About Donating

Safe Harbor Equine and Livestock Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 Non Profit Rescue.  What does this mean?  It means that 100% of the donations we receive are tax deductible.

There are a lot of misconceptions in what it means to be a 501(c)3.  A lot of people assume because an organization puts these #’s and letters to describe them that they are inspected by a government agency, hold some sort of licensing and are by default “good”.  That’s really not true!  501(C)3 is solely an Internal Revenue Service designation. There is an application you fill out to receive it, a filing fee, and a long wait.  Maintaining a 501(c)3 is as easy as filing your tax return each year.  So–from a credibility standpoint it really doesn’t mean anything.

Now that you know that, how can you choose which organization you want to donate to?  Well, first things first, we hope you’ll choose us!  If you are still undecided, then here are some things to consider when choosing where your hard earned dollars will go.

Q) Does anyone in the rescue collect a salary?  

A. At Safe Harbor 100% of our volunteers are just that, volunteers.  Our director, board members, treasurer, and all are all volunteers.  There are no salaries paid, and no compensation paid for all of their work with the animals.  That means 100% of the money donated to the rescue goes directly to the animals in the form of feed, farrier, and supplies.

Q) Do you ever have animals euthanized?  If so, how?

A. Very very rarely, and ONLY when it is the humane option. We don’t hide it when we have an animal euthanized.  The animals that have been with us, and gone are listed on our Rainbow Bridge page, and our friends and Facebook followers mourn with us on social media as we celebrate the life and passing of a great friend.  Our fosters are NEVER subjected to age or time limits.  We are the only equine and livestock rescue in Middle Tennessee with both and adoption and sanctuary program, and our special needs and older seniors have a home with us for life.  Once an animal comes to Safe Harbor, we make a lifelong commitment to that animal, and life truly means for as long as there is quality of life.  In the few instances when we have had to make the hardest choice that we ever do, our vet is called and the horse is sedated so they drift off to a peaceful sleep before they are humanely euthanized.  In most cases we choose on farm burial post euthanasia which allows our volunteers to spend time near our departed friend, with respect; similar to visiting a grave in a human cemetary.  Never at any time from start to final goodbye are our fosters treated as anything other than precious friends and family members.

Q) Do members of your board of directors put their money where their mouth is?  Do they donate or just ask other people to donate?

A. Our directors have ALL donated to the organization, and one of our directors is our largest benefactor, having donated over $20,000 in 2014 alone!  Our volunteers and directors are dedicated to this organization, and give of themselves both in time and financial commitment.

2014-05-20 20.20.00Q) The main facility is really nice…it seems like maybe too much of the donation money received went there, and not enough to the horses?

A. We are thrilled with our main facility, and it is a point of pride for us–but never fear….we did not take any money away from the horses in order to have such a great place for the rescue.  Our main facility is 10 year lease with rights of renewal.  The generosity of the owner of the property has made that possible.  We lease for a whopping $10 per year.  In addition, all of our satellite farms are owned and operated by the foster parents who live there, and the facilities have no cost to the rescue.

Q) I’d really like to see your financials before I donate.  Is that possible?

A) No problem!  We are so proud of our financial responsibility that we will open our books to anyone at any time.  Our tax return is available for you to view by CLICKING HERE.  We are also Guidestar GOLD Registered and rated (an independent non-profit rating agency).  Gold is the highest level rating a charity can receive from Guidestar, and that is reflective of our commitment to transparency.  If you want something more current than year end last year, just email us, and our treasurer will share the year to date financial results of the rescue with you.

Q) Do you just ask for donations, or do you fund raise, too?

A) We actually hate having our hand out asking for money, though it is necessary to help the horses.  We fund raise extensively.  We actually never go more than 2 months without holding a fundraiser.  Some of these are “silent fundraisers”, such as our Christmas time Ebay sale that we did not heavily advertise.  We also hold big community fundraisers that are annual events.  Some examples include the Kids Horsemanship Camp, Annual Picnic and Trail Ride, our Horse Camp for Grownups Educational Series, and our Family Festival at the Training Centerl.  We are always looking for new and great ideas to let our community get to know the horses and the organization.

Q) I’d like to visit before donating.  How can that happen?

A) We totally understand.  For liability and time reasons we can’t be open to the public every single day.  However, we have 4 Open Houses Annually.  These  events are open to the public, and give you a chance to meet the horses and see our great work first hand.  In addition, any time we post a foster farm workday, that is open to the public as well, so you can meet the horses, grab a paintbrush or a shovel, and help keep their environment beautiful while learning more about us, too!

Q) I noticed you work with horses, livestock and children.  What is the Mission Statement for Safe Harbor?

A) Our mission is: Safe Harbor Equine and Livestock Sanctuary will provide a safe, nurturing and healing environment with a special focus on animals requiring critical care. We will adopt out rehabilitated animals and provide a caring sanctuary for the animals that have ongoing needs.  We will provide a safe environment to help people with personal, mental and psychological challenges better their lives through quality interaction with rescued equine and farm animals.  We seek to educate the public about responsible ownership and the dignity of all life.

Organizations We Belong To and Memberships We Hold:


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