Announcing our summer 2020 ACE Movement Grants

post by Animal Charity Evaluators (AnimalCharityEvaluators) · 2020-10-12T18:28:45.353Z · score: 24 (11 votes) · EA · GW · 4 comments

This is a link post for https://animalcharityevaluators.org/blog/announcing-our-summer-2020-ace-movement-grants/

Contents

  Description of Grants
    Animal Advocacy Careers ($10,000)
    Animal Justice ($10,000)
    Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa ($10,000)
    Center for Animal Law Studies ($10,000)
    Encompass ($35,000)
    Freedom and Respect for Every Earthling ($12,000)
    Material Innovation Initiative ($25,000)
    Menú por el Planeta ($4,000)
    Rethink Priorities ($35,000)
    SHAMAYIM: Jewish Animal Advocacy ($4,000)
    Aquatic Life Institute ($30,000)
    The Greenfield Project ($11,250)
    Modern Agriculture Foundation ($15,000)
    Nonhuman Rights Project ($15,000)
    UK Centre for Animal Law ($15,000)
    Vegans of Shanghai ($35,000)
    Vegetarianos Hoy ($25,000)
    Wild Animal Initiative ($30,000)
    World Day for the End of Fishing ($10,000)
  Disclosures
None
4 comments

We are excited to announce the grantees of the third round of ACE Movement Grants. The goal of this program, previously known as the Effective Animal Advocacy Fund, is to support a diverse group of projects. To learn more about our process and vision for the program, see our recent blog posts announcing the renaming of the grant program and spring 2019 grantees.

At the start of 2020, the Movement Grants program had $790,064 available to disburse over two rounds of funding—one in the summer and one in the fall. For the summer round, we received 116 applications and were able to fund 19 of the proposed projects, or 16%, disbursing a total of $341,250 in direct grants. Thank you to everyone involved, and congratulations to our successful applicants!

Description of Grants

Animal Advocacy Careers ($10,000)

Animal Advocacy Careers (AAC) seeks to address the career and talent bottlenecks in the animal advocacy movement. This grant will help cover general operating costs. Currently, AAC offers personal and general support for those wanting to maximize their impact through their careers and conducts exploratory research into the job roles available in animal advocacy. We think investing in animal advocates via skill building should be a priority in the movement. More specifically, we appreciate AAC’s dedication to improving the management and leadership skills of animal advocates. As AAC is a new organization, we look forward to seeing their work evolve.

Animal Justice ($10,000)

Animal Justice advocates for animals using a variety of approaches, including lobbying and advocacy for new animal protection laws, filing strategically chosen lawsuits, and leveraging media to obtain exposure and educate people. The grant will help fund their campaign to stop the spread of ag-gag laws in Canada. These anti-whistleblower laws would make undercover investigation work more challenging. Investigations are key to many farmed animal welfare campaigns; therefore, we believe countering ag-gag laws is an important avenue to pursue. Because of Animal Justice’s previous work in support of Canadian laws banning whale and dolphin captivity, Animal Justice is in a good position to carry out their new campaign.

Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa ($10,000)

Associação Vegetariana Portuguesa (AVP) advocates for a plant-based diet via education, corporate advocacy, capacity building, and political lobbying in Portugal and at the European Union (EU) level. We appreciate their strategic approach: They have changed their tactics over the years to maximize their impact. This grant will support the professionalization of their organization. We are excited to help fund the projects that will allow the organization to grow and become more self-sufficient.

Center for Animal Law Studies ($10,000)

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) at Lewis & Clark Law School requested funding for the launch of their Global Ambassador Program (the “GAP”). The GAP aims to leverage the interests of CALS’s international Animal Law LLM alumni to start animal protection initiatives in their home countries. Since launching the Animal Law LLM program in 2012, CALS has welcomed over 50 students from more than 20 countries, such as Australia, China, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and the U.S. CALS Ambassadors will conduct animal law education through advocacy and outreach in their home countries. Their work may include creating CALS satellites at law schools, starting animal law committees at their respective bar organizations, and presenting on new developments. We are eager to see more animal law initiatives develop around the world.

The Center for Animal Law Studies received Movement Grants in the spring and fall of 2019.

Encompass ($35,000)

Encompass is working to make the farmed animal protection movement more effective by fostering racial equity. This grant will go toward their programs, which include working with professional farmed animal protection organizations to maximize staff impact by integrating racial equity principles throughout the organization, lifting people of the global majority into leadership roles, and conducting research to benefit the movement. The grant will also help fund the Global Majority Caucus, a collaborative space designed to empower advocates of the global majority by cultivating their leadership potential and providing the resources and support they need to thrive within the movement. We believe racial equity is key to making the animal advocacy movement more effective and better equipped to attract and maintain talent.

Encompass received a previous Movement Grant in the spring of 2019.

Freedom and Respect for Every Earthling ($12,000)

Freedom and Respect for Every Earthling (F.R.E.E.) works in Romania to create change for farmed animals via vegan outreach, cage-free campaigns, and humane education. With this grant, they plan to hire a fundraiser to make F.R.E.E. more self-sufficient. We are pleased to help fund this project in Romania, a country that is relatively neglected within the animal advocacy movement. We are grateful for F.R.E.E.’s investment in their employees and volunteers by offering task-based and interpersonal skills training, e.g., planning, problem-solving, giving feedback, and conflict resolution. We believe that by investing in its people, the animal advocacy movement will grow stronger and more sustainable. We also appreciate F.R.E.E.’s dedication to transparency, value alignment, and improvement of their campaigns.

Material Innovation Initiative ($25,000)

Material Innovation Initiative (MII) aims to accelerate the development of sustainable materials for the fashion, automotive, and home goods industries, with a focus on replacing animal-based materials. The founders have experience doing similar work in the plant-based meat and dairy industries. We believe improvements of materials would be a good complement to the plant-based food industry. We think their program to develop alternatives for silk is especially promising, as it is one of the few projects in animal advocacy that focus on invertebrates, a highly neglected and numerous group. The grant will be used for fundraising purposes, including hiring a fundraiser.

Menú por el Planeta ($4,000)

Menú por el Planeta (translation: Menu for the Planet) is a project that aims to increase plant-based options in Spanish universities. As universities in Spain are now closed, Menú por el Planeta has shifted their attention inward, using this time to improve their operations and scale up the initiative. They are working to professionalize the tools they use, identify bottlenecks in the campaign, create new materials, and improve brand awareness of the campaign. We think internal improvements are often highly effective in pushing a campaign or project forward. We are excited to support these initiatives.

Rethink Priorities ($35,000)

Rethink Priorities is a think tank dedicated to researching the best ways to make the world a better place, focusing on different topics—one of them being nonhuman animals. We appreciate their work for groups that are extremely neglected in the animal advocacy movement, such as invertebrates, and we have been impressed with their research so far. We believe Rethink Priorities’ research can help identify promising avenues for the movement; therefore, their work has the potential to be highly effective.

SHAMAYIM: Jewish Animal Advocacy ($4,000)

SHAMAYIM: Jewish Animal Advocacy is a nonprofit organization that runs programs, campaigns, and educational opportunities to teach the Jewish community about animal advocacy and veganism. This grant will be directed toward their Shamayim Campus Fellowship, which aims to give Jewish college students the tools and support they need to educate their communities about animal advocacy. Fellows are expected to organize five campus events to teach other students about plant-based eating in connection with the Jewish faith, the climate, personal health, and animal welfare. This year, due to COVID-19, students will be creating virtual learning opportunities, where they will orchestrate discussion groups, book clubs, film events, and vegan cooking workshops. We think that investing in young activists is a promising approach and that leveraging existing relationships is an effective way to spread pro-animal values.

Aquatic Life Institute ($30,000)

The Aquatic Life Institute (ALI) is a new organization that aims to advise and fund research on aquatic animals with a focus on farmed fishes, a highly neglected and tractable area. ALI pursues its mission through its five pillars: research, coalition building, key stakeholder campaigns, legislative and lobbying work, and public education efforts. We believe that work to improve the welfare of fishes and other aquatic animals should be a priority due to the large number of fishes potentially impacted as well as the lack of welfare regulations related to them. Because of the team’s alignment with effective altruism, we believe ALI is in a good position to advance the international fish welfare movement.

The Greenfield Project ($11,250)

The Greenfield Project has elected to use their grant for research into the U.S. government’s purchasing of animal products in order to support the meat, poultry, and dairy industries. The Greenfield Project’s goals are to identify the extent of support that the animal agriculture industries receive via these purchases, determine whether animal product producers receive preferential treatment as compared with non-animal product producers, and identify the best strategies to challenge these problematic purchases. The Greenfield Project uses its research and expertise to identify leverage points that could lead to highly promising advocacy initiatives.

Modern Agriculture Foundation ($15,000)

The Modern Agriculture Foundation (MAF) is an Israeli nonprofit organization that aims to advance plant-based and cell-cultured food products. One of their methods involves connecting biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to the alternative protein field. The techniques used in these industries have much overlap with the production of cell-cultured meat and even ingredients of plant-based products. MAF believes the alternative protein field could learn from the regulations and requirements that govern pharmaceutical processes as well as make use of the production capabilities and infrastructure that are already in place for the pharmaceutical companies. Considering the overlap in techniques and equipment and the rapid growth of the alternative protein market, there is incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to get involved in the alternative protein space. The Executive Director of MAF has over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, which makes us believe that MAF is in a good position to carry out this work.

Nonhuman Rights Project ($15,000)

The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) is a civil rights organization dedicated to securing rights for nonhuman animals by filing lawsuits; working with local, state, and federal governments; and fostering anti-speciesist education. It’s likely that their work has substantially advanced the discussion about nonhuman animal rights in the U.S. We appreciate that this approach is very different from those of our current Recommended Charities. We believe discussion of and advancement toward considering nonhuman animals as persons with legal rights are important for the long-term success of the movement.

The Nonhuman Rights Project was an ACE Standout Charity from December 2015 to December 2019 and was reviewed in depth by ACE in 2019.

UK Centre for Animal Law ($15,000)

The UK Centre for Animal Law (A-law) is a charity that provides legal expertise and educational resources to those interested in animal law. They publish an academic journal, The UK Journal of Animal Law, as well as a free eMagazine, and enable the networking of legal professionals and students. A-law also works with academics to promote the study of animal law in universities, and they provide consultation on U.K. government policies. Due to Brexit and the U.K.’s need to revise many laws, we believe that now may be an opportune time for legal work in the U.K. The grant will permit the continued employment of A-law’s Legal Support Officer.

The UK Centre for Animal Law received a previous Movement Grant in the spring of 2019.

Vegans of Shanghai ($35,000)

Vegans of Shanghai works with food and beverage companies to increase plant-based options on their menus. In addition, they raise awareness about the health benefits of plant-based diets in collaboration with healthcare community leaders and nutritionists. Plant-based advocacy work in China is complex and faces many roadblocks due to the political context. We appreciate the strategic approach that Vegans of Shanghai takes by focusing on health and environmental arguments in favor of plant-based eating, an approach that we would be more hesitant to fund if executed in a different context. China has one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies, but plant-based advocacy initiatives in this region are scarce. Vegans of Shanghai is one of the few organizations working in the plant-based movement in China, which makes them an especially appealing funding opportunity.

Vegans of Shanghai received a previous Movement Grant in the fall of 2019.

Vegetarianos Hoy ($25,000)

Vegetarianos Hoy is based in Chile and works to reduce the consumption of animal products through outreach to individuals, the government, and corporations. We believe work in Chile and Latin America overall is promising, especially because this is a neglected region for farmed animal advocacy. Vegetarianos Hoy is in a good position to grow the movement in this region. For example, they have already developed successful campaigns incorporating plant-based options in restaurant chains. This year, they aim to launch their legal and legislative programs as well as expand to Colombia and Mexico.

Vegetarionos Hoy received a previous Movement Grant in the spring of 2019.

Wild Animal Initiative ($30,000)

Wild Animal Initiative (WAI) looks for ways to improve the welfare of wild animals via research and outreach to academics. Wild animals are far more numerous than farmed animals, and concern for their well-being is highly neglected. We are most excited about the long-term impact WAI may have by advancing the academic field of welfare biology. Wild animal welfare is a complicated but urgent topic, and we appreciate the thoughtful approach that WAI is taking. This grant is for general support.

Wild Animal Initiative received a previous Movement Grant in the fall of 2019.

World Day for the End of Fishing ($10,000)

World Day for the End of Fishing (WoDEF) works toward the abolition of fishing and fish farming. Aside from fishes, WoDEF is concerned with other aquatic animals such as crustaceans and cephalopods. Each March, WoDEF organizes a day dedicated to calling for the end of human-caused harm to fishes. This event encourages a broad group of organizations to develop their own fish welfare projects, such as street protests and other initiatives. We believe that giving organizations the opportunity to learn more about fishes, even if only once per year, makes it more likely for fish campaigns to become prevalent in the animal advocacy movement. Fishes and other aquatic animals make up one of the largest groups of animals suffering at the hands of humans.

Disclosures

To limit the potential influence of conflicts of interests (COIs) between the Movement Grants review committee and staff members involved in the decision-making process, we took the following precautions:

Staff members involved in the decision-making process were Maria Salazar, Researcher; Jamie Spurgeon, Research Manager; Greg Boese, Research Manager; and Marianne van der Werf, Movement Grants Program Officer. No COIs were identified between these staff members and the summer 2020 grantees. A COI was identified between Board Member Persis Eskander and grantee Wild Animal Initiative. Persis did not participate in the board approval of the grant to Wild Animal Initiative.

A couple of COIs were identified between members of the review committee and applicants who did not receive a grant. For confidentiality reasons, these applicants are not listed. All applicants are welcome to contact us to confirm which staff members were involved in the decision-making process pertaining to their application.

COIs were also identified between grantees and staff members who were not on the review committee. As these staff members were not involved in the decision-making process, these COIs are not listed. A list of affiliations between staff members and organizations can be found on our disclosures page.

4 comments

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comment by jackmalde · 2020-10-15T12:42:59.314Z · score: 17 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I'm not sure how I feel about so much money going to Encompass. I'm not saying that racial equity in the EAA movement isn't desirable, but I'm sceptical that it is so important as to justify such a large grant that could have instead gone to an organisation working directly to improve the lives of animals.

To clarify, I'm not sure either way. Is there any reading I can do to become more informed on this?

comment by EricHerboso · 2020-10-15T14:05:24.737Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Before answering your question, it may help to get a little more context about why ACE Movement Grants exist, and how they differ from the charity evaluation work that ACE does. This is important because you may be overestimating the relative importance of individual ACE Movement Grants compared to ACE's Recommended Charity Fund.

ACE’s overall goal is to find and support the most effective approaches to animal advocacy. The main way ACE accomplishes this is through ACE’s top and standout charities, which receive the highest (by far) influenced proportion of funds from ACE.

ACE Movement Grants complement this program by helping to foster a broad, pluralistic animal advocacy movement, which makes it more likely to be more resilient than a narrow, monistic animal movement. The amount of funding received through ACE Movement Grants are significantly lower than the funds influenced through the Recommended Charity Fund.

Keep in mind that ACE is in a different position than other charity evaluators in the EA community, such as GiveWell. The available evidence supporting any given intervention is limited in animal advocacy. Of the funding that currently goes toward addressing industrial agriculture, ACE and related EA charities influence a majority of those funds. Imagine if GiveWell had much less evidence for their preferred interventions, yet they directed half of all funding to the entire cause of global poverty. In such a world, should GiveWell continue to only fund a handful of charities, or would they be incentivized to direct a much smaller amount of funds to help diversify the movement? The ACE Movement Grants program allows us to consider the effectiveness of the movement as a whole instead of being limited to supporting only a small number of approaches.

Encompass in particular helps to build relationships with a larger group of advocates, specifically people of the global majority. Their grant goes toward fostering racial equity in animal advocacy organizations, which has the potential to make animal advocacy organizations overall more effective in the long term. To learn more about Encompass, you can read ACE's 2017 interview with Aryenish Birdie, ACE's reasoning on why promoting REI might be effective, or the Encompass FAQ.

For more info on ACE Movement Grants generally, see the ACE Movement Grants page or any of ACE's blog entries on the topic.

comment by jackmalde · 2020-10-15T14:31:30.923Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thank you for this very helpful reply. I will certainly have a look at some of those links when I get a chance.

comment by NunoSempere · 2020-10-13T07:49:53.269Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Interesting that these are many small and distinct organizations, as opposed to a big one, or to many small ones which did the same thing in each context. I'm thinking of the ILO or various workers unions, which do seem to use the same playbook in different countries to a much greater extent.