Three in a row for AVMF

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The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent evaluator of charities, for the third year in a row.

In a Dec. 1, 2013, letter from Charity Navigator, President and CEO Ken Berger wrote: “Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that your organization adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.”

The AVMF is evaluated in the Animal Rights, Welfare, and Services category along with 273 other charities, which include the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and Morris Animal Foundation.

Only 11 percent of the charities rated by Charity Navi­gator have received at least three consecutive four-star evaluations, Berger noted.

AVMF Executive Director Michael Cathey said, “This exciting news and recognition of our impact on animals and people is a credit to everyone who plays a role in supporting the Foundation.”

The Foundation has made great strides in the five years since Cathey took the helm in August 2008.

That fall, the AVMF received approximately $725,000 in donations, and only about half was spent on its programs. Specifically, about $300,000 went toward disaster relief, $23,000 toward veterinary student scholarships, and $30,000 toward animal health studies.

The Foundation was operating from reserves and had a one-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Fast-forward to 2012, when total revenue reached $6.8 million, with $5.8 million of that amount (or 85 percent) coming from donations. Further, 88 percent of spending was on programs, including the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams, AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship Program, and National Veterinary Scholars Program.

In 2013, the income forecast as of December was $7.5 million. Contributing to that figure was a $2 million deposit from the Auxiliary to the AVMA to create the new Auxiliary Legacy Endowed Scholarship Program. The AVMF will manage this restricted account.

Long-term partnerships have helped bolster the AVMF’s standing. Joining together in September 2009, Zoetis and the AVMF created the Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, which has awarded some $600,000 a year, totalling about $3.5 million over for four years, including 2014.

The Foundation has been overseeing the administration of Partners for Healthy Pets. That initiative has accounted for $7 million in AVMF revenue from 2010-2013.

Dr. Richard P. Streett, AVMF board chair, said, “We are extremely pleased, not only with the Foundation’s 2012 results and impact resulting in this third consecutive four-Star rating from Charity Navigator, but we also continue to appreciate all of the past support and welcome the ongoing and future support of the entire AVMA family, working together on behalf of the medical care and well-being of animals. Though we have had tremendous success and have come a long way in the past five years, there is still so much more that we can all be doing together on behalf of animals, the animal-owning public, and on behalf of the entire veterinary profession.” 

Related JAVMA content:

AVMF receives 4-star rating (Nov. 15, 2011)