Frequently Asked Questions.

Is Big Island Farm Sanctuary a non-profit?


No. When we decided to open Big Island Farm Sanctuary, we initially planned to apply for non-profit status. After all, it’s what “all the sanctuaries do.” But, something about that didn’t sit right with us. So, after months of weighing the pros and cons, we decided against it. Our decision came down to two major factors:

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations registered in the U.S. That’s a whole lot of organizations depending on the donations of others! My husband and I have always been business owners. We know how to create, fund, and grow a business. So why wouldn’t we find a way to financially support our rescued animals, without having to depend on donation dollars? It just made sense to us to put the financial burden on ourselves and figure out how to provide a product or a service that could then fund the sanctuary. Now, let’s be clear. We are in no way putting down those who choose to use the non-profit structure. We support them 100%. So much so that we don’t want to be one of the 1.5 million vying for the same money, when we’re confident that we can find ways to support our sanctuary under a different structure.


In addition to wanting to take the financial aspect into our own hands, we simply didn’t like the idea of other people making decisions for the animals that we love and care for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the sanctuary we are building from love, sweat, and tears. We know our residents better than anyone- their wants, their needs, etc. We wanted to be in full control of all aspects of our sanctuary.

So, if we’re not non-profit, what are we? We consider ourselves a “Social Purpose” business- a business started on the foundation of addressing a social mission- our mission being “Saving lives. Touching hearts. Changing minds.” We think Andrew Cooper, the co-founder of 4Ocean said it best, "Just because you're doing good, doesn't mean that you have to be a non-profit." As sanctuary owners, we have a passion: to rescue and offer sanctuary to farmed animals in need. But we also have a purpose: to help as many animals as possible by not only offering sanctuary to those in need but by helping people make a real connection with these sentient beings, as well as educating the public on the ugly world of industrial and backyard farming, animal abuse, and exploitation. At Big Island Farm Sanctuary, we want to offer a safe haven for animals and people, and be able to invest our profits back into our sanctuary and the animal rescue community- and we believe being a company, not a non-profit, is a more sustainable way to achieve these goals.

Can I still make a donation?

Yes, you can! However, because we aren't a non-profit, donations aren't tax-deductible for the donor, which matters to some, and not to others. When someone does donates to us, we are legally required to count it as income. We are grateful for donations and use them the same way we would if we were non-profit- putting it toward our animals and sanctuary, never toward our own personal wants and needs. 

So how can you support our mission if it’s not by donating?

  • Book a tour!
    We offer small, intimate tours three days a week for a very affordable price. This is your opportunity to meet the residents of Big Island Farm Sanctuary and fall in love!

  • Join us on Patreon!
    For as little as $1/month you can join our ohana and get updates on rescues and other exciting news before (or not) announced to the general public. Depending on the level of sponsorship you choose, you'll get perks in return, plus the "feel goods" of being involved in animal rescue.

  • Sponsor an Animal!
    When you sponsor an animal, you help us give them the best life possible! In return, you get a certificate of sponsorship (digital so that you can print it out as many times as you want, use it as your screensaver, or save it on your phone). You’ll also received a yearly swag-pack filled with things that only sponsors get, as well as a monthly update and picture of your sponsored animal. It’s the perfect way to help us and keep up on someone who has touched your heart.

  • Rent a caRVee!
    This is our newest business venture and we’re excited about it! We’ve created an economical, low-waste way for you to travel the island and truly experience it. Land at the airport, pick up your caRVee, drive anywhere on the island you want, and simply drop it back off at the airport the day you leave. Everything you need to have the ultimate camping experience is provided. All you need to bring is food and your sense of adventure!

  • Howley's Island Dogs

​     Coming Summer 2020! Howley's all vegan hotdog stand will be at local markets, as well as available during

     tours. ​We'll be showing people how amazingly delicious plant-based, cruelty-free eating can be!


Mahalo for your support,

-Paula Buck, Founder



93-1280 South Point Rd. Naalehu, HI 96772
(by appointment only)

Send mail to:
92-1329 Prince Kuhio Blvd. #4-240
Captain Cook, HI 96704

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© 2018-2020 Big Island Farm Sanctuary