Frequently Asked Questions.
Is Big Island Farm Sanctuary a non-profit?
Big Island Farm Sanctuary is a limited liability company (LLC). After months of weighing the pros and cons, we decided not to pursue a non-profit status for Big Island Farm Sanctuary. This isn’t typical for animal sanctuaries, so we wanted to explain WHY we chose this avenue:
As sanctuary owners, we have a passion- to rescue and offer sanctuary to farm animals here on the Big Island of Hawaii. But we also have a purpose- to help as many animals as possible, to help people make a real connection with these sentient beings, and educate the public on the ugly world of industrial farming, animal abuse, and exploitation.
We know that we can only take in so many animals at BIFS in Hawaii. And let’s be realistic- it’s not really fathomable to open a sanctuary in every state. We would spend so much time traveling that we’d never make a real connection with any of our animals, team members, or the members of the respective communities in those states. BUT we see other sanctuaries all over the world who are doing all they can to help animals, and we want to be able to help them continue to do this amazing work.
My husband and I have always been business owners. We know how to create, fund, and grow a business. Constantly having to ask for donations, instead of finding ways to make the money ourselves, just isn’t who we are. On top of that, there’s no financial stability in it. The money raised by a non-profit (or promised to a non-profit) can be pulled away at any time. That’s why non-profits are continuously asking for money and the smaller non-profits really struggle to make ends meet.
In addition to wanting to take the financial aspect into our own hands, there are so many people that must approve even the smallest things in a non-profit. If Josh and I want more acreage for our sanctuary, if we need a truck, a trailer, new barns, if we want to offer sanctuary to an animal- we want to be able to just do it; because we are the ones living the day-in and day-out of this sanctuary, and we believe we know best what our sanctuary needs. When you choose to be a non-profit, it’s never as easy as “just doing it.”
Now, let me 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 want to eventually be able to donate to non-profit organizations, all over the world, with the same passion for saving animals as we have.
Beginning in late 2019, we will begin offering a limited number of private tours during the week. In early 2020, we will be adding tiny-vacation rentals to our property and will also be opening a vegan taco stand. We will use profits from our food sales, tours, and vacation rentals to fund the entire aspect of our operations- such as animal care, fencing, building improvements and additions, property maintenance, vet bills, etc.. We also offer the opportunity to sponsor our animals and 100% of the money received through animal sponsorships will go to the animals in the way of feed, toys, and vet care.
In addition, it is our future goal to be able spotlight and donate a percentage of sales to a non-profit of our choice each month. We are currently working on the structure of this and will announce it at a later date.
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 the animal rescue community- and we believe being a company, not a non-profit, is a more sustainable way to achieve these goals. This is how we will be able to save more lives, touch more hearts, and change more minds- not just on the Big Island, but all over the world!
Mahalo for your support.
-Paula Buck, Founder
"Just because you're doing good [things], doesn't mean that you have to be a non-profit."
-Andrew Cooper, 4ocean Co-Founder