Hand in Paw

Our hands, their paws, big impact

aka Hand in Paw   |   Birmingham, AL   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Hand in Paw

EIN: 63-1190375


To improve human health and well-being through Animal-Assisted Therapy.

Notes from the nonprofit

Please visit to see our Therapy Teams in action.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Margaret Stinnett, CFRE

Main address

617 38th Street South

Birmingham, AL 35222 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info


Human-animal interactions


Human services

Population served info

Children and youth


At-risk youth

People with disabilities

People with diseases and illnesses

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Health Support Services (E60)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Hand in Paw addresses the psychological needs of children and families in crisis, adults receiving hospital care, and senior citizens in assisted living facilities. We reach our clients through interaction with well-trained volunteer handler-animal teams; as an organization, one of our greatest strengths is the quality of our volunteers, many of whom also professionally practice as therapist, physicians, or animal specialists.

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?

HIP Heals

Hand in Paw Therapy Teams provide therapeutic visits in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, universities, and early intervention organizations. Animal-Assisted Therapy and Animal-Assisted Activities are two methods HIP teams utilize to enhance health and wellness and reduce stress.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Animal-Assisted Education helps students achieve academic and educational goals in the classroom. HIP Teams help children build reading skills, gain confidence, and foster pro-social behaviors. We deliver Animal-Assisted Education via two programs, School's Best Friend and Sit, Stay, Read!.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Children and youth
People with disabilities

HIP's Pawsitive Living program teaches animal advocacy and concepts of compassion, responsibility, and empathy through one-on-one sessions with HIP Therapy Teams. Students are paired with HIP volunteer mentors to learn animal behavior and how animals and humans communicate and work together.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work


Community Partner of the Year 2011

University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Occupational Therapy

Nonprofit of the Year with a budget of $500,000+ 2015

Birmingham Business Alliance

Top-Rated Nonprofit 2018


Top Volunteer Opportunities in Birmingham 2019


Affiliations & memberships

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member

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 goal is to respond to the needs of our community and facilitate positive change through Animal-Assisted Therapy. We aim to deliver our programs in every medical, educational and human service organization wishing to partner with Hand in Paw to improve the care and lives of their patients, students and clients.

We offer five programs that address some of the greatest challenges facing our region. These programs boost literacy, facilitate learning, prevent family and community violence and improve the health and well-being of people with special healthcare needs. Our work is 100% collaborative: all programs are delivered free of charge in over 100 medical centers, schools and human service agencies. In addition to ongoing program partnerships, we deliver community education and outreach visits annually at other sites.

Our staff of thirteen- 10 full-time, 1 part-time and 2 non-paid volunteer staff - leads a corps of specially-trained, nationally-registered handler and animal Therapy Teams and Visit Assistants (those who serve without pets to make interventions more efficient). We are committed to professional development, continuing education, thorough screening, training, evaluation and management of our volunteer corps, delivering the highest quality of services, raising public awareness of the value of Animal-Assisted Therapy, building and sustaining strong community partnerships and growth in all program areas. The organization is governed by a diverse, visionary Board of Directors and supported by an active Kitchen Cabinet and Junior Board.

Although each year we have steadily expanded our volunteer corps, added many new community partners, and grown all programs in terms of both hours and interventions delivered, there is still much work to be done. As we train and place new teams into the field and activate new service partnerships, word of our effectiveness spreads further. For each new site made active, we receive several new service requests, and the waiting list grows.

In 2014 we purchased a building that serves as our permanent headquarters. In 2016, we embarked on a campaign to raise funds to renovate and customize the building to best serve our stakeholders -- primarily current and potential volunteers. As construction on the building reaches a close, we are excited about how these changes will enable us to hold volunteer trainings, evaluations and practice sessions on site. We will greatly increase the frequency of offerings, catering to a wide range of volunteer availability. Practice sessions will greatly increase the evaluation pass rate. We anticipate that these changes will enable us to grow at twice the current yearly rate.

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.
  • 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 strengthen relationships with the people we serve

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

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 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 27.89 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 12.8 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 18% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Hand in Paw

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Hand in Paw

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

Hand in Paw

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Hand in Paw’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.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $1,036,723 $638,013 -$79,633 $548,030 $28,315
As % of expenses 131.0% 87.7% -12.3% 104.8% 4.7%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $1,019,116 $595,987 -$121,632 $510,932 -$7,454
As % of expenses 125.9% 77.5% -17.6% 91.2% -1.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $655,100 $905,357 $378,630 $905,851 $636,307
Total revenue, % change over prior year -65.5% 38.2% -58.2% 139.2% -29.8%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 2.4% 0.6% 1.0% 0.2% 0.2%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 28.4% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 112.5% 99.4% 94.6% 71.4% 99.4%
Other revenue -14.9% 0.0% 4.4% 0.0% 0.4%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $791,547 $727,127 $647,479 $523,118 $598,529
Total expenses, % change over prior year 24.0% -8.1% -11.0% -19.2% 14.4%
Personnel 70.7% 72.7% 84.8% 79.7% 66.8%
Professional fees 11.1% 8.1% 5.0% 1.9% 5.7%
Occupancy 1.6% 2.1% 2.0% 5.4% 9.9%
Interest 2.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 14.3% 17.1% 8.3% 13.0% 17.5%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $809,154 $769,153 $689,478 $560,216 $634,298
One month of savings $65,962 $60,594 $53,957 $43,593 $49,877
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $99,608 $0
Fixed asset additions $507,075 $162,251 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,382,191 $991,998 $743,435 $703,417 $684,175

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 12.0 13.1 16.3 27.2 24.6
Months of cash and investments 12.5 13.6 16.9 28.2 25.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 5.5 13.8 14.1 29.5 26.4
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $790,250 $794,749 $879,964 $1,184,160 $1,225,902
Investments $33,735 $31,613 $32,991 $44,768 $41,877
Receivables $103,043 $135,476 $64,839 $10,000 $15,000
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $1,189,137 $1,351,388 $1,351,388 $1,370,888 $1,370,888
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 7.3% 9.5% 12.6% 15.1% 17.7%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.2% 1.6% 5.6% 0.3% 1.1%
Unrestricted net assets $1,466,275 $2,062,262 $1,940,630 $2,451,562 $2,444,108
Temporarily restricted net assets $540,207 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $540,207 $86,708 $97,831 $10,000 $5,000
Total net assets $2,006,482 $2,148,970 $2,038,461 $2,461,562 $2,449,108

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Ms. Margaret Stinnett, CFRE

Margaret loves working in the service of others. A native of Sylvan Springs, Alabama, Margaret started her education at Birmingham Southern College and then moved on to the University of California, Irvine. She has volunteered and worked in non-profits for over 30 years. Margaret left the Birmingham Boys Choir Executive Director job in October of 2018 and started a new adventure with Hand in Paw in November of 2018. She is excited about the successful Capital Campaign of Hand in Paw, and along with a strong staff, volunteers, community partners and a very devoted Board of Directors, she knows the future is bright for Hand in Paw! Margaret shares her home with children, cats, dogs and a lot of laughter. If she has a spare moment, she dreams of Paris, sits down to play the piano or watch The Office.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Hand in Paw

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.

Hand in Paw

Board of directors
as of 01/24/2023
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. Todd Engelhardt

Adams and reese, LLP

Term: 2021 - 2023

Laura Thompson

Children's of Alabama

Rosemary Greaves

Southern Company

David Gibert

Regions Bank

Langley Kitchings

Community Advocate

Jane Calamusa

Rosen Harwood, P.A.

Clay Clark

EGS Commercial Real Estate

Tripp Cobb

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Margaret Davis

Creative Dog Training

Tom Findlay

Thomas Andrew Art

Molly Folse


Martha Foster

Encompass Health

Holly Gainer

Samford University

Brent Hamilton

CSX Transportation

Beth Leonard

Community Advocate

Melissa Mancini

UAB Health System

Laura McAlister

Encompass Health

Phyllis McCombs

Community Advocate

Catherine McLean

Community Advocate

Carlton Millsap

Dogtopia of Homewood

Laura Needham

Children's of Alabama

Susan Nelms

Veterinary Eye Care

Joan Stelling

UAB Hospital

Lynda Woods

Community Advocate

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/13/2019

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
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/12/2019

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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • 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.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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.


Fiscal year ending

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser