For two years, the independent nonprofit watchdog CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) has given the Humane Society of the United States a “D” grade. This spring, for example, CharityWatch reported that HSUS spent as little as 50 percent of its budget on programs and spent up to 48 cents to raise every dollar.
That’s now changed—but not by much. HSUS now earns a “C-minus” grade. CharityWatch finds that HSUS spends as little as 55 percent of its budget on programs, and spends up to 42 cents to raise a dollar.
That’s still incredibly wasteful, in our opinion. A C-minus wouldn’t win you any brownie points from your parents.
CharityWatch analyzes charity tax returns and knocks out the fluff that other nonprofit “watchdogs” (lapdogs) like the BBB and Charity Navigator might overlook, such as a charity classifying fundraising expenses as program expenses.
It’s important to look at tax returns. Our own, separate analysis of HSUS’s tax return discovered that the organization only gives 1 percent of its budget to local shelters. This is contrary to what the majority of Americans think. Help spread the word that HSUS is not just unaffiliated with the many local pet shelters sharing a similar name, but it is has a history of wasteful spending practices to boot.