Animal-Kind International | FAQS
What does Animal-Kind International do?
AKI supports existing Animal Welfare, Rescue, and Protection Organizations—our Partners--in resource poor countries. We raise visibility of our Partners by telling their stories; we raise funds for them; we track the use of AKI funds—ensuring that they are used for animal welfare purposes only; we keep you, our supporters, informed about our Partners' activities, how your donations are being used, and about international animal protection in general; and we provide technical support to our Partners ranging from advice about shelter operations, humane education, spay/neuter clinics to fundraising, proposal writing, staffing.
What does AKI support?
Our Partners know their needs best, so we fund their priorities. The only requirement is that they must use AKI funds for animal protection and welfare purposes only. In this way, AKI is different from most grant making organizations that require their grantees to work on projects-often of the grant-maker’s interest-rather than supporting the needs of the organization. These grant making programs rarely fund operating costs, so animal protection organizations in resource-poor countries may be project-rich yet they are left without the basics: staff salaries, dog and cat food, infrastructure repairs, etc. AKI supports our Partners' priorities-our support is crucial for building strong animal welfare movements in our Partners' countries.
How does AKI choose its Partner Organizations?
First, we personally know each of our Partners, the people involved, the work they do; our Board members have worked with all of our Partners, so we understand their challenges and needs. All of our Partners are located in resource-poor (also called "less developed") countries. We choose our Partners based on their goals and activities; on their challenges and opportunities; on their needs; and on their willingness to adhere to AKI principles of accountability, financial transparency, and open communication. Basically, we choose our Partners because we believe in the work they do and because we think that when you learn more about them, you'll want to support them too.
How often does AKI change Partner Organizations?
The AKI Board, at our year-end meeting, discusses AKI’s financial situation and decides if AKI will add a new Partner during the coming year. Also during the year-end board meeting, we may decide to drop a Partner if we feel the partnership isn’t working out as we had expected or if for some reason, the Partner no longer needs our support.
Why does AKI only support organizations in poor countries?
AKI’s Partners work in countries where animal welfare isn't a priority, and where it's really difficult to raise money to help animals. Outside of the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, there are so few donors to animal rescue and protection and so few foundations and grant opportunities for animal welfare organizations. AKI-thanks to our donors-helps fill this gap.
How can AKI do this at 0% overhead?
AKI’s Board is made up of volunteers, who have committed to give their time, energy, and knowledge to the AKI cause. In transferring funds to our Partners, we avoid wiring fees, bank fees, foreign exchange fees, and other fees by having AKI Board members, colleagues, and friends carry funds. (Our Board is made up of people who have spent much of their careers working overseas, and who have many colleagues around the world, willing to help transfer funds to AKI’s Partners.) AKI’s Board members travel for their work, and use this opportunity to visit our Partners—monitoring their work, strengthening our relationships—no AKI funds are used for travel. All other fees are covered by the Board (mailing supplies, printing, etc.).
How do you track the use of funds? How do I know my donation is really going towards helping animals?
Our Partners are required to submit expenditure tracking information, pictures, and other information to the AKI Board about how they use AKI funds. Also, we email and speak to our partners at least weekly, so we are well aware of their activities. On the AKI website, you can check the AKI Blog for information about how our Partners use AKI donor funds. Feel free to request more details about how donations are used. We’re also happy to put you in direct touch with our Partners.
Why should I support AKI?
A few of the reasons to support AKI are that: our Partners are doing heroic jobs for animals, at very low/reasonable cost, and deserve our support; funding from outside their countries allows our Partners to do the work they do for animals; animal welfare has no boundaries—if an animal is suffering and in need of help, it doesn't matter if the animal is down the road or across the globe; in wealthier countries we have so much to give—money, skills, knowledge; supporting AKI helps animal welfare organizations that are most in need, but that also do so much.
Can I designate an organization? Can I make a recurring donation?
You can designate one or more of our Partners for your donations, and you can choose to make recurring donations. On each of our Partners' pages on the AKI website, you'll find a donate/designate button that allows you to designate that organization or go to the Donate page, where you can donate, designate, and make a recurring donation. And if you’re unsure, send an email message using the form on the Contact AKI page.
Why hasn't Charity Navigator rated AKI?
Charity Navigator rates charities generating at least US$1 million in revenue for two consecutive years. AKI hasn't yet achieved that level.
Do you support wildlife conservation?
We only support organizations that help domestic animals because that is where we believe the financial needs are greatest and where we can have the greatest impact; there are many other organizations and foundations, as well as governments, that support much-needed wildlife conservation.
How can you help animals in these countries when there are so many people who need help?
Many organizations and governments support charities geared toward helping humans. Far fewer are helping animals. We choose to help animals. And our support of animal welfare organizations helps people too! It helps the people who run the organizations and who work in them; it helps the people who adopt cats and dogs and who use donkeys and horses for their livelihoods; it helps because our support decreases the incidence of rabies and other zoonotic diseases; it helps because it not only teaches kindness to animals, but also to people. Helping animals also helps the people who rely on them…and who love them.