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Top Rated


CharityWatch report issued
December 2021

Top-Rated Charity
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

220 Montgomery Street
Suite 1200
San Francisco, CA 94104

Other Names


Tax Status




Stated Mission

To reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products and to promote environmental conservation via global public awareness campaigns. Also works to create model field conservation programs and to strengthen marine protected areas around the world.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2020

Program Percentage: 83%

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


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $9

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


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
WildAid IRS Form 990 20-3644441
WildAid Audited Consolidated Financial Statements multiple
Entity: WildAid
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 20-3644441
Entity: WildAid
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.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
meets governance benchmarks.
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 Peter Knights President $378,195
2 John Baker Chief Program Officer $291,780
3 Corie Knights Senior Director of Major Gifts & Events $164,817
Name: Peter Knights
Title: President
Compensation: $378,195
Name: John Baker
Title: Chief Program Officer
Compensation: $291,780
Name: Corie Knights
Title: Senior Director of Major Gifts & Events
Compensation: $164,817

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 WildAid consolidated audit of December 31, 2020 (Note 1, Organization):

"...WildAid, Inc. (WildAid) is headquartered in San Francisco, with programs in the United States, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Mozambique, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Ecuador, Palau, and the Bahamas...

"In 2013, WildAid formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Biyuan Consulting Co. Ltd. (Biyuan)...in order to facilitate program activity in China. In early 2018, WildAid formed another subsidiary, WildAid Beijing, which took over all activities from Biyuan in June 2019. In 2018, WildAid began the process of dissolving Biyuan and as of December 31, 2020, final government approval for dissolution had not been received. There were no operations for Biyuan in 2020 and none are expected in 2021.

"WildAid also formed a subsidiary, WildAid Hong Kong, Limited (WA HK), to facilitate program activity in Hong Kong. For the purposes of these [audited] consolidated financial statements, the assets of WA HK are not consolidated as they are not material to WildAid's [audited] consolidated financial statements."

According to the WildAid consolidated audit of December 31, 2020 (Note 6, Contributed Goods and Services), WildAid reports receiving donated in-kind media during 2020 in China and Vietnam on which it placed a total value of $307,801,799.

In addition, it notes: "...WildAid has over 100 celebrities worldwide who have donated their time to be featured in WildAid's PSAs [public service announcements]. Along with filming, they often participate in campaign launches and other media events as well. No value is booked [on the consolidated financial statements] to reflect their donated time..."

[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 WildAid 2020 tax filing, WildAid reports re: Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons, a transaction in the amount of $164,817 involving Corie Knights, "family member of Peter Knights, president and founder." The transaction is described as: "Employment by WildAid as Senior Director of Major Gifts & Events" (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Parts IV & V).

According to the WildAid consolidated audit of December 31, 2020 (Note 11, Concentration of Risk):

"During the year ended December 31, 2020, grants from two foundations accounted for approximately 38% of total contributions and grants revenue."

According to the WildAid consolidated audit of December 31, 2020 (Note 5, Loan Payable - Paycheck Protection Program):

"WildAid received loan proceeds in the amount of $426,340 with a maturity date of May 4, 2022 under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP, established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), provides for loans to qualifying businesses for amounts up to 2.5 times of the average monthly payroll expenses of the qualifying business. The loans and accrued interest may be forgivable as long as WildAid uses the loan proceeds for eligible purposes, including payroll, benefits, rent and utilities, and maintains its payroll and other personnel related levels. The amount of loan forgiveness will be reduced if certain requirements are not met. The unforgiven portion of the PPP loan is payable over two years at an interest rate of 1%, with a deferral of payments for the first 10 months. WildAid intends to use the proceeds for purposes consistent with the PPP. 

"WildAid submitted the application for forgiveness and received full forgiveness in April 2021. WildAid received $376,845 in loan proceeds under the second draw of PPP (PPP 2). The forgiveness process for the PPP 2 loan generally will be done under similar terms and conditions as the first draw PPP."

According to the WildAid consolidated audit of December 31, 2020 (Note 12, COVID-19 Pandemic):

"On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization publicly characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. States of emergency were declared in many federal, state, and local jurisdictions and shelter-in-place orders were instituted in many cities and states, including California, which impacted general business operations in most industries and sectors.

"The outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the measures adopted by governments in countries worldwide to mitigate the pandemic's spread have led to some decline in expected donations and slowdown in implementation of programs. WildAid's 2020 Africa trip was postponed and will be rescheduled for 2022. Payments received in advance for this trip have been deferred and will be recorded as revenue when the trips take place. WildAid's annual gala was held virtually and gross revenues from the event decreased 66% from the previous year. Due to the travel ban, programmatic spending decreased 19% during the year. However, thanks to the support of WildAid's donor base, individual donations only decreased 5% and were within 1% of WildAid's budget. WildAid additionally was able to pivot existing program work to focus more directly on wildlife markets and their risk to the human population. Support of this messaging from state and private media partners in China resulted in an increase in donated media of 29% for 2020."