Brooke USA Raises $477,881 Toward Ambitious $1.5 Million Goal

~“The Donkey Project” Seeks to Raise Funds & Awareness for Working Equines~

Brooke USA’s “The Donkey Project” is the organization’s most ambitious campaign to date with a fundraising goal of $1.5 million between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. As December 10, 2023, $477,881 has been raised toward supporting a broad array of funding priorities through work in Burkina Faso, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and the United States.

To date, 716 donors from all 50 states have made 1,377 gifts to advance the programs Brooke USA is funding and/or executing around the globe. Approximately, 94% of those gifts were less than $1,000, and 64% were less than $250, indicating the broad-based support of Brooke USA’s mission. Brooke USA received philanthropic commitments of more than $5,000 from 16 major donors.

“As we look at our past end-of-year gifts from our generous contributors, we estimate to be at $600,000 by December 31. We know that our friends supported us during Giving Tuesday reaching an overwhelming $55,000 in one day, and as the calendar year approaches, we are very optimistic of our success with an additional $125,000 through the end of our fiscal year,” said Emily Dulin, CEO of Brooke USA.

The Donkey Project” is intended to grow the organization’s depth of work while raising more funds in support of working donkeys and the people who depend on them for survival in vulnerable communities worldwide. The Donkey Project” also aims to radically raise the profile of donkeys all over the world. With their latest popularity, thanks to the attention secured by movies and documentaries such as EO, The Banshees of Inisherin, Triangle of Sadness and Navalny, many are calling 2023 the year of the donkey with these stoic animals rightfully portrayed as intelligent and calm.

Funds raised through “The Donkey Project” are already making a difference across the globe. Since its launch in July, Brooke USA has already made gifts to its sister organization Brooke: Action for Working Horses & Donkeys to underwrite compassionate handling training, veterinary supplies in remote health posts, women’s and children’s educational groups, balanced feed initiatives and mobile horseshoeing units in West Africa, East Africa, and India respectively. Brooke USA has also made gifts toward improving animal welfare in Cuba and South Africa, through Cuba’s Horses and ARRC – Animal Relief of Rural Communities, respectively. In addition, Brooke USA, in partnership with the EQUUS Foundation, continues to provide Bridge Grants to equine rescue groups in need of emergency assistance.

A portion of the funds raised have been allocated to Brooke USA’s advocacy program which directs efforts at the Federal level in support of the Ejiao Act. US Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) reintroduced the Ejiao Act in the House of Representatives to ban the sale and trade of ejiao (donkey-hide gelatin) products in the United States. Ejiao (pronounced “eh-gee-yow”) is a gelatin made from boiling the hides of donkeys. It is used primarily in cosmetics and traditional Chinese medicines. The growing market for ejiao imperils donkey populations around the world and has spurred a cruel global trade that causes tremendous animal suffering and severely impacts communities that rely on donkeys for survival.

“We are confident that if everyone does their part, we will meet our mid-campaign goal. We are especially grateful to our donors in this tough philanthropic landscape where animal welfare continues to take a back seat. We just want everyone to know that we are not only committed to improving the lives of working equines but also to increasing the economic wellbeing of those who depend on them. In the developing world, the lives of humans and animals are intertwined. I don’t know of another organization that focuses on the betterment of people and animals at the same time,” added Dulin.

About Brooke USA Foundation (Brooke USA): The mission of Brooke USA is to significantly improve the health, welfare and productivity of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them for survival worldwide. We are committed to sustainable economic development by reducing poverty, increasing food security, ensuring access to water, providing a means to education, and raising basic standards of living through improved equine health and welfare. We accomplish this by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need.

Brooke USA strives to alleviate the suffering and vulnerability of developing communities by funding and implementing programs that improve the quality of life and health of working equines and thereby positively impacting their economic sustainability, protecting the planet, ensuring gender equality, and guaranteeing life on land resilience. We want to see healthy, happy people and equines that work in partnership to achieve sustainable local economies.

For more information, contact:
Emily Dulin

Kendall Bierer