Animal Welfare Research

Faunalytics maintains the largest database of animal advocacy research, works with animal advocacy organisations on projects to improve their impact, and produces original animal advocacy research.

What problem is Faunalytics working on?

Faunalytics' mission is to empower animal advocates with access to research, analysis, strategies, and messages that maximise their effectiveness in the goal to reduce animal suffering. It conducts original research, maintains the largest online research library, and works with advocates and organisations by providing direct research support in their work to save lives. The range of data Faunalytics offers helps the animal advocacy movement understand how people think about and respond to advocacy, providing advocates with the best strategies to inspire change for animals.

Companies that harm animals spend millions of dollars to sway public opinion to their advantage. Faunalytics is there to level the informational playing field by providing animal advocates with sound, actionable insights that improve their ability to mobilise the public and make a difference for animals. It exists to help advocates be as effective as possible, and offers critical, strategic support to a movement severely limited by resources.

Faunalytics’ 2024 Research Agenda will cover topics ranging from political advocacy (communicating with legislative staffers, voter response to pro-animal/anti-subsidy candidates), youth advocacy (fostering a pro-animal Gen Z, the impact of humane education and training), global advocacy (how policy affects factory farming in LMICs, plant-based products and veganism in Southeast Asia), and equity and inclusion (balancing inclusivity with an animal-oriented mission).

What does Faunalytics do?

For over two decades, Faunalytics has supported farmed animal protection by providing animal advocates with important research and strategies that improve their effectiveness in saving lives.

Faunalytics’ core programs include:

  • Curating an extensive online Research Library of more than 5,000 studies – the world’s largest collection of behavioral research and data on animals and animal issues, summarized in an accessible way to help animal advocates understand and apply the results to their campaigns.
  • Conducting original research studies that delve into important animal advocacy issues in areas that have knowledge gaps.

It also offers research support to other animal charities. This includes virtual “office hours” where advocates can ask for one-on-one help assessing their campaigns, finding and applying data to their work, and understanding how data can support their unique needs.

What information does Giving What We Can have about the cost-effectiveness of Faunalytics?1.

The impact-focused evaluator Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) has recommended Faunalytics after conducting an evaluation of their work. ACE writes: “Faunalytics’ programs support the animal advocacy movement by examining effective advocacy strategies, problem areas, and tactics, and by providing advocates with a curated database of academic research summaries. We believe that Faunalytics’ reports have the potential to influence priorities, inform the implementation of interventions, and build the field."

We looked into ACE as part of our 2023 evaluator investigations, and decided to not currently rely on their charity recommendations. However, we still expect choosing ACE recommended programs to be significantly more impactful than choosing animal welfare programs without an impact-focused evaluation behind them, and we remain open to (some of) ACE's recommendations being among the most cost-effective donation opportunities in animal welfare.

Please note that GWWC does not evaluate individual charities. Our recommendations are based on the research of third-party, impact-focused charity evaluators our research team has found to be particularly well-suited to help donors do the most good per dollar, according to their recent evaluator investigations. Our other supported programs are those that align with our charitable purpose — they are working on a high-impact problem and take a reasonably promising approach (based on publicly-available information).

At Giving What We Can, we focus on the effectiveness of an organisation's work -- what the organisation is actually doing and whether their programs are making a big difference. Some others in the charity recommendation space focus instead on the ratio of admin costs to program spending, part of what we’ve termed the “overhead myth.” See why overhead isn’t the full story and learn more about our approach to charity evaluation.