We share your desire to designate as much funding as possible to programmatic activities while still raising the revenue needed to fund the work. In fiscal year 2019, 76.9 percent of our total expenses went to international development programs. These funds provided livestock, seeds, trees and training in animal care and business development to project partners all around the world. Only 4.9 percent went to management, while just over 18 percent went to fundraising.
We exceed the Better Business Bureau (BBB) standard for nonprofit fundraising expenses—65 percent for program expenses and 35 percent for fundraising. Additionally, our Board of Directors requires that our fundraising cost does not exceed 25 percent, and we actively work to direct as much funding to programmatic efforts as possible while still raising the funds necessary to make the work happen.
We keep our expenses as low as possible by using a combination of internal staff and vendors, seeking the most competitive rates for creative printing and mailing services, including special nonprofit postal rates offered by the U.S. Postal Service. We are increasingly using electronic formats and social media to communicate with donors and offer an opt-out for people who wish to limit mail. We also use environmentally friendly paper and inks, all of which are fully recyclable, and regularly assess the cost effectiveness of our costs in comparison to fundraising success and make adjustments as needed.