ABOUT ANIMAL ADVOCACY CAREERS
Animal Advocacy Careers (AAC) is an organisation that seeks to address the career and talent bottlenecks in the animal advocacy movement, especially the farmed animal movement. We are providing careers services for individuals at all levels of experience with animal advocacy:
Those new to animal advocacy
Those looking for career planning and support
WHY FARMED ANIMALS?
Animal advocacy — including everything from public activism to developing new foods that can replace animal products — seems like one of the most effective ways to have a positive impact. We can help lots of animals for not much cost, improving their lives or sparing them from the horrors of factory farming. And animal advocacy might also be one of the best opportunities for improving society in the long-term, too.
There is good reason to expect that one of the most impactful ways advocates can make a difference to animals’ lives is by focusing on farmed animals or wild animals, due to the large number of these animals and relatively little attention that tends to be paid to them at the moment. There may be exceptions to this, such as if advocacy for these groups of animals seems unusually difficult in a particular context. Nevertheless, we expect that most of our work will be aimed at supporting individuals and organisations who focus on farmed animal advocacy. This is the area that the majority of highly impact-focused animal advocates — those who don’t just want to help animals, but help as many animals, as much as they can — currently tend to focus on.
WHY ANIMALS ADVOCACY CAREERS?
Among other issues holding back the animal advocacy community from doing even more to help animals, it seems likely that a lack of expertise in particular areas is a problem and that the community could be better coordinated.
Our research has highlighted a number of types of skillsets that the movement needs more of, including management and leadership, fundraising, and legislative expertise.
Examples of the likely consequences of these existing bottlenecks include that:
Organisations may grow more slowly. High impact animal organisations often have roles open for a number of months while they look for candidates, leaving important work not done.
Organisations may make lower quality hires, leading to inefficiencies.
High-impact programmes may be deprioritised.
Animal Charity Evaluators estimated that the US farmed animal movement spends only 2.5% of its resources on “capacity building” — activities that “help strengthen the animal advocacy movement by expanding membership and increasing available resources to the movement.” Animal advocacy capacity building also seems to be neglected by the “effective altruism” movement; some effective altruism organisations such as 80,000 Hours and the Centre for Effective Altruism do not prioritise animal advocacy as much as some other cause areas.
Our surveys of animal advocacy organisations suggest that nonprofit leaders perceive a need for such careers services.
Our research has identified evidence from academia and the for-profit world that a number of interventions that Animal Advocacy Careers could carry out have been effective in those contexts. For example, management and leadership training can be effective and some interventions can significantly increase the quality of recruited staff to organisations. 80,000 hours seems to have had success in addressing career and talent problems in the effective altruism community; similar services focusing specifically on the animal advocacy movement could seem likely to have positive impacts for animals. AAC's initial services offered in 2020 have had promising results; we continue to conduct further research to understand the best opportunities in this space.
In 2021, we are planning to offer animal advocacy organisations support with recruitment for their most difficult to hire roles, and training for staff with management responsibilities. We may offer additional services as the year progresses.
As in the previous year, in 2021, our primary goal will continue to be to learn about which services will be most cost-effective for us to run in future years in order to help animals. We will try out at least one service type that we have not yet tested on a small scale and offer an improved version of at least one service that was trialled in 2020.
You can read more about our 2021 plans and 2020 review here.
You can read about our team here.