5 Animal Welfare Organizations With Amazing Employee Benefits

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Companies have traditionally offered benefits and perks as a way to attract and keep top employees. From decent health benefits and pension funds to daycare and paid leave, a good benefits package can add value – from hundreds to even thousands of dollars – to your pay per year.

It’s not just for-profit businesses who are taking care of their employees. Several nonprofit organizations, including those who advocate for animals and the environment, tout benefits that are just as attractive – and in some cases even more so – than their corporate counterparts. (Think of how much you can save with a deeply-discounted health plan for your animal companion, for instance.)

Some benefits may not necessarily add monetary value, but can boost morale (as in being able to take your beloved companion animal to work every day) or even help make everyday tasks easier (as in offering an onsite cafeteria).

These extras – whether monetary or motivational – can compensate for the lower pay associated with nonprofit work.

Here’s a look at how five of the better known animal & environmental nonprofits take care of their workers – in addition to caring for animals and the planet.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. There are other fine organizations that indeed take good care of their workers, and this list is not meant to discount what they may have to offer.

The benefits listed are current as of this writing. The information was taken from each organization’s website. Please visit each organization’s site for additional information.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

The ASPCA’s history started in 1866, making it the oldest animal protection agency in the United States. They advocate for animals in numerous ways, including via legislative efforts, grant giving, and community outreach; as well as operating the Animal Poison Control Center, ASPCA Animal Hospital, spay/neuter clinics, and adoption center.

What they offer their employees:

Insurance: Medical, dental, vision, life, long and short-term disability, plus flexible health spending account

Retirement: 401(k) plan with matching contributions from the ASPCA

Paid time off (per year): Two to five weeks based on length of service; seven paid national holidays; sick, personal, bereavement, jury duty leave (part-time on pro-rated basis)

A few of the extra employee perks offered by ASPCA

  • Discount on pet health insurance
  • 50% discount on vet services at the ASPCA Animal Hospital
  • Tuition assistance program
  • Discount on Broadway shows, concerts, and sporting events
  • Wellness programs


Defenders of Wildlife

One of the major organizations dedicated to wildlife & habitat conservation, Defenders of Wildlife has been in existence since 1947. They work with governments and businesses across the United States, working in the field, and helping to shape policy.

What they offer their employees:

Insurance: Medical, dental, vision, group-term life, short and long-term disability, supplemental income protection, plus health care reimbursement & dependent care reimbursement programs

Retirement: 403(b) tax-sheltered plan, pension plan

Paid time off (per year): 12 paid holidays (plus Inauguration Day every fourth year); 2 personal holidays; 15 to 25 vacation days based on length of service, 12 sick days, paid parental leave

A few of the extra employee perks offered by Defenders of Wildlife

  • Public transportation benefit
  • Discounted YMCA membership
  • Telecommuting program (after six months of initial employment)


Best Friends Animal Society

Based in Kanab, Utah, with satellite locations in New York City, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles, Best Friends is perhaps one of the nation’s best-known animal rescues. They also helped to pioneer the no-kill movement.

What they offer their employees:

Insurance: Medical, dental, vision, life, long and short-term disability

Retirement: 401(k)

Paid time off (per year): Yes, including holidays

A few of the extra employee perks offered by Best Friends:

  • Child care
  • Cafeteria plan
  • Employee Assistance program
  • Discounted veterinary care
  • Option to bring pets to work


Sierra Club

Established since 1892, Sierra Club is one of the most powerful conservation organizations in the nation, with impressive successes, which included helping to get the Endangered Species Act passed and protecting wilderness.

What they offer their employees:

Insurance: Medical, dental, vision, life, long-term disability, plus flexible spending accounts

Retirement: 401(k) plan, pension plan

Paid time off (per year): Two to five weeks, depending on length of service, sick leave at one day a month, parental leave

A few of the extra employee perks offered by Sierra Club

  • Sierra Club membership
  • Discounts on Sierra Club outings and books
  • Credit union membership
  • Employee Assistance program


Alley Cat Allies

Since 1990, Alley Cat Allies has been dedicated to the humane treatment of our feline friends. They advocate via outreach, education, and special campaigns. Even though they are a smaller organization (comprised of a staff of more than 40 workers, as of this writing), they offer some impressive benefits.

What they offer their employees:

Insurance: Medical (premium paid at 100%)

Retirement: 403(b) plan with employer contribution

Paid time off (per year): 3 weeks (increases after two years), 12 days sick leave

An extra employee perk offered by Alley Cat Allies

  • Cats in the office


Although larger organizations often have better benefit plans because of their buying power, don’t discount what smaller and local organizations and local government departments may have to offer.

I know you’re in this field to work with and make a difference for animals. But you also have to survive and pay bills – these added extras can really make a difference.

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