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As someone who works at the HSUS, I think what is important to do is look at where you are donating - whether it's local or national. Important work is being done by both local and national groups, and I encourage people when they look where to donate, to check out the website and see the work that they do. At HSUS, our home page alone reflects the broad range of work that we do. Currently, we have information about a rescue we did on Tuesday in TN, information on the animal fighting amendment being approved, how people can help donate to us via one of our corporate partnerships, and information about our Taking Action for Animals conference. If you go to the about us section, you can view annual reports, financials, and also information about those who oppose are effectiveness. I'd strongly encourage people to check it out if they have questions about our work: www.humanesociety.org/about
2 years, 8 months ago on SPCA International Going to the Dogs?
@Doppster I work at the HSUS, and the HSUS rates very well with established watchdog entities such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (BBBWGA) and Charity Navigator, which evaluate organizations in a different manner than the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP). As AIP concedes on its website, www.charitywatch.org, it strictly interprets all direct mail, telemarketing, and solicitation costs as separate fundraising expenses. In contrast, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), with more comprehensive standards, follows the example of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, which allow appropriate allocation of direct mail costs between program and fundraising. The HSUS’s efficiency ratios exceed the BBBWGA (www.give.org) standards. The BBB WGA requires that program expenses as a percentage of total expenses be 65% or greater, and The HSUS’s ratio for program expenses as a percentage of total expenses for 2010 was 79%. Further, The HSUS meets all BBB WGA standards, financial and administrative.
Similarly, The HSUS has received high marks from the nation’s other premier charity evaluators. Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.com) gives The HSUS four stars, its highest possible rating. In 2010, Worth Magazine (www.worth.com) named The HSUS one of the ten most fiscally responsible charities.
The fundraising of a non-profit organization should also be evaluated within the context of its broader goal of membership recruitment. AIP appears to frown upon aggressive member recruitment efforts conducted through direct mail solicitation. The HSUS takes a different view because, while fundraising is a major component of mail solicitations, there is a great deal more to these efforts than that. The HSUS direct mail program builds a constituency of supporters and educates the organization’s members and the general public about important animal cruelty issues, directly advancing The HSUS’s humane goals.
Finally, while program to fundraising ratios are important, they are not in themselves an accurate indicator of an organization’s effectiveness. In August 2011, Philanthropedia (www.myphilanthropedia.org), an online donor information resource managed by GuideStar, announced that The HSUS has been rated the #1 high-impact nonprofit organization in the animal welfare, rights, and protection category. Philanthropedia surveyed 170 experts (including funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, and veterinarians from 142 different organizations, with an average of 17 years of experience in the field, and asked them to rate 133 national organizations on their impact for animals.
With its idiosyncratic perspective, and its single-minded focus on particular financial measurements, AIP, in stark contrast to other charity evaluators, overlooks program effectiveness, organizational reach, and constituent influence. By these crucial standards, in its work to help animals in the United States and abroad, The HSUS has very few peers as an animal protection organization. You can see a list of our recent accomplishments online here: http://www.humanesociety.org/about/overview/2011_accomplishments.html