Shannon Elizabeth Foundation

aka Animal Avengers   |   Woodland Hills, CA   |


The mission of the Shannon Elizabeth Foundation is to conserve, by any means possible, the natural environment including animals and habitats for endangered species. We do so through our endangered species program, a scholarship for African women to get into the conservation sciences, education and awareness programs, and public policy. We also have a land program in development that focuses on community, renewables, and sustainable living.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Shannon Elizabeth

Chief Operating Officer

Simon John Carlyle Borchert

Main address

21031 Ventura Blvd. Ste 550

Woodland Hills, CA 91364 USA

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NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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

Animals are being illegally poached at an alarming rate, to near extinction. This just isn't acceptable for us to allow this to happen in our lifetime. We are focusing on Africa at the moment since the poaching crisis is a full-on war there. A war that's getting progressively worse every year.

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?

Education & Awareness

We’ve created the first in a series of what we’re calling
Reviews. These Reviews are your one-stop-shop for trusted, credible, objective, and consistently updated web-based information that focuses on specific species or environmental crises. launched in August of 2019. This is a
website where you can learn all about rhinos, from the
beginning of their recorded existence through to the present. The research and writing has all been thanks to our Editor-in-Chief, Peter Borchert.

Peter is a South African with a very rich heritage in international wildlife and conservation journalism, dating back 40+ years. Because of Peter’s stellar reputation and unrivaled recognition, he was able to reach out to top conservation organizations and share in their data. They have graciously opened their archives to us, recognizing that in the past, conservation has been very polarizing, and it’s beyond time that things change. Concurrently, world-class photographers have also shared their incredible artwork with us, allowing us to create a digital experience filled with the most exquisite, inspiring images.

As a result, what we have created is a single repository for reliable, industry-wide information to be collated and delivered. Our goal being that with a better-informed
population, we can eradicate unnecessary rhetoric from public debate and help to guide philanthropic investments to dependable organizations who
truly deserve it. Our Youth Empowerment initiative will also be taking Rhino Review into schools and making it readily available for teachers to incorporate
into their curriculum.

We also recently announced that we’re excited to be in pre-production on Big Cat Review, our next educational platform which will see us concentrate on the plight of the world’s large felines.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

We believe that our youth are, indeed, the heroes of tomorrow. But that tomorrow can, and must, start today. This imperative is the focus of our second initiative, called Animal Avengers. We must educate and empower young people in every way we can, particularly in developing economies. Without our commitment and their energy, there is little hope of a better world. A world in which all ecosystems thrive without any threat of destruction through human greed.

We want young people everywhere to pledge themselves as animal avengers now and in perpetuity. More than that, young citizens must become Earth avengers, humanity avengers, and life avengers in the broadest sense. We must make big changes and make them fast. But who are we to tell younger generations how to clean up our messes? Young people are more than capable of identifying the problems and what to do about them. They don’t need our instruction. Instead, we need to collaborate with young people everywhere and help to empower them to become innovative leaders in their local, regional, and even global communities. We must hear their voices and facilitate their ability to stand up for a better world. We are committing our resources to three critical areas.

We believe that iconic wildlife species, such as rhinos, can engender interest and respect for all living beings and the landscapes they inhabit. As an extension of our Rhino Review initiative, we are partnering with education-focused nonprofits to go into schools and help to excite kids. Our future generations must fall in love with these captivating creatures and the wilderness which surrounds them.

Teachers are vital to nurturing our youth. We want educators everywhere to utilize Rhino Review as an informational resource. We are working closely with schools to develop a teacher’s toolkit to support their wildlife curriculum and bring rhinos right into the
classroom. This kit will be free to download straight from our platform and will be optimized for offline teaching. Our teacher’s toolkit will be visually stimulating, factually flawless and notably inspiring.

We are currently developing relationships with key partners to identify and support economically disadvantaged girls in South Africa who have a proven passion and ability to pursue a career in the conservation economy. Scholarship opportunities include wildlife veterinary sciences, wildlife and conservation management, conservation administration, and eco-tourism. This is an ideal opportunity for philanthropists to contribute to the development of young girls to be tomorrow’s leaders. We are launching this in the second quarter of 2020, allowing for the first enrollment in January 2021.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Young adults

We believe that to truly maximize impact and make immense change, few things work as well as political reform which bolsters new and existing laws that effectively combat the illegal wildlife trade, stifle poaching syndicates and disrupt the rampant killing of our natural world. Instead of making ubiquitous emotional appeals, we choose rather to use rational, science-based data to support sound decision-making by our lawmakers.

We consult objectively with lawmakers to better inform policy decisions. We have been increasing our presence in Washington, D.C., consulting with senators and representatives of Congress on various bills across multiple international issues such as trade, poaching, poorly regulated tourism and wildlife ownership.
We demonstrate how the decisions taken by politicians affect people on the ground in places like Africa where economies, societies, and wildlife sustainability are impacted. Also, issues of national security become critical discussions as we communicate how these international issues affect the people of America.

We are also increasing our presence in South Africa, building relationships with local parliamentarians and ministers.

Population(s) Served

The sustainable use of land is a global issue and one that requires solutions that reflect a deep and meaningful integration of environmental ambition and socio-economic necessity. Many of the world’s protected areas are flanked by some of the most impoverished communities on the planet.

Often, this brings wildlife into conflict with these communities, exacerbating the challenges in finding solutions that honor both the communities and wildlife as equal stakeholders.
Sometimes these villages are given a small stipend, or they might benefit from a simple project funded by the reserve. But what would it look like if these communities became guardians and champions of wildlife and wild places?

We have created a philanthropic investment model that achieves a transparent, scalable and integrated solution for the astute philanthropist to ensure their investment becomes a tangible part of their long-term legacy, whilst creating hope for impoverished communities and protecting the natural habitat for many threatened species.

We believe that conservation is not an action, but rather a
consequence of an action. And that action is the protection of land through the upliftment and inclusion of local communities in the conservation economy.

Our program, Sireletsa (which means “to protect” in Sepedi), is a fund designed to positively contribute to the challenges of unifying these economically marginalized communities in protecting our natural heritage. Sireletsa conforms with the need for transparency, impact and sustainability of your philanthropic investment with the long-term development of land and people.

There’s no shortage of critical land areas that require protection. With land secured, we then host several functions on that land:
–Private and public tourism products ensuring people and specifically donors, are able to visit the land regularly and immerse themselves in our conservation initiatives.
–Community development programs that include
infrastructural solutions like renewable energy, schools,
clinics, basic sanitation, skills development, job creation,
entrepreneurial development of micro-enterprises, and finally, land ownership.

At its core, the land will be a flagship of community development but will be a home to all of our critical conservation programming, which includes:
–A rhino orphanage providing critical care to orphaned baby rhinos that have lost their mothers to poaching.
–The creation of an IPZ (Intensive Protection Zone) for rhinos and other targeted species to be protected from poachers.
–An endangered species rescue and rehabilitation center allowing for long-term protection.
–A youth education facility where young people from around the world are able to experience the African bush whilst learning about conservation first-hand.
–An exclusive volunteer center to encourage donors and guests to actively participate in on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Population(s) Served

In addition to our in-house initiatives, we have a long-running grants program. We are in the field working hard on these issues every day, but no one organization can do it all. So we support other impactful NGOs who are making a difference but may need a little help. We have done everything from funding an anti-poaching unit at a rhino orphanage and purchasing specialty night-vision goggles for a helicopter pilot in South Africa, to funding a solar-powered water pump during a drought for the animals in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Preparation time and details for Rhino Review.

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


Related Program

Education & Awareness

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

It took over two years to research & build We are consistently updating, upgrading, & promoting the site to teach, inspire & assist in educated giving to save the species.

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 biggest goal is to put ourselves out of business. The holy grail is for all animals to live in their wild places, free from harm by humans.

But understanding the immense challenges we face ahead of us, our immediate goals are a bit more obtainable. We aim to first educate people everywhere on endangered species and their challenges so as to better direct donor dollar and inspire action. We aim to educate kids. We also want more local, financially disadvantaged girls to get into conservation and take ownership of their land and heritage. We hope to help implement laws that support animals and their wild places. And finally, we want to protect land and uplift local communities.

We're spending our time in the field, making strategic partnerships and creating long-term associations. We find that the only way to understand the issues are to be in the middle of them and to talk to as many people as possible. We are working hard on all of our initiatives every single day and creating a new model for conservation philanthropy.

The board we're creating in South Africa comprises a publisher with over 40 years experience in conservation, a brand strategist, a public voice and someone with expertise in policy and legislation, among others. We are surrounding ourselves with the people we know can help to make real change happen for our wildlife.

In 2017 we started paying for the security for a rhino orphanage in South Africa at the end of the year. The Rhino Pride Foundation needed help and we were able to step in. We were also able to support the work of Tokkie Botes/Flying For Freedom South Africa. We purchased a special helmet and two sets of specially requested night vision goggles Tokkie needed to be able to fly at night and continue his invaluable work in the field. We continue to support some of the programs Friends of Hwange run, including medication for community clinics and rehab/relocation of a lioness (all in Zimbabwe).

We launched in August 2019, and we have started pre-production on Big Cat Review.

Past programs include installing a solar water pump in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Water is essential to all life in Africa, especially elephants. There are over 40K elephants in Hwange alone and they have been in a massive drought. Diesel pumps had to be supplemented with daytime solar pumps to keep up with demand. We were able to supply not only a solar pump but quite a bit of diesel fuel to keep the pumps running for the animals there. We worked closely with Friends of Hwange to make this happen.

We also raised funds to buy a fracture kit to assist the doctors at Saving The Survivors. These doctors are performing life-saving, never before tried procedures on rhinos and wildlife who are being attacked almost daily by poachers. The proper equipment to supplement their efforts is essential to their success. We were proud to assist in their life-saving work, if even in a small way.

We made a custom elephant tracker and had it imported into Zimbabwe to assist the doctors at AWARE trust. They recently treated an elephant who was a gunshot victim and were able to fit her with the tracker. This is important for them to do the follow-up on her to ensure a full recovery.


Shannon Elizabeth Foundation

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


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Shannon Elizabeth Foundation

Board of directors
as of 03/30/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Shannon Elizabeth

Shannon Elizabeth Fadal

Ganesha Entertainment

Stephen Ham


Jeffrey Tutor

Stifel Financial Corp.

Allyson Spellman


Joseph D. Reitman

Ganesha Entertainment