The Humane Society of the United States doesn’t run a single pet shelter—despite using cats and dogs throughout its advertising. And if you’re wondering where the money does go, one answer is into other people’s pockets.
California publishes reports every year on for-profit fundraisers that raise money for charities. Typically, around 50 percent of the money raised by a commercial fundraiser will be kept by the fundraiser. That’s not a great number. But for the Humane Society of the United States, it’s far worse.
According to the report, HSUS raised $1.7 million through for-profit fundraisers last year, and only 13% of that actually went to HSUS. The rest went to pay the solicitor. (And there’s no guarantee that the money that did go to HSUS was used for a truly charitable purpose like feeding homeless pets versus being stuffed into the organization’s pension plan or Caribbean accounts.)
Things weren’t any better for HSUS affiliates, either. Humane Society International had a net negative return of 27 percent on its fundraising campaign—meaning it paid the solicitor more than it received in donations. The Humane Society Legislative Fund’s campaign had a net negative 58%. And the Fund for Animals had a negative 183% return. Woof.
Lest you think this is just a case of a company taking advantage of a charity, it’s not. HSUS has entered into similar contracts for over a decade. HSUS knows these donors who give over the phone are getting ripped off. The HSUS management doesn’t seem to care, because it keeps paying these vendors year after year.
Charities that enter into contracts that disadvantage donors are not deserving of public support. This holiday season, support a local animal rescue or shelter if you want to help animals.