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Animal Welfare Index

By Founders Pledge


Support highly-impactful, evidence-based solutions to reduce animal suffering on a global scale.


The Founders Pledge Perspective

At least 75 billion farmed land animals and more than a trillion fish are slaughtered each year. That is more than 2000 land animals and 25,000 fish are killed every second. This is possible due to the mechanization and intensification of factory farming, driven by global increase in demand for meat.

Although this situation seems bleak - and the numbers almost too large to comprehend - there are reasons to be hopeful. Recent years have seen rapid progress in the animal welfare movement. Many large companies have pledged to phase out or drastically reduce some of their industry’s most harmful practices. Governments have banned some of these practices outright. And companies working to commercialize alternative proteins, such as plant-based meats, have raised billions of dollars from investors.

Yet farm animal welfare remains highly neglected, with just 0.03% of US philanthropic funding going to this cause in 2017. By giving to the Founders Pledge Animal Welfare Index, you can spread your donation across several highly-impactful and neglected global initiatives to alleviate suffering and improve the conditions of factory-farmed animals. By pooling your donations, this Index fund allows you to make larger grants and thereby maximize your impact.

Our Approach to Grantmaking

When evaluating potential grants, we consider several key points:

  • Counterfactual impact. Our grants are designed to create a meaningful outcome that would not otherwise have happened. In particular, we aim to make grants that otherwise wouldn’t have been made, rather than those which just take the place of other philanthropists’ donations. This means that you can rely on the Funds to create meaningful, real change, rather than just maintaining the status quo.
  • The grant’s potential outcomes. We focus on outcomes (e.g. how many lives were saved), rather than outputs (e.g. how many products were delivered). We review all the available evidence and take into account cost-effectiveness to assess whether the grant money could produce more good if donated elsewhere.
  • The organization’s funding gap. Not all organizations are set up to scale up their programming and many can’t productively absorb large amounts of unsolicited funding. We evaluate all potential grantees’ capacity for growth and consider how much money they could put to good use.
  • Organizational strength. Particularly with unrestricted funding, it’s important to have trust in the leadership and capacity of the organizations we support. We look at their track record of success and their transparency about failures as well as successes, and we only support those organizations which are exceptionally well run. We also look for organizations that demonstrate a strong commitment to measuring outcomes and evaluating the impact of their programs.