How Big Cat Rescue Spends YOUR Money
Sources of support. Big Cat Rescue has been a 501(c)(3) non profit entity since 1995. The two primary sources of revenue to support the cats and the educational activities are the revenue from the educational tours and donations from caring individuals, corporations and foundations. Donations to the sanctuary are tax deductible. The sanctuary receives no government funding and relies totally on private support, primarily from individuals. We pay no fundraising solicitors. As a result, our management, general and fund raising expenses together account for less than 11% of total expenses. Because tour revenue more than covers those expenses, 100% of your donations go directly to save the cats.
Deficits through 2002. If donations made by the Founder, her former husband and his estate, and related entities are deducted, the sanctuary operated at a deficit for all of the years through 2002. In addition to covering cash deficits, the Founders donated income producing real estate to the sanctuary to provide investment income and begin to accumulate assets that could support the sanctuary in future years. During those years of deficits, the primary source of revenue to cover the shortfalls was a family business. That business has declined significantly in recent years. Fortunately, educational tour revenue and donations have filled that void.
Audited Financial Statements. In addition the IRS Form 990 that it has filed since 1995, the sanctuary has produced Audited Financial Statements since 2003. In 2004 the sanctuary had positive cash flow, and by 2017 we are able to generate enough revenue to set aside a reserve of about 10 months of expenses. Accumulating reserves to weather downturns in the economy, and eventually building an endowment, will be critical to the long term survival of the sanctuary.
Below is a summary of the audited statements. The links below the summary lead to pdf files of the complete Form 990 and Audited Statements.
Visitors. While the sanctuary started having a few visitors as early as 1995, the efforts to expand that as a way to educate the public began in 1998. We can only take in a small number of cats each year. We believe we can save far more cats by educating people about not getting them as pets and not supporting activities that they may not realize lead to abuse. So attracting visitors to our educational tours has become a major part of our mission. The growth in visitors over the years, heavily due to word of mouth, is evidence that we are fulfilling that mission. If you have not visited the sanctuary, we hope to see you soon!
Note that we keep raising prices in order to keep our tour volume down under 30,000. After COVID-19 and the negative impact of TigerKing in 2020 we will probably never return to group tours, but may do some limited private donor tours.
Questions. If you have any questions about our finances, please feel free to email Finance@bigcatrescue.org.
Donations and Other Ways to Help. For ways in which you can donate or other ways you can help, please click here.
Florida law requires that all charities soliciting donations disclose their registration number and the percentage of your donation that goes to the cause and the amount that goes to the solicitor. Our registration number is CH-11409 and 0% of your donation goes to a solicitor.