International Fund for Animal Welfare, Inc.

animals and people thriving together

aka IFAW   |   Yarmouth Port, MA   |


Fresh thinking and bold action for animals, people, and the place we call home.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Mr. Azzedine Downes

Main address

290 Summer Street

Yarmouth Port, MA 02675 USA

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NTEE code info

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

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At IFAW, we believe that every animal matters. Every animal is part of a species, and every species depends on its habitat for survival. IFAW engineers solutions that benefit animals, people and the planet, and activate where we are needed the most.

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?

Disaster Response and Risk Reduction

We put ourselves on the front lines of natural and human-caused disasters to rescue animals in need. Fires, floods, heatwaves, and other natural disasters related to climate change seem to become ever more common, putting even more animals and habitats at risk. Our experts and supported partners have rescued and rehabilitated and reunited or rehomed more than 550,000 animals impacted by natural disasters.

We support emergency responses to rescue animals in crisis on every continent except Antartica.

Population(s) Served

In our efforts to protect animals and the places they call home, we seek to end the illegal trade in wildlife species. Of the many threats to our planet’s wildlife, the illegal trade in live animals and their body parts is one of the most inhumane and detrimental threats to their survival. The illegal wildlife market is dependent on supply and demand, just like any other market.

By breaking every link in the criminal trade chain, we are making the world safer for animals, and for people. We’re decreasing the supply of illegal wildlife products by working with local communities and park rangers to stop poaching at its source. We engage with governments and the private sector to disrupt global trafficking networks, to prevent illegal trade from taking place in online marketplaces, and to curb the demand by raising consumer awareness and changing their behavior.

Population(s) Served

IFAW’s Landscape Conservation Program helps secure fragile landscapes for people and wildlife in the places they call home. IFAW works across borders, cultures and sectors to support safe, healthy habitats for people and animals.

In endangered landscapes around the world IFAW is empowering people to invest in their natural assets. Across Africa, in India, and in China, we are implementing community conservation projects that benefit people, reduce human-wildlife conflict and protect iconic species like elephants and their habitats.

IFAW’s Landscape Conservation Program works to ensure that habitats remain healthy and viable, able to provide ecosystem functions to both animals and people who call them home.

Population(s) Served

Our efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured and orphaned wildlife into secure habitats span five continents and include a wide variety of species. Our approach to wildlife rescue work is a commitment to best practices, building capacity, and learning from our experiences and partners.

Thanks to our global supporters can share best practices across the animal rescue field, build awareness in communities and increase the capacity of our partners to protect wildlife.

Population(s) Served

The gently sloping, sandy beaches and dramatic tidal fluxes of Cape Cod, USA—home to IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team—make the area the world’s busiest location for cetacean (that is, dolphin and whale) strandings.

For the past 20 years, we have been the first line of defense for marine mammals in distress there. We aim to provide the best field health assessments and veterinary care to these animals in crisis, and give as many as possible a second chance at life. We train first responders from around the globe in cutting-edge stranding response techniques.

Population(s) Served

Life in the sea is under threat. As many as one million species live in our oceans, and many of them are in danger. IFAW works to protect North Atlantic right whales and other marine species from threats including entanglements in fishing gear, collisions with tanker ships, ocean noise pollution, commercial whaling, plastic litter, and climate change.

Whether promoting ropeless lobster fishing gear or lobbying for stronger laws, we focus on solutions that enable animals and people to thrive together.

Population(s) Served

At IFAW, when we talk about secure habitats for the places animals call home, we mean more than just security on the ground. Unless animals and their habitats are protected in law and policies, we cannot be sure these places will stay secure over time. It is for this reason that IFAW engages so actively in advocacy work both nationally and internationally. IFAW has long participated in the workings of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), International Whaling Commission (IWC), and other intergovernmental agreements and institutions with environmental and animal welfare aspects. We send representatives to meetings of these MEAs to ensure that their decisions are in the best interests of the world’s wildlife.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


LEED Certified 2008

United States Green Building Council

Best Practices in Restricted/Emerging Markets 2022

Treasury & Risk Alexander Hamilton Award

Affiliations & memberships

US Climate Action Network 2021

Ocean & Climate Platform 2021

Society for Conservation Biology 2019

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2018

Founding member, Coalition to End Wildlife Trade Online 2018

Association of Fundraising Professionals 2008

Non-Profit Alliance 2019

Founding member, US Wildlife and Health Alliance 2020

US Global Leadership Coalition 2020

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

The problems we confront are urgent, complicated, and resistant to change.
Solving them requires fresh thinking and bold action. So we look at the issues from different angles, make unexpected connections, and challenge the way things are done.
We partner with local communities, NGOs, and governments around the globe to create real-world solutions that make an immediate and enduring impact for animals, people and the place we call home.

IFAW is a network of experts exploring new ideas to create real solutions to fulfill our vision: Animals and people thriving together.

We see the world as it is, and we’re compelled to make it better. IFAW finds new ways forward for animals, people, and the place we call home—and we’ve been leading the way for over 50 years.

IFAW's strategic plan includes:
Increasing the impact of our work to rescue and protect more animals by increasing our focus in East and Southern Africa and Asia, areas that are hotspots of human-caused, climate change-related, and disaster induced impacts for animals and habitats.

Strengthening cross-programmatic linkages and project-advocacy linkages.

Demonstrating our program impact across the global program portfolio.

We are building a staffing model to support the strategy by attracting, retaining and developing a core group of geographically aligned, mission-critical staff who embrace our institutional values of compassion, commitment, courage, integrity, proactivity, pragmatism, and flexibility.

Our team includes animal rescuers and wildlife caregivers, veterinarians, wildlife rangers, community liaisons, policy experts, campaigners, scientists, educators and the highest quality support staff.

With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW combines international strategic coordination with local leadership and expertise. IFAW promotes a holistic approach that forges unexpected partnerships and innovative solutions for individual animals and people, while engaging in disaster response and addressing the threats to wildlife and landscapes.

IFAW's locally-based, collaborative projects inform and influence policies that increase protection for animals like ivory trade bans and protections for the remaining 400 North American Right Whales. We leverage support from donors all over the world to deliver solutions with immediate and enduring impact for people and animals.

Disaster Response and Risk Reduction
In our first 50 years, IFAW has rescued over 200,000 animals from disasters around the world. Recent events include helping pets and families impacted by the category 5 Hurricane Dorian which hit The Bahamas in 2019. We also supported hundreds of local carers who rescued native wildlife displaced and injured by the Australian bushfires in 2020. Our experts also help community planners include animals in their disaster response plans, increasing resiliency for the next disaster event.

Wildlife Rescue
IFAW supports wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release into safe spaces in India (elephants, rhinos and other animals); China (raptors at our Beijing Raptor Rescue Center); Zambia (elephants); Zimbabwe (elephants); USA (marine mammals); and Australia (koalas and other wildlife) through ongoing, long-term partnerships with local rescue and rehab experts. We create safe spaces and wildlife corridors.

Recent Policy and Advocacy Accomplishments
The UK Parliament implemented an ivory trade ban, informed by IFAW's advocacy.
The US government severely restricted ivory sales at a federal level and we continue to help close loopholes.
In 2019, China closed all ivory markets as a result of IFAWs advocacy and demand reduction work, leading to a decrease in elephants poached for ivory.

The US government has allocated funding to support testing and adoption of ropeless lobster traps to reduce or eliminate the risk of endangered right whale entanglement in fishing ropes which restrict the whale's ability to move and feed, eventually resulting in death.
The effort is based on a collaboration between IFAW and the Lobstermen's Association of Massachusetts.

The number of tourists in Iceland eating whale meat in Iceland has dramatically reduced due to the efforts of IFAW's Meet Us Don't Eat Us campaign. We have also helped cultivate a whale watching industry that has supplanted whale hunting in the country.

Wildlife Trafficking
IFAW's wildlife rangers, in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service apply lessons learned from counter-terrorism operations to counter-poaching work reducing the number of elephants killed.

The European Commission launched an intergovernmental European Action Plan against wildlife trafficking including recommendations by IFAW which has led to a greater crackdown on illegal wildlife traders.

INTERPOL's Operation Worthy conducted with IFAW support resulted in 376 arrests, the seizure of 4.5 tonnes of ivory and rhino horn and the investigation of 25 criminal groups involved in illegal wildlife trade.

Community Animals
IFAW has helped thousands of cats and dogs suffering from cruelty and neglect by helping families change their perceptions of pet ownership, providing spay and neuter clinics, and develop plans for long-term humane treatment of roaming dogs.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Communities living with animals, both domestic and wild.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), 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 make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


International Fund for Animal Welfare, Inc.

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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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

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International Fund for Animal Welfare, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 05/06/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mark Beaudouin

Retired Gen. Counsel, Waters Corporation

Term: 2020 -

Barbara U. Birdsey

Pegasus Foundation

Catherine Lilly

Bank of America - Retired

Catherine Bearder

UK Charity Trustee

Constantin Bjerke

Graeme Cottam

UK Charity Trustee

Joyce Doria

Booz Allen Hamilton- Retired

H.E. Professor Judi Wakungu

Embassy of Kenya

John Albrecht

Leonard Joel Auction House

Alejandra Pollak

New Standards Institute

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 ? Yes
  • 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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/6/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/15/2022

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

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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 seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.