We often see references to how little the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) spends on shelters – less than 1/2 of 1% (.45% to be exact) of their annual budget. It’s important to make this information known because many people donate to HSUS thinking they are supporting their local shelters in so doing. But what is .45% in terms of a typical donation, such as the one celebrities solicit in HSUS ads on TV? In a letter to the editor, an Iowa paper does the math:
HSUS finance records show that after you’ve made that [$19] monthly donation for a year, a grand total of $1.03 will reach a pet shelter.
Since math is not my strong suit, I got out my calculator:
$19/month X 12 months = $228
.45% of $228 = $1.03
So that looks correct to me. How different the HSUS commercials would appear if they said “With your gift of just $19 a month, we’ll make sure almost 9 cents of that donation reaches a shelter somewhere every month…”
If you want to donate money to help shelter pets in your area, please do so directly. If you can afford $19 a month, that’s great, but any amount would be appreciated I’m sure. You can also help shelter pets by volunteering, adopting and dropping off food and supplies. But if you prefer to donate cash, which is always needed, and your intention is to help your local shelter pets, the way to ensure that your donation does that is to donate directly to the shelter.