"Just because you're doing good, doesn't mean you have to be a non-profit."
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 rescue or sanctuary is reputable. It quite literally, 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 rescues do. But it didn't take long for us to realize that constantly asking for money from others 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 rarely (preferably never) ask for direct donations; and to keep the fundraising to a minimum. Regardless of our non-profit status, our animals are beyond loved and happy, and anyone who visits sees that.
If you don't have a board, how are you held accountable for the care of your animals?
We offer tours throughout the week. Anyone is welcome to book one and visit. We'd love to meet you and introduce you to our residents!
Can someone still make a donation?
Yes. But whereas donations to non-profits can be claimed as charitable deductions on the donor's taxes, supporters of ours cannot. The IRS qualifies such contributions as gifts rather than donations. While we do not outwardly ask for monetary contributions, 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.
Click here for other ways to support Big Island Farm Sanctuary.