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The Top 6 Animal Charities to Watch in 2023


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Published May 3, 2023 Reading Time: 6 minutes

Calling all parents of fur babies, friends of animals, environmentalists, and activists! This list of animal charities to watch is your go-to for making a significant impact in 2023.

Nonprofit animal welfare organizations all over are dedicating the necessary work to supporting animals all around us. From local charities in North America to worldwide initiatives, animal charities are a special part of the sector. Today, we’re celebrating the best animal advocacy programs and all the ways to get involved. 

How Do Animal Charities Make an Impact?

If it slithers, wags its tail, or walks on four legs, it’s a safe bet that an animal charity works year-round for its well-being. When you support an animal charity, you know you’re offering life-changing care through an organization motivated by a mission over financial gain. 

What are good charities to donate to for animals?

The best charity to donate to is always the one that speaks to your heart and ignites your passions for animal care. Here are a few types of animal charities that exist and run programs on the support of donors and supporters:

  • Animal rescues, animal shelters, and no-kill safe havens
  • Animal sanctuaries and wildlife habitats
  • Animal hospitals and veterinarians 
  • Animal protection and animal rights groups
  • Anti-poaching and factory farming groups
  • Care for farm animals and domestic rehoming
  • Centers for scientific research
  • Humane societies 
  • Legal outreach for policy change
  • Service dogs and companion animals 
  • Spay and neuter clinics
  • Zoos and aquariums

The Best Animal Charities Making an Impact in 2023

1. Progressive Animal Welfare Society

The PAWS mission: The Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) mission is to facilitate people helping homeless pets and wild animals go home and thrive.

PAWS looks at orphaned and injured wildlife with a lens of opportunity and a second chance. The team also focuses on rehabilitating, sheltering, and adopting homeless animals, namely cats and dogs. Beyond that, PAWS actively educates the community to inspire more compassion beyond its walls, so communities can collectively take action in improving animal rights.

Since its start in 1967, PAWS has united over 130,000 homeless animals, including both cats and dogs, with new families and cared for over 140,000 wild animals. The organization doesn’t plan on slowing down their rescue efforts anytime soon.

Opportunities to support PAWS: PAWS offers supporters a simple donation website to give a one-time gift any time of the year. They can also make a monthly donation to expand their impact and reach even more animals. Let’s not forget all donors have the opportunity to see their contributions doubled through donation matching from employers and their loyal donor peers.

2. Nashville Humane Association

The Nashville Humane Association mission: The Nashville Humane Association (NHA) is committed to finding responsible homes, controlling pet overpopulation, and promoting the humane treatment of animals, all while supporting adoptable pets and pet families in our community.

Since 1946, the NHA has been the haven for homeless pets and at-risk animals in Nashville. It’s no wonder the city votes them as a “Favorite Place to Adopt” year after year. The NHA takes the time to show donors how their dollars go on to fund incredible work, which helps them receive recognition from Candid for excellent nonprofit transparency and a high rating on Charity Navigator.

Opportunities to support the NHA: The NHA created a strong family of almost 60 team members and hundreds of foster families, volunteers, and supporters to continue saving lives. Teamwork is entirely gift-based, and supporters never run out of new ways to get involved. The NHA focuses on making donations simple and engaging the community with modern experiences, helping them gain accolades as the hosts of the city’s favorite charity events. From corporate partnerships and planned giving to peer-to-peer fundraising, there’s always a new way to make a difference here.

3. Friends of the Topeka Zoo

The Friends of the Topeka Zoo mission: The Friends of the Topeka Zoo (FOTZ) mission is to enrich the community through wildlife conservation and education.

FOTZ sets its sights on a future of animal protection, from each tiny toad to big cat. With roots back to 1933, the zoo and conservation center has accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE). Even with 90 years of experience, the zoo has big plans for expansion, including its 2023 opening of a year-round giraffe habitat.

Opportunities to support FOTZ: FOTZ knows that big plans and consistent growth are all about support. That’s why the zoo offers many ways for donors to get involved both online and in person. The organization’s Elite 8 Watch Party with a memorabilia auction is one creative fundraiser example that adds to the year-round opportunities supporters have to give one-time and recurring donations.

4. Austin Pets Alive!

The Austin Pets Alive! mission:We pioneer comprehensive, innovative programs designed to save the animals most at risk for euthanasia.

Austin Pets Alive! isn’t just a no-kill shelter; it’s a catalyst for changing animal welfare as we know it. Their innovative programs were created specifically to address the lack of resources to save the lives of specific populations of animals, and they’ve created a network between animal welfare groups so that more animals can benefit from these life-saving programs. Adoptions and foster initiatives for at-risk animals are possible with a team of loving volunteers. That’s what led to the 98% live-release rate for the city of Austin and the over 110,000 lives saved by the organization.

Opportunities to support Austin Pets Alive!: Giving through the organization’s website pop-up is easier than ever, where a few clicks lead to life-changing funding. The APA! team utilizes pop-ups strategically throughout various campaigns to call a need to items like monetary need, unique involvement opportunities such as donating stock or cryptocurrency, and in-kind donation needs. They can also sponsor a kennel or fundraise for animals through their peer-to-peer fundraising page.

5. Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research & Conservation

The Jane Goodall Institute mission: The Jane Goodall Institute’s mission is to promote understanding and protection of great apes and their habitat and build on the legacy of Dr. Jane Goodall, its founder, to inspire individual action by people of all ages to help animals, help other people, and protect the world we all share.

The organization is a global community conservation organization that inspires people with animal advocacy. Its team believes that everything from saving endangered species like great apes from extinction to protecting the world’s animal habitats connects to present better outcomes for us all.

Opportunities to support the Jane Goodall Institute: The Jane Goodall Institute empowers passionate individuals and communities alike to come together around Dr. Jane Goodall’s work with year-round donations, automatic planned giving on a monthly cadence, volunteer work, and creative fundraising campaigns. Donors have flexibility on how they want to give from Venmo to Paypal, so becoming part of the impactful work is accessible anywhere, anytime.

6. Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific mission: The Aquarium of the Pacific’s mission is to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and its ecosystems. The Aquarium of the Pacific houses over 12,000 animals, from sea otters to sharks in unique Tropical, Northern, and Southern California galleries, has a robust education program, and participates in several conservation initiatives.

The Aquarium of the Pacific houses everything from sea otters to sharks in unique Tropical Northern and Southern California/Baja galleries. It also supports the people who care for them. This year marks the third year of scholarships presented to African American students who engage in various aquarium efforts. 

Opportunities to support the Aquarium of the Pacific: Because donations keep the aquarium alive, supporters have access to a simple donation page on the organization’s website. There, they can give a one-time gift, dedicate their donation to a specific program or become a member and enjoy everything the aquarium has to offer. 

Support Animal Welfare Organizations With Fundraising Tech

One common thread between the organizations you just got to know is a commitment to donors. By making it as straightforward as possible, communities can unite around the organization’s causes. Relationships sit at the core of sustainable fundraising, and securing the right fundraising tools is integral to building and nurturing those relationships for the long haul.

If you are interested in learning how to start an animal rescue foundation, it is essential that you have what you need to translate the commitment of active animal advocates into a tangible impact. That includes key factors, such as personalization, flexible giving experiences, and consistent opportunities to give across various campaigns. Start by investing in a strong fundraising suite to make not only your life easier, but your efforts more impactful.

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