Hearts Speak Inc

Creating a world where no shelter animal goes unseen

Poughkeepsie, NY   |  https://www.heartsspeak.org/

Mission

HeARTs Speak is a nationally recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization that's uniting art and advocacy to increase the visibility of shelter animals. Our work shines a light on animals in need and improves adoption rates by increasing the marketing capacity of time-stretched, tightly-resourced animal welfare organizations. We work with artists, community members, and animal sheltering professionals to leverage creativity, collaboration, and connection to save the lives of homeless animals. Through a variety of innovative programs, we’re dedicated to building the resources and partnerships that allow humane agencies to leverage their full marketing potential to increase adoptions, reduce the length of time animals wait for homes, and ultimately transform the public perception of pet adoption.

Ruling year info

2012

Executive Director

LISA PRINCE FISHLER

Main address

PO Box 2645

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-2327189

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (D01)

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Creative communications and engaging photography can present a hurdle to animal shelter and rescue organizations, which often struggle with a lack of resources (both monetary and time), and professional training. Yet these concepts play a critical role in increasing adoptions and lifesaving within any given community. HeARTs Speak was founded in 2010, driven by equal parts compassion, collaboration, and innovation to equip animal welfare organizations with improved imagery and marketing. At present, only 25-30% of animals acquired in the Unites States are adopted from a shelter or rescue. We believe that through improved imagery and marketing, born out of training, resources and partnership, we can increase the adoption rate, reduce length of stay, engage more community members in concepts surrounding animal welfare, and ultimately save lives.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Perfect Exposure Project

The Perfect Exposure Project is a program anchored in collaboration, innovation and creativity. Through hands-on instruction, animal shelters are given photography equipment, training and inspiration to positively and effectively promote the animals in their care. In 2013, HeARTs Speak launched the Perfect Exposure Project (PEP) workshops at two high intake shelters: Animal Care & Control of NYC and the Animal Care & Control Team of Philly. Since then, the program has grown to work with more than 1200 shelter staff and volunteers in 33 locations throughout the U.S.

The Perfect Exposure Project is designed to empower animal shelters with the tools and resources to: 1) Improve staff and volunteer photography skills of adoptable animals 2) Increase the response rate of potential adopters and supporters through honest, creative and engaging marketing 3) Encourage positive engagement and promotion of the shelter and animals in their care 4) Foster collaboration, innovative ideas and creativity among shelter staff and volunteers! We estimate that more than 350,000 homeless pets each year are beneficiaries of improved photos + promotion thanks to the training of the Perfect Exposure Project.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Artists Helping Animals is our flagship program made up of professional photographer and artist members who offer their creative services pro-bono to animal shelters throughout the world. This program seeks to transform the image of shelter pets and ultimately save more lives through partnership and service to animal welfare organizations. The program saw 110 new members join the community of artists working in partnership with shelters, rescues and advocacy groups spanning the globe. The creative vision, imagery, and exposure that these members provide help to ensure that more animals than ever get their lifesaving chance at exposure, and truly embody the idea that Seen = Saved. As of 2019, we have 500+ members in 47 U.S. states and 10 countries. According to our most recent survey of Artists Helping Animals program participants these artists are giving more 17,000 hours per month and impacting more than 425,000 animals through their services.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Artists and performers

EDU + Petblicity is a program that serves as an online library for content such as downloadable guides, tools and templates, video tutorials and webinars to make photography, social media, adoption promotion, and all-things-marketing available to anyone working or volunteering in animal welfare, no matter the skill set or background. With topics ranging from how to take an eye-catching adoption photo to managing social media and positive marketing, HeARTs Speak's EDU program aims to save more lives through improved shelter marketing. In 2018, usage of EDU + Petblicity resources increased by 537% with the addition of 56 new tools and resources — toolkits, printables, videos, and ebooks— to the library. As of June 2019, the total downloads for this program increased to 17k, averaging around 1000 downloads every month in 2019.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Images with HeART is stock photography for good, powered by the artists of HeARTs Speak! The program is a fresh spin on image licensing, merging the promotion of pet adoption with a sustainable and ethical platform for artists to license their work. Every license helps promote animal adoption and the lifesaving work of a shelter pet photographer

Population(s) Served
Adults
Artists and performers

Where we work

Awards

Innovation Showdown Finalist 2018

Petco Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Artists and performers

Related Program

Perfect Exposure Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

To date, we’ve taught 59 workshops that brought the program to 41 locations and worked with more 1,500 staff + volunteers that represent 320 partner organizations.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

HeARTs Speak's goals are to embrace collaboration across many fields, improve the lives of animals, increase pet adoptions, and ultimately provide training and resources to those working and volunteering in the field of animal welfare. In the last decade, there has been a tremendous shift in animal welfare towards innovative lifesaving and bold programmatic changes to help more pets find or stay in their homes. While marketing has become a recognized + critical component to this movement, the concepts and skills are sometimes just out of reach for organizations struggling with resource deficits.

A 2014 survey of 783 shelter and rescue groups that HeARTs Speak performed found that 82.2% of those surveyed said that quality photographs are the most important part of marketing, and integral to effective lifesaving and visibility for their organization. Additionally, 61.9% felt their photographs needed to improve and 74.3% wanted support for writing better bios/pet descriptions. However, without training or opportunities to learn, these improvements and related goals remain elusive for many organizations.

Effective promotion of homeless pets doesn’t just impact adoption rates, but the variety of other programs that shelters and rescues undertake to increase adoptions, reduce intake, and increase overall lives saved. In the last decade, there has been a tremendous shift in animal welfare towards innovative lifesaving and bold programmatic changes to help more pets find or stay in their homes. While marketing has become a recognized + critical component of success, the concepts and skills involved are often just out of reach for organizations struggling with resource deficits, and often takes a backseat to urgent or emergency situations and the general triage-style nature of animal sheltering.

Our first strategy is to collaborate with and provide a community of support and resources for artists and creative professionals who provide pro bono services to animals shelters and rescues globally. This includes a large number of visual artists, graphic designers and photographers who create technically and stylistically proficient imagery, as well as marketing professionals, writers and volunteers of all kinds who create engaging and accurate bios and descriptions, and dazzling social media content. This strategy results in contributing to increasing adoptions and decreasing the length of time animals are waiting for their homes, while underwriting organizations of all shapes, sizes and kinds to engage in lifesaving goals.

Through the Perfect Exposure Project (PEP), our second strategy is harness the expertise of artist members and creative professionals and bring that information directly to shelters in the form of workshops that empower animal welfare staff and volunteers to be able to create photos, professional communications ---written content and digital marketing practices--- that will further their respective missions and goals.

Our third strategy uses the concept and curriculums of our PEP workshops to bring educational content to a larger audience, including but not limited to those unable to participate in in-person workshops, conferences or other hands-on learning experiences. HeARTs Speak EDU aims to put tools and resources, easily accessed online via downloadable tools, printables, templates, webinars and video tutorials, directly into the hands of animal sheltering staff, volunteers, artists and advocates. By eliminating barriers to access these skill-building and educational components, we hope to arm and inspire a new wave of animal advocates to invest in marketing, communications and imagery that will help to save the lives of shelter animals.

Our final strategy, through our Images with HeART program, is to provide stock photography for good, powered by the artists of HeARTs Speak! The program is a fresh spin on image licensing, merging the promotion of pet adoption and humane treatment of animals with a sustainable and ethical platform for artists to license their work. As with each of our strategies, we've designed this program to bring new attention to pet adoption and the work of shelters and rescues in the United States and abroad.

With more than 600 artist members, representing 21 countries and 48 states, countless animal shelter and rescue partners, a dedicated core of staff and volunteers, and proven-solutions to contribute towards existing problems for the animal welfare industry, HeARTs Speak's capabilities for meeting our goals are strong. We have all the pieces in place to continue to grow our organization, increase our impact and ultimately make a real difference for animals and the people who care about them. In more recent years, the growth of the PEP and EDU/Petblicity programs gives us access to more than 4,500 additional shelter staff and volunteers who in turn help to spread the word about HeARTs Speak programs and continue our grassroots growth.

Some of our major indicators of success and accomplishment and goals include: Increasing our artist membership with the addition of 80 new artists just this past year, each working with animal shelters or rescues in the U.S. and abroad, together providing 20,000+ hours of service monthly; Growing the Perfect Exposure Project by bringing 2-day workshops to more than 59 communities throughout the United States and reaching approximately 1500 shelter and rescue staff/volunteers who will work with more than 450,000 animals each year; and The EDU + Petblicty programs were recognized in 2018 with a spot as a finalist in a competition called the Innovation Showdown, earning HeARTs Speak a chance to pitch our innovative concept for an animal welfare marketing platform to a panel of funders and earning us a $40,000 investment. Usage of EDU + Petblicity resources increased by 537% with the addition of 56 new tools and resources — toolkits, printables, videos, and ebooks— to the library, and currently tops out at around 1000 downloads of our materials every month. Together, our programs are able to effect the lives of more than 1 million animals annually to help increase visibility through art and professional creative services, as well as to provide resources and training for those on the front lines of animal caretaking.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The people we serve are those employed with, volunteering with, or interacting with animal sheltering and rescue organizations across the United States.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Based on feedback from constituents we were able to begin offering some of our resources in Spanish and begin to craft templates and tools to support organizations beyond pet adoption and in the community support space as it relates to helping keep people and pets together.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Hearts Speak Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Hearts Speak Inc

Board of directors
as of 10/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rebecca Gobeille

Jameson Babbitt Stites & Lombard

Term: 2020 -

Lisa Prince Fishler

HeARTs Speak

Erica Matyas

TEK Productions

William Anzenberger

Valley Humane Society

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/11/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.