AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ZOO VETERINARIANS

aka Wild Animal Health Fund   |   Yulee, FL   |  https://wildanimalhealthfund.org/

Mission

The mission of the AAZV is to empower our members to advance our profession and enhance wild animal health, welfare, and conservation.

Ruling year info

1990

Executive Director

Dr. Robert Hilsenroth

Main address

581705 White Oak Rd

Yulee, FL 32097 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-6146888

NTEE code info

Veterinary Services (D40)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (D12)

Professional Societies, Associations (D03)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Because of the vast number of species, and the fact that every animal is different, we need more medical research in order to provide the best medicine possible. Before it is too late and more animals go extinct.

It is the zoo and wildlife veterinarians who rely on discovering new treatments and cures to properly take care of the health of zoo animals and wildlife. Unfortunately, there is only a limited amount of knowledge on zoological medicine for non-domestic species. Now, there is an ever-increasing need for critical animal health studies for non-domestic animals.

Thus, we established the Wild Animal Health Fund (WAHF) to raise money and fund research that benefits zoo animals and wildlife in an effort to save lives, eliminate diseases, increase reproduction and help maintain wild populations of threatened and endangered species.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

The Wild Animal Health Fund

In 2005, AAZV started funding animal health studies to enhance the association’s role and capacity in animal health and conservation. In addition, it was apparent to zoo and wildlife veterinarians that there is an ever-increasing need for critical animal health studies for non-domestic animals. There is a lack of funding from government and non-government organizations. AAZV has taken on the responsibility to fill the gap for funding to support animal health studies. AAZV is diligently working to increase the awareness of AAZV and its commitment through the Wild Animal Health Fund to be the leading resource for animal health research initiatives that benefit zoo animals and wildlife.

The Wild Animal Health Fund has one goal: to optimize the health, welfare and conservation of zoo animals and wildlife through critical research and studies.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

The Wild Animal Health Fund

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

The Wild Animal Health Fund

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of research studies funded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Academics

Related Program

The Wild Animal Health Fund

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

With the Wild Animal Health Fund, a program of AAZV, our aim is to undertake groundbreaking research of the highest quality to achieve demonstrable health benefits to zoo animals and wildlife worldwide.

We're very different than other environment-focused conservation organizations. While other groups work to preserve and protect natural habitats, The Wild Animal Health Fund focuses on the animals and their health.

There is very little government funding available for wild animal health research despite great need. The WAHF typically receives grant requests totaling 3-4x what we can provide in a given year. As a result, we often have to turn down grant requests even when the research is worthy of our support.

Using surplus money from dues, publishing of the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, and Annual Conference Revenue, the members in 2012 elected to start the Wild Animal Health Fund. The reserves plus some fundraising efforts have been covering the grants and operational expenses of the WAHF.

Currently, we are funding $110,000 in research grants annually, but that number needs to get to $1 million annually if we're going to win this race against extinction.

To gain support, we are utilizing the proven method of direct mail campaigns. We have over 1700 active donors. The Director of Development is in place managing the donor database and stewarding some of the donors to increase their giving levels. We envision this donor base will provide us with assistance on increasing awareness for the WAHF and bringing in new donors.

The Wild Animal Health Fund has three strategies in place to fund the critical research. By establishing a research grant committee with policies, guidelines and procedures, we are able to accept grant applications and formally approve projects. Sharing the research, results, and methods is vital to fulfilling the research project. Even if the hypothesis is incorrect, it gives other scientists a starting point to determine the next steps to the actual solution. All WAHF approved projects are required, within one year of the completion of the research, to be submitted for publication, preferably to the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, or for presentation at an annual conference of AAZV or other similar scientific venues. The Research Grant Committee tracks each project through this final phase of the project.

The final strategy for the Wild Animal Health Fund is to raise funds awarded to the approved projects. Because the WAHF is a new charity program, we had to start from scratch to build a donor base. We are spreading the awareness through a direct mail campaign by renting names from other animal philanthropic organizations. Each mailing campaign is analyzed and improved for better results in bringing in more new and annual donors. This costly expenditure is covered by AAZV's reserves so that we can proudly declare that 100% of funds donated for the research grants are used to fund the grants.

The members of AAZV know all too well that there is a lack of funding for zoological medicine. Unfortunately, funding from other institutions and the government has been declining over the years. It was this message from our members that we needed to become an active, if not primary resource, for veterinary medicine research to occur and help zoo animals and wildlife species.

While AAZV has the financial strength to increase the sustainability of zoo animals and wildlife, we are seeking private, corporate, and foundation support of the WAHF operational expenses. This will ensure that both AAZV and the WAHF exist long into the future to meet both missions.

We have over 1700 donors through the direct mail campaign and other development initiatives. Continued stewardship is being offered to those annual donors and we are gradually moving some donors up to be major contributors, where applicable.

As of 2017, we have funded 52 projects that have benefited over 41 individual species plus hundreds of related species. Each approved project has met the research requirements for funding from the Wild Animal Health Fund, which includes a demonstration of cutting-edge or best practice for the field of zoological medicine.

Until we eliminate animal extinction, we have a lot to accomplish. Extinction doesn't always exist because of the lack of conservation efforts. Some animals go extinct because of health reasons and until we have the research to uncover the many unknowns of each biological species, we need professionals to seek for these answers.

We will continue to strive for the Wild Animal Health Fund to become self-sustaining in funding approved projects and operational expenses. Thus, we are sure to be on our way in solving the world's problems for zoo animals and wildlife.

Financials

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ZOO VETERINARIANS
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF ZOO VETERINARIANS

Board of directors
as of 4/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Mike Adkesson

Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Ill

Term: 2017 - 2018


Board co-chair

Dr. Julie Napier

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

Term: 2017 - 2018

Lauren Howard

San Diego Safari Park Zooi

Leigh Clayton

National Aquarium

Clay Hilton

Texas A & M

Jess Siegal-Willott

National Zoo

Mads Bertlesen

Coppenhagan Zoo

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and 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? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/01/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data