It’s been quite a while since we’ve checked in with our friends at HumaneWatch.org. These are the folks who are holding the Humane Society of the U.S. accountable for their actions – and their actions are largely fundraising for “helping animals” and then using that money to renovate the homes of their execs or lobby to prevent farmers from raising livestock. Illinois Corn knows that the livestock industry is an important partner and valued customer.
To relate from a corn perspective, in Illinois, 97 million bushels of corn are consumed by the livestock industry. Nationally, that number balloons to 5.4 billion bushels. Add in DDGS, the corn equivalent bushels is 16.7 million bushels. National DDGS bushels recovered through DDGS are 1 billion.
Now back to the news about HumaneWatch and the Humane Society of the United States, as originally posted on the CornCorps Blog. This story is a doozy. The summary? A recent fundraising campaign spent around $407,000 to raise around $229,000 for helping animals. That means that other money raised at a different time to help animals actually had to help pay for the campaign. Is this for real?
The Humane Society of the United States has gotten poor marks from charity watchdogs for its use of donor money, and one recent telemarketing campaign shows why. In a final accounting filed by HSUS telemarketing firm Donor Care Center, a fundraising campaign that raised over $200,000 from people who thought they were helping animals had a net return of negative 78 percent over the past year.
According to filings with the North Carolina Secretary of State, DCC raised $229,325 but incurred expenses of $407,774—meaning the HSUS telemarketing campaign, which ran from March 2013 to March 2014, had a net loss of $178,449. In other words, every single penny raised in this campaign to “help animals” went into the pockets of a telemarketing company. Not only that, but other money that could have been used to help animals had to cover the expenses of the campaign.
According to the DCC script, potential donors would be told that “It is our best estimate that The HSUS will receive at least 50% of the funds raised on this campaign.” 50 percent? Not even close.
And according to the script, the campaign was designed to get donors to send letters to their friends encouraging them to donate to HSUS. Ironically, this campaign is called “Friends Helping Animals Now”—but would their money help animals “now,” or simply fund more telemarketing calls?
According to CharityWatch, HSUS spends up to 45 percent of its budget on overhead. The animal-rights newspaper Animal People has put it even higher, at 55 percent. Either way, it’s fair to say that if you’re a donor to HSUS, a lot of your money that could be “saving animals”—as you’re promised—is simply padding bank accounts.
But hey, the owners of telemarketing companies are animals, too. Won’t you help them buy a bigger house? That’s what HSUS is doing.
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