After years of examining how the deceptively named Humane Society of the United States spends the more than $100 million it receives from hardworking Americans ever year, very little surprises us anymore. However, a recently-released “Pennies for Charity” report of telemarketing by professional fundraisers made us do a double take. HSUS actually lost $169,922 annoying Americans with telemarketing calls.
The annual report, which is issued by the New York Attorney General, shows that HSUS spent more than it received in three out of five (60%) of its telemarketing campaigns in 2014. By comparison, only 17% of the total campaigns were in the red for other organizations. In one instance, HSUS paid $69,501 for a campaign that raised $13,403 – a net return of a whopping negative 518%. See the table below for the full results.
|Solicitor||Gross||Net to HSUS||% to HSUS|
|Donor Care Center, Inc.||$232,423||-$65,955||-28%|
|Donor Services Group, LLC||$966,851||-$282,781||-29%|
|Fine Line Communications, Ltd.||$258,371||$248,073||96%|
|PDR II, Inc.||$13,403||-$69,501||-519%|
We’ve previously written about two HSUS fundraisers that are listed in the Pennies for Charity report: Donor Services Group and Donor Care Center. Another firm HSUS pays to solicit funds was exposed in a report by Bloomberg Business titled “Charities Deceive Donors Unaware Money Goes to a Telemarketer.”
The Humane Society Legislative Fund, the HSUS’s lobbying arm, didn’t fare much better. It spent $14,000 more on telemarketing than it took in for the year. And HSUS has had similarly poor telemarketing results in Massachusetts and California.
Of course, deceiving donors and then spending their money inefficiently is nothing new for HSUS. It recently received a paltry C-minus grade from Charity Watch for high overhead costs, only gives about 1% of contributions to local pet shelters, and had a donor advisory issued against it.
Here’s the upshot: If HSUS is on the line, hang up.