Animal related

Fellow Mortals, Inc.

  • Lake Geneva, WI
  • http://www.fellowmortals.org

Mission Statement

Fellow Mortals' physical facility is located outside Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but our philosophy is universal, which was the intent when the mission statement was formulated in 1985. "Fellow Mortals is more than a place; it is a living philosophy based on the belief that encouraging compassion in humans toward all life brings out the finest aspects of our humanity."

Along with the goal of helping the injured and orphaned wild ones actually brought to the hospital, the organization hopes to inspire other wildlife rehabilitators and facilities to challenge the established paradigm of euthanizing healthy animals to conserve resources, rather than finding the funding to build the staff and facilities necessary to provide care for all individuals of a species accepted by that rehabilitator or facility.
 
Fellow Mortals provides care for the injured and orphaned wild creatures found and rescued by the public, many of whom have never before interacted with a wild animal.  Our hospital is equipped to provide care for all species of wild birds and most species of wild mammals. The act of compassion on behalf of a wild creature is often a life-changing experience for the people involved.

Main Programs

  1. Professional rehabilitative care
  2. Wildlife Internship Program
  3. Wildlife Education
  4. Post-release Research of Rehabilitated Wildlife
Service Areas

Self-reported

Wisconsin

Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois, and occasionally from elsewhere in the U.S.

ruling year

1992

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Yvonne Wallace Blane

Co Principal Officer

Self-reported

Steven J. Blane

Keywords

Self-reported

animal, education, bird, wildlife, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife hospital, wildlife training, orphaned wildlife, injured wildlife, education, public education

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Also Known As

Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital

EIN

39-1694862

 Number

4976590430

Physical Address

W4632 Palmer Road

Lake Geneva, 53147

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Graduate, Professional(Separate Entities) (B50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Fellow Mortals has provided care for 50,000 animals in the last 32 years. Thousands of hours of wildlife education is provided annually on the phone, through programs, at the hospital, through our newsletter and social media. Our Wildlife Internship program has provided opportunities for 60 college graduates since 1992. Over 5,000 hours of volunteer time is given annually by professionals in many fields. Fellow Mortals helped pioneer the use of  wild "foster parents" for orphaned wildlife in 1989 and, with special licensing from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 39 wild birds (unreleaseable due to their injuries) raise orphaned young of their own species, ensuring that the young imprint properly and teaching them important behaviors that increase their chance of survival after release.  We are expanding our research into survival of rehabilitated animals, including beaver and sandhill crane. Our organization has been recognized for its unique and ethical approach to wildlife rehabilitation through reviews resulting in Top-rated Nonprofit on Great Nonprofits since 2010 and has achieved and maintained the Guidestar Platinum Exchange Seal. in 2013 and 2014, our director was selected by Global Giving to be one of 20 nonprofit professionals to work on the Global Giving Leadership Council and also serves as council member and fourth-term Chairperson of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Advisory Council to the Wisconsin DNR, by appointment of WDNR Secretary Stepp.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Professional rehabilitative care

Fellow Mortals has cared for nearly 40,000 injured and orphaned wild animals since 1985. Even though many patients are newborns or critically-injured animals, 60-70 percent of those admitted for care are successful rehabilitations resulting in release to the wild or placement as education or foster animals.

Professional rehabilitative care is available 365 days a year at no charge to the public, making it accessible to anyone who finds a wild creature in distress, regardless of their financial situation.

In conjunction with providing professional and compassionate care, 38  permanently-injured  wild creatures foster young of their own kind as surrogate parents.  These include "Alberta," a great horned owl, and "Naomi," a Canada goose, which serve as behavioral role models for young of their own species,something that is critical for the orphans' survival and breeding success in the wild.

FM also operates a nature and education center which provides educational outreach to the public at special events.

In addition to its rehablitation and public education work, since 1992 Fellow Mortals has offered training in wildlife rehabilitation to students, recent graduates and newly-licensed rehabilitators, providing practical experience that is necessary before entering a wildlife-related profession.

Fellow Mortals' five licensed wildlife rehabilitators have degrees in biology and natural sciences and are paid for only a fraction of the time they give to the patients at the hospital.  All staff are paid the same and average 70 hours a week, for a base salary of $25,000 a year.

Our 2016 success rate of 70% (animals released, which will be released or placed for education or fostering) is a testament to how professional care can make a difference to the life of an injured or newborn orphaned creature.

Category

Animal-Related

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

Budget

400,000

Program 2

Wildlife Internship Program

The intern program is offered to college students and recent college graduates in wildlife-related fields and offers them to opportunity to acquire hands-on experience to augment their formal training.  Six internships are offered annually. Interns are provided with one of the most generous stipends in the field, and the provision of housing for out-of-town interns makes this opportunity available to interested young professionals from around the world, regardless of their financial situation.  Many of FM's former interns continue to volunteer at the hospital, helping with fundraising and animal care. 
 
Fellow Mortals Internship Program provides the skilled care necessary to provide for the hundreds of orphans admitted to the hospital during the busy summer months, while providing recent graduates the hands-on experience necessary to follow their chosen career path.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Young Adults (20-25 years)

General Public/Unspecified

None

Budget

$40,000.00

Program 3

Wildlife Education

FM provides public education one-on-one to thousands of people annually, including every person who brings an animal to the hospital and through public outreach at our nature and education center, in schools and to special groups. Information provided includes natural history about wildlife species, as well as information on preventing unnecessary injury and orphaning of wildlife.

Educational materials are developed for these programs and for distribution to the general public.

Program fees are waived for groups that cannot afford a cost, and alternate ways of helping the wildlife at the hospital are provided.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

None

Budget

$40,000.00

Program 4

Post-release Research of Rehabilitated Wildlife

Fellow Mortals is currently conducting three post-release studies to gauge the success of our rehabilitation protocols for beaver, great-horned owls and American robin. Staff wildlife biologist has partnered with IDNR biologists to band birds and track them with radio-telemetry. We are also working with citizen science participants who keep daily logs relating to wildlife released on their property.

Category

Environment

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

15,000

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. Number of animals monitored post release

Target Population
General/Unspecified

Connected to a Program?
Post-release Research of Rehabilitated Wildlife
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Post-release studies help us understand how rehabilitated animals acclimate back to the wild. Numbers represent observations of animals identified by tagging and actual or remote observation.

2. Number of nonreleaseable animals placed for wildlife education or conspecific fostering

Target Population
General/Unspecified

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Unreleaseable wild animals must be euthanized unless they can be placed with licensed individuals or institutions as education animals or fosters to orphans of their own species.

3. Number of animals rehabilitated

Target Population
General/Unspecified

Connected to a Program?
Professional rehabilitative care
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
This number represents the individual animals which received professional care after they were brought to the hospital by members of the public who found them injured or orphaned.

4. Number of non-releaseable animals at Fellow Mortals which act as fosters to orphans of their species

Target Population
General/Unspecified

Connected to a Program?
Professional rehabilitative care
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Wild orphans must be raised to know their own kind. Birds with injuries that prevent release and which would have otherwise been euthanized instead become 'fosters' to orphaned young.

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Fellow Mortals' physical facility is located outside Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but our philosophy--encouraging compassion to bring out the best in humans and create a better world--is universal, which was our intent when we formulated our mission statement so many years ago. Along with the goal of helping the injured and orphaned wild creatures actually brought to the hospital for care, is the goal of preventing unnecessary orphaning and injury of wildlife in the first place. In addition, we hope to inspire new and established rehabilitators to examine and challenge the prevailing paradigm of 'managed euthanasia,' which incorporates the practice of 'conserving resources' by euthanizing healthy animals in order to meet quotas. Fellow Mortals core values include the pledge that we will not euthanize a healthy animal; rather, we continue to work to raise the funds to add facilities and staff to meet the need for our specialized services.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Fellow Mortals treats every wildlife question individually, taking the time to discuss specific situations with members of the public in order to resolve them in the most humane way for the wild animal in question. Good communication with the public results in less unnecessary admits of animals to the hospital and more accurate information shared by word-of-mouth. We share our knowledge, experience and donated resources with other rehabilitators, as well as offering our facilities to them whenever possible to accomodate animals that might otherwise be euthanized or would benefit from being with a foster animal at our facility. Sharing, cooperating and communicating with our peers is our best way to communicate our philosophy of compassionate, ethical and professional wildlife rehabilitation. In the last few years, we have expanded our reach through Global Giving, an online fundraising platform which has introduced Fellow Mortals' mission to people around the world. We have raised nearly $80,000 on this site since 2010. In addition to conventional means of education, i.e., print or in-person, we have expanded our use of Social Media through Facebook posts and Twitter.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Four advanced licensed wildlife rehabilitators are on staff at our hospital, so there is good coverage on a daily basis for animal care and for public education. We are fortunate to receive thousands of dollars in in-kind donations every year, from veterinary care to medical supplies to animal caging, and we are able to share what we learn from our veterinarians with our peers, as well as the surplus of supplies. We share our fundraising experience with rehabilitators elsewhere, and have helped other rehabiltiators through the non-profit application process, including developing letters of solicitation for their particular organization. We believe that our success can be used to help others succeed. When funds become available, we would like to hire a full-time public educator for the hospital, and additional wildlife rehabilitation staff.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    The successful outcome of wildlife brought to the hospital by the public is our first priority. That accomplished, it is important for us to provide education to the community to prevent unnecessary injury and orphaning of wild creatures. We manage our patient load through intensive one-on-one education of the public and are gratified with a successful rehabilitation rate that exceeds the national average. In addition to rehabilitation and public education, the organization provides training in wildlife rehabilitation, grounded in the philosophy that every life is important. We continue to expand and improve our physical facilities. Since 2012, we have added a custom-built Outdoor Waterfowl Flight, two 100-foot long Raptor flights and a new Facilities Workshop and Garage. In 2017, we are completing construction of a Critical Care Wing to the existing hospital, which will add 2,000 square feet of clinic space for critical care and sensitive species.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In 2015, a long-held dream came true with the construction of two 100 foot long flight chambers, which provide continuous flight for big birds like eagles and peregrine falcons. In 2017, we will complete a new critical care wing at the hospital, which will allow more space for staff and interns to provide care.

    The last few years have been financially very difficult as we continue to meet the need of the more than 105 communities which rely on our services, but because of dedicated and committed staff and cutting costs where we can, we have been able to maintain our staff and have continued to improve facilities.

    The most difficult area to fund is our professional staff, and we are pursuing new fundraising initiatives to work toward developing a program statement that better describes the impact professional staff has upon the successful rehabilitation of our patients.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Wisconsin

Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois, and occasionally from elsewhere in the U.S.

Additional Documents

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

The people who use Fellow Mortals are rarely in a position to help donate toward the care of the animal they bring to us.  We rely on individuals, businesses and foundations who share our mission and philosophy to help make care possible for the approximately 2,000 injured and orphaned wild animals brought to us every year. The cost of care includes specialized diets and formulas, purpose built facilities and habitats, including 100-foot long flights and individual pool habitats, expensive medicines to treat lead poisoning or infection, costs associated with advanced diagnostics, like lead testing, x-rays or anesthesia and, most importantly, salaries for the dedicated staff which is made up of experienced professionals with degrees in wildlife and related fields and specific licensing to practice as wildlife rehabilitators. In 2017, we hope to inspire additional ongoing support for our exceptional professional wildlife rehabilitation and education staff, without whom the organization would not exist.

Affiliations + Memberships

International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA)

American Humane Association

Videos

photos




External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

The review section is powered by Great Nonprofits

Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

FELLOW MORTALS INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Fellow Mortals, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Yvonne Wallace Blane

Co Principal Officer

Steven J. Blane

BIO

Yvonne Wallace Blane has a degree in English and Earth Sciences from UW-Wisconsin and worked as a paralegal for 15 years prior to becoming a full-time wildlife rehabilitator and director of Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital.  She has presented at numerous conferences and published papers on medical, behavioral and managerial aspects of wildlife rehabilitation and wildlife education in peer-reviewed journals, has written two ongoing newspaper columns and has written hundreds of essays on wildlife ethics which are distributed to the public through this and other organization's outlets in print and social media.  She is past president of the Wisconsin Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, served as an advisor to the Illinois Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and as a member of the Ethics Committee of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.  Yvonne developed and oversees the Wildlife Care Intern program at the hospital which has provided opportunities for interns every year since 1992.  She was appointed by Governor Doyle to the Wildlife Rehabiltiation Advisory Committee in 2003, which appointment was reconfirmed in 2013 under Governor Scott Walker. She is also one of 20 non-profit professionals worldwide selected to serve on the Global Giving Leadership Council in 2013. Yvonne's essays and articles are used in 65 schools in Illinois and Wisconsin to model exemplary writing for guided student-created writing assignments.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Fellow Mortals' mission is based on respect for individual life.  We do not euthanize healthy animals to meet a quota, nor do we judge an animal's importance by its species.  Every animal admitted to the hospital is treated in the same compassionate, respectful way.  The sparrow and the eagle and the rabbit and the deer are all equally important."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Steven J. Blane

Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital

Term: Jan 2013 - Dec 2013

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
Yes
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
Our senior staff includes people who came to the hospital as interns. Our interns have included different races, gender identifications and people with disabilities. Current staff includes individuals from the United States, Scotland and Canada. We do not interview in person or by Skype, so it is always a pleasant surprise to meet our new interns and welcome them to the Fellow Mortals' family. Race, religion, sexual orientation are not an issue. While some of our staff, interns and volunteers have self-identified over the years, it makes no difference to the most important part of who they are--passionate and compassionate about providing care for the wild ones entrusted to us by the caring people who turn to us for help.