We are now drawing to the end of our current five-year strategy period (2013 to 2018), which has seen us grow in both our impacts on donkeys and the people who depend on them, and in our efforts to elevate the status of donkeys all over the world.

The success of our previous five-year strategy has given us a solid foundation on which to build our ambitious plans for the next five years. During this time, we have:

  • Provided sanctuary to over 7,000 animals on our farms?
  • Attended over 1,300 welfare complaints
  • Increased the number of countries in which we work and support projects from 27 to 38
  • Increased the number of donkeys in foster homes from 1,500 to nearly 1,900 in the UK and mainland Europe
  • Launched a new hospital that will give vital care to donkeys and mules for several decades to come
  • Launched a new Gift Shop, restaurant and Visitor Centre at our Sidmouth sanctuary to cater for the 350,000 people a year who come to see and learn about our work in action.

Our work is far from done however, and we have even more ambitious goals for the future. We are currently immersed in intense preparation to develop The Donkey Sanctuary’s next five-year strategy, which will take us to 2023. We are planning to take our work for donkeys and mules to a new level, both on home ground in our farms and sanctuaries and through our global programmes of work.

Our vision

A world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued.

Our mission

We aim to transform the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships.

Core values

The Donkey Sanctuary’s core values are compassion, collaboration and creativity and these are central to everything we do. If we are to achieve the goals we have set ourselves, however, we will need to support our staff to work dynamically, too. In order to make this so, over the coming five years we will foster a culture that embraces ambition, responsiveness, empowerment and reflection.


We never turn away from a donkey in need. Helping donkeys, and the people who rely on them for their livelihoods, to cope with physical, mental and emotional challenges lies at the heart of everything we do.


Working through a worldwide network of partner organisations, communities and individuals, we collaborate with people frequently marginalised within their own countries. We treat every interaction as a two-way opportunity to learn and to teach. Together, we can help donkey owners and carers become donkey welfare ambassadors wherever they live and work.


The need for The Donkey Sanctuary’s work is immense, but its resources are finite – which means that we must exercise creativity to meet the goals we set ourselves.