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Over the years, the 501(c)3 status has become the "seal of approval" signifying a reputable animal rescue organization. In reality, it is not a requirement to rescue animals or even a guarantee that a sanctuary is reputable. It simply defines taxability.


When Josh and I started Big Island Farm Sanctuary, we began the process of becoming a non-profit because it's what all animal sanctuaries do. But it didn't take long for us to realize that constantly asking for money and having a board make decisions for the sanctuary we are building through our own love, sweat and tears wasn't our style. We wanted to do things differently. While we are eternally grateful for the love and support we receive from so many- for us, it just felt right to change direction and put the majority of the responsibility on ourselves- to not ask for direct donations; and to keep the fundraising to a minimum. We are currently working on business ventures that we hope will ultimately fund the sanctuary. This was a very personal decision and in no way meant to criticize or downplay the many amazing non-profit sanctuaries out there and the work that they do.

How can I support BIFS?

  • Follow us on Facebook or Instagram and share us with others!

  • Book a tour during your visit to the Big Island!

  • Sponsor an animal!

  • Support our other businesses (coming soon)!

Can I still make a "donation"?

Yes, you can. But whereas donors of non-profits can claim charitable deductions on their taxes, supporters of for-profits cannot. The IRS qualifies such contributions as gifts rather than donations. While we do not outwardly ask for donations, we are humbly grateful for those that we do receive, and use them the same way we would if we were a non-profit- putting 100% toward our animals and sanctuary, never toward our own personal wants and needs.


"Just because you're doing good, doesn't mean

that you have to be a non-profit." 

-Andrew Cooper