The latest edition of the American Institute of Philanthropy’s Charity Rating Guide is out, and it’s once again bad news for the Humane Society of the United States. The group earns another “D” grade for high spending on fundraising and overhead. (Even PETA managed to get a C+.)
AIP, also known as CharityWatch, finds that HSUS spends as little as 50 percent of its budget on programs. Additionally, HSUS spends up to 48 cents to raise every dollar.
That may not be on the same level as some F-rated scams, but it’s quite bad in its own right. It shows that HSUS is almost as much about producing and shoveling advertising as it is about doing charitable activity. And those ads give off a false and deceptive impression about what HSUS will do with donations. The ads are manipulative, pulling on heartstrings and showing picture after picture of abandoned and abused cats and dogs. Donors think their donations will help pets—we’ve polled them—but only 1 percent of the money raised by HSUS trickles down to a local pet shelter, and HSUS doesn’t run any pet shelters of its own.
While it wouldn’t shock us to see HSUS get a “F” in the future, a “D” grade may be quite appropriate. We can think of a lot “D” words that could describe the group: Deceptive, dishonest, duplicitous, deceitful, desperate, dirty—well, you get the idea.
The Humane Society of the United States has now earned a “D” grade for almost three straight years. We don’t expect that to change anytime soon. And the conclusion is clear: If you care about animals, don’t donate to the Humane Society of the United States.