Dharma Voices for Animals is the only international Buddhist Animal Rights and Animal Advocacy organization in the world.

GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 45-5372693


Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) is a nonprofit organization committed both to practicing the teachings of the Buddha (the Dharma) and to speaking out when the actions of those in Dharma communities and the policies of Dharma centers lead to animal suffering. We want to be the voice of the animals who cannot speak our language. We speak out about the harm we cause other sentient beings when we eat them, use their body parts as clothing, or use products that are tested on them. While DVA recognizes the challenges of living in a complex, modern society, we wish to promote the choices that provide the greatest reduction of animal suffering.

Ruling year info


President and Co-Founder

Mr. Robert Isaacson

Main address

PO BOX 508


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Formerly known as

Bob Isaacson



Subject area info

Animal welfare

Population served info



NTEE code info

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

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms

Show Forms 990



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

DVA’s Sri Lanka Project

Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) puts on presentations for dharma schools and other organizations all over Sri Lanka and advocates for Animal Welfare legislation.

Population(s) Served

DVA is very excited to announce the launching of our third countrywide Project in Thailand. Led by our new Director of the Project, Dr. Chirra Taworntawat (Banks). Banks is a former monk and is currently a Buddhist practitioner. He has received his Ph.D. in public health at the renowned Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Banks is also well known in Thailand for his vegan mentoring on his own YouTube Channel Coach Banks with over 414,000 followers.

DVA is working with the approximately 300,000 monastics in Thailand, the great majority of whom eat a great deal of animal flesh and animal products. Some of the biggest and most influential temples in Thailand are working with DVA by welcoming our presentations on the health benefits of a plant-based or, at least, a vegetarian diet.

Population(s) Served

The focus and goals of the US Center’s Project are to speak up for farmed animals by inviting, encouraging, educating, and supporting Buddhist retreat centers across the United States to transition towards (or wholeheartedly adopt) healthy, compassionate, climate-friendly, plant-based menus for all of their events. We estimate that we will be connecting with well over 1000 Buddhist centers that serve meals during their daylong and residential retreats in North America to an estimated 4 million Buddhists.

In partnership with Audrey Sanchez of Balanced, we have created a website that is a resource for US Buddhist Centers. Here you can download our 43-page Plant-Rich Menus Guide and our 32-page Plant-Rich Recipe Guide. These guides include reasons to add more plant-based meals, meal ideas and recipes, retreat center guidelines and suggested things to consider when making a food policy, testimonials from other centers and endorsements for working with DVA and Balanced, plus so much more.

Population(s) Served

DVA’s Vietnam Project connects with Pagodas (Vietnamese Buddhist temples) as our main operation. The Director of our Project, the Venerable Thich Thanh Huan, P.hD., has put together a team of volunteers to help spread the DVA's message at the 15,000 Pagodas. Our DVA team is supporting individual Pagodas to hold regular events, which include offering a Dharma talk on the benefits of a compassionate diet, screening of our film TỪNG BƯỚC CHÂN AN LẠC (Each Step of Peace and Bliss), followed by a discussion, and the offering of a free plant-based lunch to all participants.

DVA’s Vietnam Project cooking consultant and teacher, Vũ Liên Hà, teaches cooking classes in Hanoi and in Hue, central Vietnam. Her students learn how to prepare delicious and nutritious plant-based meals. Hà also engages current owners of restaurants that serve animal flesh, encouraging them to convert to compassionate food. One of her recent successes was to convert a well-known dog meat restaurant to vegetarian.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 71.15 over 4 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 11.3 over 4 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0% over 4 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of DHARMA VOICES FOR ANIMALS’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2020 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $55,858 $194,444
As % of expenses 38.9% 93.8%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $55,858 $194,444
As % of expenses 38.9% 93.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $201,815 $405,648
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% 101.0%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 1.1% 0.0%
Government grants 37.2% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 61.7% 99.8%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.2%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $143,510 $207,406
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% 44.5%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0%
Professional fees 51.6% 38.7%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 48.4% 61.3%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2020 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $143,510 $207,406
One month of savings $11,959 $17,284
Debt principal payment $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $155,469 $224,690

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2020 2021
Months of cash 20.1 25.3
Months of cash and investments 20.1 25.3
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 20.0 25.1
Balance sheet composition info 2020 2021
Cash $240,128 $437,381
Investments $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.6% 0.9%
Unrestricted net assets $238,788 $433,232
Temporarily restricted net assets N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0
Total net assets $238,788 $433,232

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2020 2021
Material data errors No No


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

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President and Co-Founder

Mr. Robert Isaacson

Bob Isaacson was a civil rights-human rights attorney for twenty-five years, specializing in defending people against the death penalty. He presented and won a landmark case in the Supreme Court of the United States, which limits the power of the police to arrest people without sufficient grounds, when he was 27, the second youngest attorney in history to appear before the nation’s highest court. Bob Isaacson was drawn to the Buddha’s teachings on the path to the end of suffering 24 years ago and continues to be inspired. Since he began Buddhist practice, Bob has participated in 25 meditation retreats of one month or longer. Bob currently teaches the Dharma (the Buddha’s teachings), leads two Sangha’s (on-going groups of practitioners), and leads day-long and weekend retreats in the San Diego area, having been trained in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader Program.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 01/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mr. Robert Isaacson

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No