a relatively short time frame. Other
Sound Strategy
They have excellent litigation strategy and results. Other
Animal Legal Defense Fund is top notch when it comes to marketing. They make wise strategic decisions. I've not met one person from the organization that I didn't like on a personal level, not to mention professionally. They are careful stewards of their finances but do wonders to support law students and lawyers. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Animal Legal Defense Fund does not waste resources over communicating with donors. Researcher and Faculty
Dedicated Leadership
The leadership of this organization is extremely dedicated and knowledgeable in the area of animal law. In addition their staff, they provide an array of support and material to attorneys wishing to assist in animal law issues throughout the United States. They also have substantial programs in place for law students interested in animal law. Other
Effective Operations
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is a small enough organization (20+ staff) where they are able to accomplish a lot and not get bogged down in bureaucracy. They also have very strong and effective team/department leaders. Their executive director is very accomplished in managing finances and raising money. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Focus
They have consistent leadership in Joyce Tischler. They have a single focus to their mission, which has never wavered. Other
Well Organized
They are well organized and with a strong history of significant success stories. Other
Professional Approach
The board seems to have unending energy and commitment to helping animals. Their leadership is conscientious and apparently honest. It's hard to imagine their ability to do so much without being careful about financial management. They are judicious about the types of legal matters they engage in, avoiding flamboyant techniques in favor of good solid legal work that emphasizes the use of existing laws and changing laws where necessary through legitimate methods. There is very little "showmanship." Researcher and Faculty

Areas for Improvement

According to experts, this group could do a better job marketing the work they have done and continue to do. Many people are unaware of their vast contributions.

Access to Materials
It would be great if they were able to send a literature packets to county animal agencies so that everyone is aware of the services that are provided. The other marketing tool would be to let prosecutors know that these services are available for them, for in my experience many prosecutors have not had to handle animal abuse cases and would indeed appreciate the guidance of an organization such as the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Nonprofit Senior Staff
It would be helpful if they could provide some of their materials free of charge to prosecutors with limited budgets. Other
Better Communication
Sometimes it has seemed difficult to know how to reach them or who is in charge of decisions. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Better Marketing
This group could do a better job marketing the work they have done and continue to do. Many people are unaware of their vast contributions. Researcher and Faculty
They could use better visibility in animal protection community generally. Expansion of attorney and litigation program has been a bit slower, presumably building on relationships with this army of law students as they enter the profession will be a huge opportunity. Other
They need to increase their profile. Other
Expansion
I look forward to this organization's continued growth in coming years/decades, so that they may help more animals. Unfortunately, there is such an overwhelming need in the legal arena for nonprofit assistance that there resources must be limited to only a small percentage of cases. Other
Funding
With more funding, they could do even more! Nonprofit Senior Staff
More Diverse Board
The organization is trying to broaden its board base to bring in board members who have other assets other than legal (most are attorneys) which I think will help the organization overall. Nonprofit Senior Staff
More Publicity for Staff
Joyce is synonymous with the organization. Maybe bring others more into public roles. Other
More Staff
Hiring more attorneys to actively bring actions in various jurisdictions would help them. I think they only have two in their litigation section. Other
Not Aware of Animal Welfare/Care
No strengths. This is an animal rights organization pushing for legal rights for animals. They have no practical knowledge of animal care, so have no gauge as to what is good or not. Nonprofit Senior Staff
Do More In Legislation
They do a good job, but could be doing more litigation. Nonprofit Senior Staff
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