PLATINUM2024

Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Wild of Wonder

Red Lodge, MT   |  www.yellowstonewildlifesanctuary.org

Mission

Providing lifelong sanctuary to non-releasable Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem wildlife while sharing a message of education and conservation.

Ruling year info

1986

Executive Director

BR D Walker

Main address

PO Box 675

Red Lodge, MT 59068 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Beartooth Nature Center

EIN

81-0422009

NTEE code info

Wildlife Sanctuary/Refuge (D34)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

YWS’ mission is a viable and worthwhile endeavor. Funding the humane care of our residents is a challenging problem. Feeding, care, and habitat updates require a stable flow of revenue so that the level of care is consistent. Through the past few years, with the COVID 19 epidemic and two natural disasters in YWS’ area, the challenge of maintaining resilient revenues has been a problem. Inflation has had a tremendous impact on the cost of providing food and care while unique situations impacted our ability to serve the public. We are dependent on admissions and donations. When the economy, environment, and health care take precedence over tourism and leisure activities, the Sanctuary struggles to meet its revenue goals. Sustainability is our key interest and opportunity for the future. Major donors and grantors are key to our survival. With 40 years in place, we are eager to plan for another 40 years.

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?

Sanctuary for non-releasable GYE Wildlife

Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary’s mission is providing lifelong sanctuary to non-releasable Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem wildlife while sharing a message of education and conservation. We are a respected, accredited wildlife sanctuary, providing care to animals over 30 animals unable to survive in the wild. YWS is a valued source for education about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem wildlife and conservation.
YWS, located in Red Lodge, MT, is at the base of the Beartooth Highway and near the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It is a non-profit 501 (C) 3 and does not receive federal funding. Its support comes solely from individuals, foundations, and private funding. YWS is one of only 50 ASA accredited sanctuaries in the United States and the only one in Montana. In 2023, the Sanctuary will celebrate 40 years since its beginning.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

YWS offers the public an opportunity to see wildlife survivors who need lifelong care in a safe, humane sanctuary while learning about human-animal relationships and stewardship of the environment. Open daily 6 days a week to the public, the Sanctuary provides multiple educational opportunities. The educational programming targets school-aged children with camps, tours, encounters, and adventures that allow them to experience the wonder of the wild. It is also a place for wildlife enthusiasts to learn more about the GYE regardless of age. The Sanctuary has two fulltime educators.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

American Sanctuary Association (ASA) 2019

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 animals with freedom to express normal behavior

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

Children and youth, Adults

Related Program

Sanctuary for non-releasable GYE Wildlife

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of paid participants of guided tours

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

Children and youth, Adults

Related Program

Environmental Education

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Numbers reflect COVID 19 Pandemic

Number of facilities improved

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

Children and youth, Adults

Related Program

Sanctuary for non-releasable GYE Wildlife

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Represents new or significantly renovated habitats for each year.

Average daily attendance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Environmental Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Attendance is very seasonal, with summer months seeing an average closer to 100 visitors per day, and in the winter sometimes less than 100 during a whole month.

Number of Facebook followers

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

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Environmental Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We continue to expand our presence on Facebook and use it to notify people of events as well as needs we may have.

Hours of programing delivered

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

Children and youth, Adults

Related Program

Environmental Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Numbers for 2020 reflect COVID and 2021 numbers reflect COVID and fires in Red Lodge.

Number of animals provided with long term care

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

Children and youth, Adults

Related Program

Sanctuary for non-releasable GYE Wildlife

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of species in collection

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Sanctuary for non-releasable GYE Wildlife

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of avoidable deaths determined through the animal welfare reporting procedure

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

Children and youth, Adults

Related Program

Sanctuary for non-releasable GYE Wildlife

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of paid participants on field trips

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Students served in educational programs

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.

• Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary continues to operate as a permanent residence for Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem wildlife that cannot be released back into the wild;
• Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary continues to serve Red Lodge and surrounding area residents along with tourists in the area with an opportunity to view wildlife that they may not be able to see in the wild;
• Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary continues education programs for children and adults visiting the facility regarding the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem;
• Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary’s animal residents will have enhanced safety and security of food supplies.
• Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary grounds will be enhanced to provide our visitors and resident wildlife with improved safety, accessibility, and aesthetics.
• Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary will become more visible in its efforts to support the maintaining the environment.

YWS’ strategies for realizing our goals are to follow our strategic plan that integrates all aspects of the Sanctuary into our fundamental priorities. Having a clear plan and prescribed use of resources ensures that the funds we go obtain will go toward humane care and habitats for our wildlife residents while allowing us to utilize their stories of survival as an educational message about wildlife, conservation, the GYE, and man’s need for environmental stewardship.

YWS is fortunate to have a diverse board of directors who are fully engaged as volunteers and donors to the programs of the Sanctuary. Their varied expertise enhances the board’s ability to address the complicated issues that come with animal care and education, not to mention stabilizing revenues.

The staff hired by the Sanctuary has a unique blend of education, experience, and compassion for the animals, the students, and the environment. Their comradery is a strength that facilitates cross-training and depth of capabilities even with a small staff. Their enthusiasm is contagious and inspiring.

The Red Lodge community is a phenomenal base for the Sanctuary. The community continues to support our efforts with donations and attendance. Red Lodge is considered the playground for Billings, Montana, a city of over 100,000.

We count being in existence for 40 years as a major accomplishment. The fact that we have grown in our ability to care for wildlife and coordination a strong education program about the ecosystem is a feather in our cap. Over the past two years, we have turned from being a casual volunteer based to a strategic organization with defined goals. Through this planning, fortifying of staff resources, and diversification of the board, we have realized significant growth. These steps have begun a forward path for our journey.

While this has been underway, we have initiated procedures and policies that increase our effectiveness and focus on the well-being of both animals and humans alike.

Within the next year, we intend to launch a major building campaign in conjunction with our 40th anniversary. This campaign will fund new bear and cat habitats that are greatly needed.

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.
  • 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 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

  • 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?

    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, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary
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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
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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

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

Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Samantha Thomas

Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Term: 2014 - 2022

Samantha Thomas

Victoria Porter

Sue Bury

Sue Cross

Susan Robbins

Russ Lord

Alyson Mike

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 10/20/2022

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/20/2022

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

Data
  • 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 have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.