In February 2019, a leadership transition took place at Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. The organization was at a critical point and swift changes needed to be implemented to ensure sustainability for the future. With a commitment to transparency, Brother Wolf announced in spring 2019 that the organization was facing a one million dollar funding gap.
In order to regain financial stability, significant budget and staffing cuts were made, assets were sold, and three satellite locations were spun off into their own nonprofit organizations faster than originally planned. Brother Wolf focused on its roots of helping companion animals and did away with extraneous programs. The leadership team diligently worked through these steps over the course of 2019 and successfully reduced the funding gap by 55% by the end of that year.
We built a new leadership team, including a new financial management team, and a professional board of directors for effective governance. Substantial financial policies and procedures were implemented. This served us well during an IRS audit in August 2019, which went smoothly due to the improved financial management and accounting policies that had been put in place.
Since the organization had not undergone a full financial audit in several years, the board of directors and leadership team moved forward with an audit of 2019 financials. We are proud to say that our financial statements were found to be free from material misstatements, meaning the company’s financial condition, position, and operations are fairly presented in the financial statements. Furthermore, the outside auditors had no findings related to our internal controls as Brother Wolf has prioritized developing and implementing substantial financial policies and procedures to ensure clean, transparent, and appropriate financial statements. We had a clean audit and are very proud of this accomplishment.
Notes of interest for 2019 audited financial statements:
- A merger took place with Friends for Life Forever Farm of Lake Toxaway, NC. Brother Wolf took in and cared for about 200 animals from that organization in late 2018 and the merger was processed in 2019.
- Brother Wolf’s three satellite locations spun off into their own nonprofit organizations in early fall of 2019. Therefore, their expenses and revenue for over half of 2019 are included with the organization’s totals as stated on the financial audit.
- Brother Wolf launched a low cost mobile spay and neuter clinic in November 2018, therefore increasing the organization’s program service revenue. This program was financially sustainable in 2019, ending the year slightly above the goal of breaking even.
- We focused on paying down our debt and significantly increasing our cash flow stability. The organization’s debt was reduced by 55% in 2019. Cash and cash equivalents were increased by 83%.
- The hard decision of ceasing the organization’s sanctuary project in Leicester, NC was made. The sanctuary project was operating at a deficit and could no longer be sustained by the organization. The property was listed for sale in 2019.
- Programs had been spending more than the organization was bringing in. Changes were made to focus all of our resources on our most impactful and most needed programs in order to best serve companion animals in Western North Carolina.
- A large asset impairment was recorded for purchased property, equipment, and planning and project management costs associated with projects and programs that are no longer being pursued by the organization.
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will come through this trying time. Even in this period of recovery and great change in 2019, the organization positively impacted the lives of over 9,000 animals!
The animals are counting on us. Brother Wolf plays a critical role in the Western North Carolina region. We are the only nonprofit organization of our size and impact that focuses on Western North Carolina as a whole and builds programs to tackle animal homelessness throughout the region. Every week we visit overcrowded, rural shelters and take in animals so that we can help them continue their journey to finding their forever home. Every week our low cost mobile spay and neuter clinics address one of the most important root causes of animal overpopulation. Every week, thanks to our donors, fosters, volunteers, supporters and staff members, Brother Wolf saves animals’ lives.
Thank you for being part of our recovery, our new beginning, and our exciting future. Together we’re changing the world, one rescued animal at a time.
A Form 990 was also completed for 2019. This 990 can be viewed on our website, www.bwar.org. Note that our Form 990 and our financial statements are prepared using a different basis of accounting, which may result in differences between these two documents.