The Humane Society of the United States doesn’t have a stellar record when it comes to efficiently spending donor money. Only 1 percent of the money HSUS raises goes to local pet shelters. The independent watchdog CharityWatch gives HSUS a “C-minus” grade, calculating that HSUS spends up to 45% of its budget on overhead. The Animal People Watchdog Report puts that figure even higher, at 55%.
Now, the New York Attorney General has released his new “Pennies for Charity” report documenting how little of the money raised by charities actually goes to charities—and how much goes into the pockets of solicitors. Once again, anyone considering a donation to HSUS should look for another animal group to give to.
According to the report, solicitors raised over $2.8 million for HSUS in 2013, yet kept 63% of the money raised. One HSUS campaign, performed by InfoCision, raised over $100,000 and only $100 went to HSUS.
InfoCision was previously exposed in Bloomberg News for running national campaigns on behalf of charities like HSUS while keeping most of the money raised. We’ve also written about two other HSUS fundraisers that are listed in the Pennies for Charity report: Donor Services Group and Donor Care Center.
HSUS affiliates didn’t fare any better in the “Pennies for Charity” report. The Humane Society Legislative Fund, HSUS’s lobbying affiliate, raised nearly $30,000 but only 6.5% went to the group. The Fund for Animals raised about $23,000 and only 11.5% went to charity. Another HSUS affiliate, The Doris Day Animal League raised $60,000, and only 4.5% went to the group.
This is nothing new for HSUS. The Pennies for Charity reports stretch back over a decade, and HSUS has consistently had terrible returns. But HSUS is aware of this because it enters into the contract with the solicitor. The people who aren’t aware are the donors, who think their gifts are going to help animals in need.