Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Rescue Rehabilitation Recovery

Brentwood, TN   |  http://www.GlobalElephants.org

Mission

Mission: Protecting, rescuing, and providing sanctuary for elephants worldwide. Thousands of captive elephants in zoos and circuses around the world are suffering. Year after year of isolation, restraint, malnutrition, abuse and lack of adequate exercise and proper medical care exact a harsh physical and psychological toll on these highly intelligent sensitive and social creatures. These elephants are in need of sanctuary, but too few exist to be able to care for them all. GSE exists to create vast safe spaces for captive elephants, where they are able to heal physically and emotionally from the traumas of captivity. Our pilot project is Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, the first and only elephant sanctuary in Latin America.

Ruling year info

2014

Principal Officer

Scott Blais

Main address

P.O. Box 2426

Brentwood, TN 37024 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-3564818

NTEE code info

Wildlife Sanctuary/Refuge (D34)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (D01)

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

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

The biggest struggle we face at this point in time is expanding our following. In the early years of any nonprofit, this is always a struggle. GSE is in a predicament not known to most elephant sanctuaries, we have elephants ready to come to the sanctuary, but the facilities are not ready. In the US battles loom for years to get elephants to sanctuary, and here they are waiting for their new home to be ready. It is a problem and a blessing at the same time. Currently, we are working to expand our reach through connections, social media, and word of mouth. Sharing the stories of recovery of all of our residents allows people to see what sanctuary means to us and the elephants that arrive at ESB. These stories not only show who the elephants are but also the depth of damage caused by a life in captivity. People learn, and when they do, they want to share this new knowledge. Our foundation is strong, and our following continues to grow. The more elephants, the more it will build.

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?

Elephant Sanctuary Brazil

To build and maintain an expansive, natural habitat elephant sanctuary for captive elephants throughout Latin America and possibly other countries as well. Brazil has an estimated 35-40 resident elephants, 18 live in primarily substandard zoo facilities while another 17 are known to be traveling with circus or already sequestered to a remote life of chains and severe confinement.  Because of Brazil’s central location, ESB will be able to provide sanctuary to elephants from surrounding countries in South America, offering solace to elephants throughout the continent. Its optimal temperature means the elephants will be able to spend their time outside year round.  ESB will also offer vast space to males and try to integrate them in with the herd when possible, offering them a more natural life-one they are almost always denied in captivity.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Working with several other non profit organizations on progressive legislation for elephants. Video analysis and diagnostics of captive elephants, their health, body condition, and overall well-being. Providing expert testimony and interviews on the benefits of sanctuary for elephants and the negative impact of captivity. Working with other nonprofits on the creation of sanctuaries in much needed areas of the world, that are based on space and autonomy for the elephants.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

SEMA 2016

Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries 2020

Affiliations & memberships

Santuário de Elefantes Brasil 2015

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 first-time donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

GSE was incorporated in 2013, before a land search had taken place to find the location that would become the home of Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. Our first rescue took place in 2016.

Number of list subscribers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

As a fairly new nonprofit we are steadily building our group of supporters to help our organization grow.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We also have a presence on Twitter and Instagram that continue to grow.

Number of elephants rescued up to date

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Although incorporated in 2013, it took until 2015 to find the perfect property. Due to the necessary construction to house elephants, our first residents, Maia & Guida, were rescued October of 2016.

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.

Our primary objective is to create a global coalition to ensure a safe, secure and humane future for captive elephants through the development and support of spacious, holistic, natural habitat elephant sanctuaries domestically and internationally. We bring a commitment to effect positive change and strive to foster a deeper comprehension of the intelligence and social complexity of elephants.

Our pilot project is our 2800-acre sanctuary for elephants throughout Latin America- Elephant Sanctuary Brazil. GSE is involved in the design, management, and training of staff to ensure that elephants have the life of dignity that they both need and deserve. Once Elephant Sanctuary Brazil is further along, it will allow us to venture further and help do the same in other areas of the world.

With over 5,000 captive elephants around the globe and less than 200 in sanctuaries, we need to pull together and create solutions. We as humans are responsible for elephants being in these conditions, and now it is time for us to make things better.

Education is key, and using every modality to get that message out there is just as important. We educate through the sharing of knowledge of the complexities of elephants, the impact of captivity and the benefits of sanctuary. We use our personal stories with elephants, their struggles, their growth to teach in a relatable and compassionate manner.

Global networking plays a huge role; partnering with other organizations and working together towards a common goal. Many organizations are looking to us for a solution, for a viable and respectful lifelong home for those elephants that suffer in captivity. We are all working together, in different aspects, to provide a better life for captive elephants across the globe.

We will continue to open the hearts and minds of many people. The more individuals that truly understand, the faster change for all captive elephants will come. We continue to push progressive legislation, both protecting elephants and ensuring the most basic needs of their species are met. Growth in regards to captive elephants, has been huge in the last decade. We intend to help push and continue that trend.

Developing an elephant sanctuary requires extensive knowledge of the natural life of elephants, how they live if left alone in the wild, an understanding of their social structures, proper diet, methods of communication and a keen understanding of the meaning of natural elephant behaviors, postures and vocalizations. But we also have to understand what they've endured in captivity: extensive human dominance, physical punishment, the long-term impact of improper diet and the lack of social experience, isolation and extreme confinement. Most importantly we have to understand the psychology of healing and the vast spectrum of individual responses to stress, and trauma. Some individuals may recover quickly; others may have flashbacks of past sufferings that could haunt them for the rest of their lives. All aspects of elephant nature and the impact captivity has had on them has to be taken into consideration when selecting land, constructing fences, developing operational protocol, facility design and most importantly when working with each individual.

Global Sanctuary for Elephants has pulled together two very knowledgeable experts, Dr. Joyce Poole, internationally renowned for her studies of wild elephants in Africa for over 45 years, and Scott Blais, co-founder of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, one of two organizations that have pioneered progressive elephant care. With Joyce's extensive understanding of natural behavior and Scott's thorough understanding of captive elephant care and recovery, Elephant Sanctuary Brazil is primed to have a profound impact on the lives of captive elephants in Brazil and throughout South America.

We have aided in accomplishing progressive legislation. We have shared the elephant's stories to many an audience and opened their eyes to the harsh truth of the reality of captivity for elephants. We have worked to save elephants and to educate facilities on how to better provide for their elephants. But this is just the beginning (at least of this part of the journey).

In October 2016 we opened our doors to our first two residents, rescuing Maia and Guida from a life of circus. Although much progress had been made before then, it all means so much more once the first elephant steps through the gates and begins their journey of healing. We exist to provide a life of respect, companionship, and compassion for elephants. In 2018, Rana, a former circus elephant being housed at a small zoo, was donated to ESB and joined Maia and Guida. In 2019, Ramba and Lady, two more female Asian elephants, joined the herd at ESB. In 2020, despite limitations due to the pandemic, Mara from Buenos Aires, and Bambi from within Brazil, both came to ESB. Growing the herd and helping elephants throughout Latin America is our immediate goal. There are many more elephants in South America waiting for rescue as we continue to work through the bureaucracy that will make that possible.

Right now we are finishing the first phase of construction of the African female elephant habitat. This projects will initially allow us to accept 3 compatible female African elephants, one who has already been signed over to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil and solidify an agreement for 2 additional elephants. The next project is already lined up- a habitat for male Asian elephants, and hopefully the future home of Tamy. The funds for the first phase are very close to raised, and construction will begin once the appropriate permit is in place.

We are working on building a rescue network that will function globally to be able to act upon instances of elephant abuse and neglect, wherever they are located, with experience and professionalism. We are also discussing how we can assist in the creation of another smaller sanctuary to house aging elephants in another part of the world. The greater our success, the more able we are to aid elephants in other parts of the globe. The potential is unlimited.

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?

    Our organization exists to serve the elephants in our care, but we feel we also serve the people who give and make it possible to accomplish our mission. Without our supporters, this life of sanctuary cannot exist for the elephants in our care. We cherish our relationship with our 'sanctuary family', answer every question and email, read every comment, know many of them on a personal level, and respect and take into consideration their opinions about what we could change or do better.

  • 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), Suggestion box/email, Facebook post asking for feedback,

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

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We have made changes to our social media platforms and some of the posts we are sharing to include things that people wanted more of or felt were missing.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    In general, we feel that people appreciate it when their opinions and desires matter. Many feel like nonprofits just want their money and that is all. Our communications with our supporters have always been strong, but we believe these kinds of discussions can only strengthen that relationship.

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

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, 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, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

Global Sanctuary for Elephants
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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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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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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Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Board of directors
as of 6/21/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scott Blais

Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Term: 2019 - 2021

Katherine Blais

Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Jill Moore

Humane Society

Joyce Poole

ElephantVoices

Scott Blais

Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Hope Ferdowsian

Phoenix Zones Initiative

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.

  • 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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/12/2021

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data