Topic: Fundraising & Money

  • Humane Society International Loses Money Fundraising

    Humane Society International (HSI), the global arm of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), has a fundraising problem. Recently, the office of the New York attorney general released its annual report “Pennies For Charity: Fundraising by Professional Fundraisers.” According to the report, about 67 percent of money solicited in New York by professional fundraisers (telemarketers, online, direct mail, etc.) ends up going back to the charity that hired them with about 33 percent going towards payments and fees for the fundraisers.

    But HSI actually paid more money to fundraisers than it received in donations from their services.  In 2016, it lost over $275,000 to Donor Services Group (DSG) and Public Interest Communications. And that’s after it lost over $125,000 after hiring DSG in 2015.

    Kitty Block, the president of HSI, was recently tapped to be the acting CEO and President of HSUS after Wayne Pacelle resigned in disgrace following reports of extensive sexual harassment by himself and a top lieutenant. HSUS for years has had the same issues in its fundraising campaigns—money going into the pockets of professional fundraisers instead of helping animals.

    Meet the new boss—she’s just like the old one.

    Posted on 02/23/2018 at 5:42 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Financial DocumentsFundraising & Money


  • HSUS Spends More on Consulting than Dog Care

    The resignation of Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle amidst a host of sexual harassment allegations was not a turning point for the organization. Pacelle institutionalized a culture of financial mismanagement and intellectual dishonesty in his 13 years running the organization. It’s on full display with the revelation that HSUS spent $245,000 on consulting fees and $151,000 on travel costs as part of its supposed “care” of seized dogs in its custody.

    That’s more than it reported spending on the dogs’ direct care. And the total cost translates to almost $10,000 per dog. Any donor should be distressed that a rescue organization is so inefficient.

    Last June, HSUS assisted in a raid on a New Hampshire woman accused of mistreating her Great Danes. About 80 animals were seized and the woman was charged with animal cruelty. But HSUS’s conduct was also at question. The dogs were held at a secret location, and pictures of their conditions were not allowed. Several dogs died in HSUS custody, including of painful intestinal torsion.

    The woman was convicted of animal cruelty, and HSUS put in a request with the court to have $774,000 in expenses reimbursed. HSUS admits that the dogs’ direct care amounts to $154,000 of this—just 20 percent of the total expenditures. The remainder includes $245,0000 on “consulting,” $151,000 on travel, $23,000 on meals, and $117,000 on lodging. Was HSUS taking private jets and staying at the Ritz Carlton?

    Astonishingly, the court granted HSUS’s full request for reimbursement. The actual care costs would be one thing, but $23,000 in meals and $151,000 in travel? That’s extortion.

    HSUS is now lobbying for a bill in the New Hampshire legislature that would force people merely accused of animal cruelty to have pony up for HSUS’s costs—before even having a trial. It’s hard to imagine a more un-American bill than one that effectively subverts our country’s principle of innocent until proven guilty.

    As for HSUS, it’s one more bit of proof that the organization’s financial mismanagement runs deep. After all, this is a group that spends 52 cents of every dollar on fundraising. Even when HSUS finds time to care for a few animals, it still manages to take the low road.

    Posted on 02/21/2018 at 10:27 am by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Courtroom DramaFundraising & Money


  • How Deep Does HSUS Sexual Harassment Go?

    Is Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle the Harvey Weinstein of the charity world? And what did other executives and the board of directors know, and when?

    Those are the questions many are asking themselves today after a front-page bombshell report in the Washington Post. The Post provides details of an internal investigation at HSUS that has found three women who accuse Pacelle of sexual harassment. Additionally, the report notes that senior staff had warned about Pacelle’s behavior, which created a toxic environment, and that several women were paid settlement money after they said they were retaliated against.

    The Post story didn’t even address allegations against another HSUS executive who is close friends with Pacelle.

    What we do know is that people at HSUS have been aware of Pacelle’s activities for years. And yet even now—over a month after starting this investigation—the HSUS board still apparently hasn’t done anything to discipline him. In fact, we wouldn’t know about this investigation but for some sources at HSUS contacting the press. It’s weak leadership. But then what do you expect from a board that wouldn’t fire Pacelle even after he was caught paying a witness who lied under oath, leading to HSUS being sued and paying $11 million in settlement?

    If you were harassed by Pacelle, the best thing you can do is talk to a reporter. The leadership of HSUS simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing when for years they’ve looked the other way.

    We’ve known for years that Pacelle has deceived donors and the press. Under his leadership, HSUS has grown their cash empire and collects more than $100 million dollars a year, primarily from women who think they’re supporting their local pet shelter. He’s collected millions in salary and pension payments, traveled the world in style, hid millions of donor dollars in the Caribbean, and done it on the back of kind-hearted, generous people.

    And now we know that Pacelle was also harassing women and abusing his power at the same time.

    CAPTION CONTEST: email us at [email protected] what you think the caption of the picture collage above should be…

    Posted on 01/30/2018 at 12:32 pm by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Executive StaffFundraising & MoneyMain


  • Have You Seen Our Newest Ad?

    Today we’re asking Capitol Hill: Have you seen this predator?

    Our latest ad in Politico depicts Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle on a “WANTED” poster, charged—so to speak—with shortchanging America’s pets. It’s our way of saying “season’s greetings” to one of America’s most shameless exploiters of shelter animals.

    Pacelle and the Humane Society of the United States raise money with tear-jerking images of dogs and cats. Yet HSUS gives only 1 penny of every dollar it raises to local pet shelters while pouring millions into the pockets of Pacelle, his fellow executives, and the organization’s pension plan.

    Last week we released the 2017 Edition of “Not Your Local Humane Society” that goes in-depth on where and how little HSUS gives to local shelters. HSUS’s operating budget last year was $132 million, but 52 percent of its budget was dedicated to fundraising.

    Pacelle loves to spend time lobbying in Congress, and Capitol Hill is currently dealing with sexual harassment scandals. Our ad is a reminder to staffers and lawmakers that there’s more than one breed of predator.

    Posted on 12/14/2017 at 6:19 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Fundraising & MoneyGov't, Lobbying, Politics


  • New Video: Help Homeless Pets, Not High-Paid Execs

    Earlier this week, our new ad “Help Homeless Pets, Not The Humane Society of the US”  premiered on Tucker Carlson Tonight The ad shows a mangy dog begging for spare change, only to have a man steal the money and leave the pup with nothing. The ad ends with a plea: “Give to your local shelter, not the Humane Society of the United States.”

    The release of the ad coincides with the release of the 2017 edition of our “Not Your Local Humane Society” report showing how little money HSUS gives to pet shelters across the United States.

    We have a handy map you can share with people, in fact.

    The report, which dives into HSUS’s 2016 tax return, shows that over 50% of the organization’s budget went to fundraising while only 1% was given to pet shelters.

    Other highlights include $51 million stashed away in Caribbean accounts, $4.25 million used for lobbying, and $2.9 million in compensation for just 13 executives.

    As end-of-the-year giving begins, remember: HSUS isn’t associated with your local “humane society” despite the similar names. If you want to help shelter animals, give local.

    Posted on 12/08/2017 at 10:33 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Audio & VideoFundraising & MoneyVideo


  • See How Little the Humane Society of the U.S. Gives to Your State

    Have you seen the ads on TV with the slow piano music and the tear-jerking images of cats and dogs? Ever gotten a letter in the mail asking for a donation to help needy pets? You may be shocked to learn that the group behind these solicitations, the Humane Society of the United States, is actually not affiliated with your local humane society pet shelter, and runs zero pet shelters.

    In fact, of the $100 million-plus raised by the Humane Society of the United States every year, only about 1% is given to local pet shelters, according to the group’s tax return. Instead, millions are put into the group’s pension plan every year ($2.8 million in 2016), and millions more are spent on large salaries (CEO Wayne Pacelle made over $400,000 last year). Out of every dollar spent by HSUS, 52 cents goes toward fundraising-related expenses.

    You can find your local pet shelter here if you’d like to make a donation to help needy animals in your community. And feel free to share the map below so that other animal lovers know to give local—not to the Humane Society of the United States.

    Posted on 12/04/2017 at 11:24 am by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Document AnalysisFundraising & MoneyFundraising Materials


  • Humane Society of the U.S. Has $51 Million in the Caribbean

    While most of the country enjoys the temperate fall weather, snow has already fallen in many areas out west. Those looking for warm retreats as the weather cools are already looking at places in the Caribbean. We might suggest the Cayman Islands, where the Humane Society of the United States is keeping donor money tanned, rested, and ready—and away from the animals it is supposed to help.

    According to HSUS’s most recent (2016) tax return, the organization has $51,469,167 sitting in “investments” in the Caribbean. In the past, HSUS has disclosed that these millions are sitting in specific funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

    Meanwhile, HSUS continues to engage in predatory fundraising. The past few weeks have been replete with pleas from HSUS and its highly compensated CEO Wayne Pacelle, begging for donations to fund its disaster relief team. However, we’ve seen this script before. After Hurricane Sandy, HSUS raised several million dollars but only spent about one-third of what it raised on Sandy relief.

    The rest might have made a nice addition to HSUS’s Cayman funds. Much like we suspect money raised after the three recent storms will end up. Read our report, “Looting in the Aftermath,” for more evidence of how HSUS exploits high-profile events.

    Posted on 10/18/2017 at 12:37 pm by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Fundraising & Money


  • Your Taxpayer Dollars Fund HSUS

    The $640 toilet seat bought by the Pentagon. The $7,600 coffee pot. The $37 screws. The annals of government waste run long.

    Add one more chapter: the Humane Society of the United States.

    Federal records show that HSUS was awarded $715,000 last year from the federal government. Most of that money came from the Department of Justice, with another chunk of change coming from the Department of the Interior.

    And what exactly is your money going towards? Some of it pays for shooting up feral horses with contraceptive drugs, while other money covers work HSUS should already be doing for free.

    For the Department of the Interior, moneys to HSUS included $99,000 for “training on new penal code to improve enforcement of wildlife laws in Vietnam” and $65,000 for testing the contraceptive drug PZP on feral horses in northwest Arizona. HSUS wants the costly PZP to be used broadly to control wildlife populations, as an alternative to hunting–and taxpayers would foot the bill.

    Ironically, Bureau of Land Management officials think PZP is a waste of time. According to a Government Accountability Office report released last month, “Due to the costs, limited duration of effectiveness, and the difficulty of accessing most areas, administering the treatments on a large scale is not currently cost-effective for maintaining most wild horse populations at sustainable levels, according to agency officials.” So why the outlay of public money to HSUS?

    Funds from the Department of Justice, meanwhile, went to help pay for the care of dogs seized in criminal cases under the agency’s asset forfeiture program. The original contract value appears to have been reduced this year, but isn’t this something HSUS could do for free? HSUS has $50 million sitting in offshore Caribbean accounts, according to its latest tax return, and has enough money to pay 44 people over $100,000 a year in compensation. It spent $70 million on fundraising last year—couldn’t HSUS cut back on the junk mail solicitations to help care for some dogs? (Apparently not.)

    Don’t want your tax dollars given to HSUS? Contact your Congressman and complain. A group hoarding $50 million in the Caribbean does not deserve a penny of taxpayer money. And since HSUS is on the public dole, perhaps an oversight committee can take a closer look at just how that money was spent.

    Posted on 09/21/2017 at 11:42 am by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Fundraising & MoneyGov't, Lobbying, Politics


  • How Much Did HSUS Spend on its CEO’s Book Tour?

    The Humane Society of the United States is a wasteful charity, spending more than half of its donors’ money on fundraising-related expenses last year, according to its tax return. It also appears that HSUS spent a pretty penny on a months-long, multi-city book tour for its CEO—whose book doesn’t even appear to have sold well at all. Donor money even was spent flying his wife around.

    According to the 2016 HSUS tax return, the organization received royalties of $22,172 for Wayne Pacelle’s book. Pacelle was paid $22,172 in royalties as well, and got an advance of $46,750 in 2015. Based on how authors are paid royalties and advances—details here—and the cost of Pacelle’s book, we estimate that only about 26,000 copies were bought.

    Not exactly John Grisham. Keep in mind that HSUS has a mailing list of millions of people—and that’s the best he could do?

    And it looks even worse when you consider that, for that measly $22,000, HSUS paid for Pacelle to crisscross the county on a book tour.

    We were able to track down 18 states (plus DC) on Pacelle’s book tour, with a total of 35 days and 37 stops from coast to coast. Once you factor in flights (first class?), hotels, meals, and other expenses, it starts to add up.

    We may also add in travel expenses for Pacelle Wife #2, former al Jazeera reporter Lisa Fletcher. HSUS reports on its tax return that it paid $4,181 to cover her “travel expenses” for “media support.” And it’s possible that HSUS staffers (or even a bodyguard) traveled with Pacelle.

    Not long ago “60 Minutes” exposed a charity CEO for writing a book and having the charity pay for his book tour. Donors to HSUS expect their money will be used to help care for animals—not serve as a self-promotional vanity tour for its CEO—who already gets paid over $400,000 a year.

    Posted on 09/13/2017 at 12:16 pm by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Executive StaffFundraising & Money


  • Humane Society of the U.S. Spends Over Half of Donations on Fundraising

    With the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) attempting to exploit Hurricane Harvey to fill its coffers, it’s a good time to take a look at its newest tax return to see how the group uses donor money. Spoiler alert: Poorly.

    Last year HSUS spent a whopping $70 million on fundraising-related expenses—over half of its budget. For every dollar donated that people think is going to animals, more than 50 cents is going to pay for direct mail, TV ads, and telephone solicitations instead of providing animal care. (Speaking of care for animals—HSUS does not run a single pet shelter and is not affiliated with the similarly named humane societies that do care for animals.)

    That’s not all. Along with high overhead costs, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle earned over $400,000 in 2016. Additionally, 44 people at HSUS made over $100,000. The one animal HSUS execs like most, apparently, is the cash cow.

    On top of that, HSUS reports having over $50 million stuffed in offshore accounts in the Caribbean.

    No doubt when charity evaluators get wind of this, they will downgrade their ratings of HSUS. In the meantime, we suggest you give to your local shelter if you don’t want your money wasted on junk-mail solicitations and executive salaries. Many local shelters across the country are housing animals in the wake of Harvey, while the Houston Humane Society and San Antonio Humane Society are both dealing with the disaster up close.

    Posted on 09/05/2017 at 9:36 am by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Financial DocumentsFundraising & Money