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Best Friends Animal Society

CharityWatch report issued
October 2021

CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Best Friends Animal Society
5001 Angel Canyon Road
Kanab, UT 84741

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

To bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets by demonstrating and promoting exemplary animal care and building community programs and partnerships.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 09/30/2020

Program Percentage: 68%

The percentage of Best Friends Animal Society's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $21

How many dollars Best Friends Animal Society spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

Best Friends Animal Society's rating was adjusted for Joint Costs. If you are a donor who considers direct mail, telemarketing, and other Joint Cost solicitations to be true charitable programs, the below efficiency ratios, which were not adjusted for joint costs, may better reflect your goals.

Program % Cost to Raise $100
69% $20
Accounting rules allow charities to report some telemarketing, direct mail, and other solicitation costs as Program expenses. CharityWatch believes that most donors do not consider a charity's solicitation activities to be the Programs they are intending to support with their donations. We therefore adjust such expenses out of a charity's reported Program expense and add it to Fundraising expense prior to calculating its rating.

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Best Friends Animal Society Audited Consolidated Financial Statements Multiple
Best Friends Animal Society IRS Form 990 23-7147797
Entity: Best Friends Animal Society
Document Type: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple
Entity: Best Friends Animal Society
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 23-7147797

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
Best Friends Animal Society
meets governance benchmarks.
Best Friends Animal Society
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Stephen Howell COO $383,786
2 Susan Citro CEO $253,062
3 Valerie Dorian Chief Development Officer $250,093
Name: Stephen Howell
Title: COO
Compensation: $383,786
Name: Susan Citro
Title: CEO
Compensation: $253,062
Name: Valerie Dorian
Title: Chief Development Officer
Compensation: $250,093

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

According to the Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) audited Consolidated Statement of Activities for the year ended September 30, 2020, BFAS received donations in-kind on which it placed a value of $141,523,600. The donations in-kind included approximately $138,158,000 of "in-kind advertising in the form of television, radio, or other media" received during fiscal 2020, according to the consolidated audit (Note 1, Contributed Goods and Services).

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]

According to the Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) tax filing for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, BFAS paid "employee compensation" to four "interested persons," all of whom are reported as having either a family or spousal relationship with a BFAS board member or officer. The per employee compensation paid ranged from $25,496 to $121,776 and totaled $280,611 (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Parts IV & V).

According to the Best Friends Animal Society consolidated audit of September 30, 2020 (Note 19, Commitments and Contingencies, Founder Post Employment Services Agreement):

"On April 29, 2011, the Board of Directors approved a 'Post Employment Services Agreement' that replaced a Founders Retirement Program. A change to the Bylaws of Best Friends on April 29, 2011 was also approved with the change establishing a standing committee to the Board of Directors, the Emeritus Founder Advisory Committee (Committee). This Committee was established to formalize the continued contributions that founders (no longer working full-time at Best Friends) make, plus provide them a forum directly with the board.

"Members of the Committee provide services to Best Friends under their Post Employment Services Agreement. In exchange for the related services, the participating founders are entitled to bi-monthly payments as per the Post Employment Services Agreement. All founders who are no longer employed full-time by Best Friends are eligible to participate in this service-based agreement if they choose to do so. Eleven founders were active under this program during the years ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, and received compensation totaling $610,389 and $570,309, respectively, under the Post Employment Services Agreement."

According to the Best Friends Animal Society consolidated audit of September 30, 2020 (Note 19, Commitments and Contingencies, COVID-19 Pandemic):

"As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, economic uncertainties have arisen which may negatively impact operations. The extent of this impact is unknown at this time."

According to the Best Friends Animal Society consolidated audit of September 30, 2020 (Note 20, Unusual and Infrequently Occurring Matters, Asset Purchase Agreement):

"On December 5, 2019, Best Friends executed a conditional Asset Purchase Agreement (Agreement) to purchase land adjacent to its headquarters property in Kanab, Utah and related specified rights. $7,000,000 was paid on December 9, 2019 as an initial payment for certain of the rights, including mining claims held by the seller. The Agreement also contained a covenant where seller agreed to not own, operate, have a financial interest in, cause a third party to undertake, or otherwise participate in any commercial sand mining operations or any other type of mining or resource extraction or collection operations within Kane County, Utah. After satisfaction of the Agreement conditions, Best Friends completed the purchase of certain land from the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA); and made a final payment to the seller in exchange for the certain rights and covenants.

"The total outlay for the land and rights and seller payment was $19,778,400. The portion of the total related to the appraised value of the land, $6,303,400, is included in property and equipment on the [audited] consolidated statement of financial position. The remaining portion of the payment, $13,475,000 is reported separately as community preservation expense on the [audited] consolidated statement of activities."

According to the Best Friends Animal Society consolidated audit of September 30, 2020 (Note 20, Unusual and Infrequently Occurring Matters, Voluntary Separation Agreement):

"In August of 2020, as part of a strategic and structural realignment, Best Friends offered to all of its employees the opportunity to voluntarily separate from the Organization. For the majority of employees, the agreement to separate was required to be made by September 30, 2020, though actual separation dates could be later. In exchange for the agreement to separate, employees are entitled to a lump sum payment of an amount determined by the stated offer upon separation. A total expense of $1,782,761 is included in salaries and wage expense on the [audited] consolidated statement of functional expenses to reflect this obligation, with the unpaid balance included in accounts payable and accrued liabilities on the [audited] consolidated statement of financial position."

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