Advancing Collaboration


World Animal Protection Image 

Advancing Collaboration with World Animal Protection

About the Organization

The mission of World Animal Protection is to create a better world for animals. They end the needless suffering of animals, influence decision makers to put animals on the global agenda, help the world see how important animals are to all of us, inspire people to change animals’ lives for the better, and move the world to protect animals. 



Featured Guest
Ben Williamston
Program Director
World Animal Protection


Approach to Collaboration

World Animal Protection has 14 offices in countries around the world and has been moving the world
to protect animals for over 50 years. We maintain a number of collaborative relationships with partner
organizations covering a range of different campaigns in the areas of wildlife and animal farming. Our
approach is all about demonstrating animal impact. Often the best way to achieve impact at scale is to
partner with like-minded organizations, such as those fighting for a Better Chicken Commitment or the
Coalition for Ethical Wildlife Tourism. Often, many hands make lighter work, and we are honored to lend
the weight of our international organization to so many collaborations working to advance animal welfare
around the world.

Application of the 9 Considerations for Collaboration

Build Trust

Annual audits, published 990 accounts, reporting to a domestic board as well as an international board; these are just some of the ways that World Animal Protection, as a 501 © (3) maintains trust with our donors, supports and external collaborators. In addition, the pandemic has advanced our online communication efforts with our donors and supporters. We hold many more meetings and webinars than we have done previously, opening access to hundreds more supporters to our lifesaving work who can hear from our campaigners and other staff first-hand.

Have a Vision

World Animal Protection works exclusively in long term visions. To that end we recently created a strategy to shape the organization for the decade Beyond 2020. Our new strategy significantly raises the level of ambition of the organization and sets ourselves the goals to transform the global food systems so that animals in it can live good lives and challenge global systems which entrench the cruel
exploitation of wildlife and move towards their systemic protection in the wild. We want to shift
animal welfare from being a niche issue to one of mass relevance at a global level and make World
Animal Protection fundamental to the changes we need to see. Harmony between this vision and those of our collaborators is only possible if we clearly communicate this long-term vision and seek to motivate and mobilize people and partners through our campaigns as part of a broad movement for animal welfare.

Seek to Assure the Success of Your Collaborators

Constant communication with collaborators is essential to meet the long-term goals of the organization. World Animal Protection regularly participates in coalition meetings, donor events, and stakeholder surveys to ensure that no stone is left unturned in our efforts to have significantly greater impact for animals at a global scale. In our levels of engagement with people and partners, visibility and legitimacy, and income, we regularly communicate for people and partners to join us for action, share our messages, and provide credibility and legitimacy to our name and cause.

Take Stock

Regular evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization is a vital component of our success over the last 50 plus years. Project plans are developed every year and stringent quarterly reporting requirements ensure that delivery remains on track. When campaigns become so successful that they can stand on their own two feet, such as the case with World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost
Gear Initiative, responsible transition plans are enacted to ensure the long-term management of the project continues successfully away from the charity.

We like to maintain consistent communication with our collaborators. We recently exchanged reports about anti-farm animal confinement policies with the Humane Society of the United States. We were able to secure new gestation crate commitments from other companies based on the additional touch points we acquired simply from exchanging information with our collaborators. We prioritize the relationships we’ve established with others in our space that enable us to potentially create better collaborations and results.

Start Small

World Animal Protection has enjoyed success by starting small. And we have also been able to achieve for animals when thrown into the deep end. Building success with new collaborators does require a degree of trust which, in an ideal world, is best achieved starting small. Yet the timing and scale of some the problems we are trying to fix don’t allow for us to start small and require larger and more urgent collaboration efforts. The animal protection community has an advantage in that respect because there is already a large amount of trust and confidence built in through the missions of collaboration partners.
In 2018, our work on Proposition 12 in California – the Anti-Farm Animal Confinement Balance
Initiative – required all the animal groups and the citizens of California to petition and vote for the
Anti-Farm Animal Confinement Balance Initiative. We won with more than 60% of the votes and this
large change wouldn’t have been possible without starting small to build trust.

Fail Fast, and Build Rigorous Feedback Loops

In addition to quarterly internal reporting procedures, we have integrated campaigns teams, which bring campaigners together with communications and development professionals from our 14 country offices, to meet once per month. These regularly scheduled meetings allow us to take stock of projects and make adjustments where necessary. At a more local level, our country offices meet internally every week to ensure timely project delivery and offer rigorous feedback. Externally, we remain committed to transparency and honesty with our partners and, I believe that, the large amount of effective coalitions World Animal Protection maintains proves that strategy is working.

Take a Portfolio Approach

We do maintain a portfolio approach to our collaborations. We feel that we must add value and not be a passenger on our various collaborations. Therefore, we bring something to every table, be it our unique focus on pig welfare in anti-farmed animal confinement collaborations, or our huge advocacy platform in our coalition of big cat sanctuaries. We are always on the look-out for where we can add new value and deliver more for animals.

Consider Non-Traditional Partners

Collaborating with corporations has been the secret to our success over recent years. World Animal
Protection provides a level of authority and integrity that corporations are happy to partner with to
move the world for animals in a meaningful way. For example, in 2019, Airbnb chose to work with
World Animal Protection to craft its groundbreaking animal welfare commitments, which went further
than all of its competitors in the wildlife experiences category. Instagram accepted our recommendations
in warning users about the dangers of animal selfies. And we partner with on-the-ground disaster relief
organizations around the world to help animals affected by international disasters.

Recently, we’ve discovered an increase in the number of allies and collaborators. The spread of COVID-19 to many animal processing workers paired with mandated increased slaughter line speeds has resulted in a recipe for disaster for both the workers and the animals processed. However, the situation has allowed us to find allies in human rights and workers’ rights organizations; we’ve learned to collaborate with untraditional partners to progress each other’s issues.

Keep Your Donors Apprised of Your Collaborations

 World Animal Protection maintains a number of channels through which we provide regular donor
engagement. In addition to our regular weekly campaign emails, we send a monthly newsletter
email capturing some of the other recent highlights of the organization. We mail a printed quarterly
newsletter for those members who prefer amore traditional method. World Animal Protection has a
robust social media presence. We are also holding more webinars and donor surveys to create a
feedback loop so we can learn more about what our donors and supporters want to see from us. And of
course, our email and phone contact info is always available on our website and we love to hear from
our donors, as we do on a daily basis.

Future Collaborations

An ideal collaboration would involve a perfect complement of skills sets, experience and trust. The bringing together of likeminded individuals with similar goals but unique capabilities will help ensure all of our bases are covered. Small, dynamic teams or subgroups that can respond nimbly to changing circumstances, while still maintaining enough representation to be influential, will help deliver results in a timely fashion.

This article was composed by Rachel Romana Liu.

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