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Defenders of Wildlife

CharityWatch report issued
October 2022

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

Defenders of Wildlife
1130 17th Street NW
Washington , DC 20036

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

Dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 09/30/2021

Program Percentage: 71%

The percentage of Defenders of Wildlife's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $16

How many dollars Defenders of Wildlife spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

Defenders of Wildlife'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
83% $3
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
Defenders of Wildlife IRS Form 990 53-0183181
Defenders of Wildlife Audited Consolidated Financial Statements multiple
Entity: Defenders of Wildlife
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 53-0183181
Entity: Defenders of Wildlife
Document Type: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Tax ID: multiple

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.
Defenders of Wildlife
meets governance benchmarks.
Defenders of Wildlife
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 Opt-Out Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Jamie Rappaport Clark President/CEO $568,897
2 James Stofan Senior VP, Operations $276,865
3 Robert Dreher Senior VP, Conservation/General Counsel $265,769
Name: Jamie Rappaport Clark
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $568,897
Name: James Stofan
Title: Senior VP, Operations
Compensation: $276,865
Name: Robert Dreher
Title: Senior VP, Conservation/General Counsel
Compensation: $265,769

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.

CharityWatch's rating of Defenders of Wildlife is for the 501(c)(3) public charity (tax ID #53-0183181). The rating does not include the financial activities of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, an affiliated 501(c)(4) tax-exempt, social welfare organization (tax ID #38-4043084).

According to the Defenders of Wildlife consolidated audit of September 30, 2021 (Note 1, Nature of Operations): "The Action Fund was organized for the purpose of protecting wildlife, natural habitat, and the environment by educating people about wildlife, and advocating for laws, regulations, and policies that will positively affect wildlife, habitats, and the environment."

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund received only $5,000 in total contributions in fiscal 2021, according to the audited Consolidated Schedule of Activities. Given its small size, the Action Fund is not rated by CharityWatch at this time.

CharityWatch separates the ratings for 501(c)(3) & 501(c)(4) organizations, even if their financial activities are included together in a consolidated audit, due to their differing treatments under the IRS tax code. For more information on this topic, please see our sections on Types of Non-Profits, Tax Status, and Treatment of Related Organizations, which can be found on the Our Process page. For more information about things to consider when donating to organizations that have related public charity and social welfare entities, read "Sorting Out Nonprofit Pairs" in the Articles & Alerts section, below.

According to the Defenders of Wildlife consolidated audit of September 30, 2021 (Note 2 re: Donated services), Defenders received in-kind donated services in fiscal 2021 on which it placed a total value of $6,139,697. The donated services "consist of pro-bono legal services and advertising."

[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 Defenders of Wildlife consolidated audit of September 30, 2021 (Note 9, Loan Payable – Paycheck Protection Program):

"Defenders applied for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) pursuant to...the CARES [Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security] Act, which was enacted on March 27, 2020. The PPP is a loan designed to provide direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll through the COVID-19 coronavirus, for which Defenders qualified. After the loans are granted, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses (which primarily consist of payroll costs, costs used to continue group healthcare benefits, rent, and utilities).

"The initial loan was granted to Defenders on May 5, 2020 in the amount of $2,397,455, with terms including a 1.00% fixed interest rate and maturity date of May 5, 2022. At September 30, 2020, Defenders recorded $2,397,455 as a loan payable and $9,787 as interest expense. During fiscal year 2021, the SBA approved full forgiveness of the loan, and remitted the forgiveness amount to the financial institution, including applicable interest accruals. Defenders recorded the amount of forgiven loan and accrued interest as other income in the accompanying [audited] consolidated statement of activities."

According to the Defenders of Wildlife consolidated audit of September 30, 2021 (Note 19, COVID-19 Pandemic):

"The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and around the world has caused business disruptions due to mandatory lockdowns implemented in most states in order to slow down the spread of the virus. Defenders' management has been monitoring the situation and implementing certain changes in its operations and upcoming events in order to mitigate the impact of this pandemic. While the disruption is currently expected to be temporary, there is considerable uncertainty around its duration, and the full financial impact cannot be reasonably estimated at this time."

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