Padding the $100 Million Money Roll

HSUS  does not operate an animal shelter even though many people donate after seeing their commercials on TV, believing they do. This month, HSUS is apparently going to win $250k from Pepsi after getting more votes than other groups competing for the grant.

Meanwhile, my area no kill shelter needs puppy and kitten food.  To feed actual puppies and kittens in a real shelter.  They don’t have commercials on TV or six figure salaries like HSUS.  They just take care of homeless pets.  I can only imagine what good use they could make of a $250k grant.

Humane Watch is promoting December 4 as “Shelter Supply Saturday”.  They encourage people to bring supplies to their local shelters.  Sounds like a great idea.  Most shelters maintain a wish list.  Check the website for your local shelter or just give them a call to see what they need most right now.  Anything from a can of cat food to a trunk load of kitty litter will undoubtedly be appreciated.  Alternatively, if donating supplies isn’t your thing, you can simply offer to pet cats and/or walk dogs for a couple hours.  That’s always appreciated too.


21 thoughts on “Padding the $100 Million Money Roll

  1. Our local (traditional) shelter received over $3 million last year and still advertises it costs $250 a day to buy food. My point is I wonder what they do with the rest of the money (and I do read their financials through Guidestar).

    My company recently opened a wholesale account with a major pet supply retailer and I wonder if there is any trade group which makes wholesale pricing available to shelters and rescues.

  2. In the 250K category, what other local small shelters participated?

    I heard similar complaints about Best Friends in the american express one, but if you think about it, those companies don’t want small charities participating. They want bigger ones with bigger profiles so they can get the promotion they want for their product.

    I can understand the gripe if HSUS went for the 10K level, but what small animal charities did they beat out at the 250K level?

    1. Honestly Frank, I don’t know the details of the contest. I tend to avoid corporate self-promotions under the guise of do-goodedness. But whatever the case, HSUS is getting $250k to add to their already bloated (and useless with regard to shelter pets IMO) bank account. I don’t care if they took the $250k away from one group or they took away $10k from 25 groups. However it works out, it’s not fair to my mind.

      1. If you do not care about the contest, and if you do not care that they may not have taken money from any other organization…that seems a little inconsistent and more like a chance to make a jab at HSUS rather than make a valid point.

        There is no padding. The money MUST be used in the manner described on their fundraising page. It won’t be given to staff, but broken down according to the grant requirements. You don’t futz around with grants.

        The only quibble I have is that I happen to think organizations that make over a certain dollar amount should either participate in a special contest or be prohibited from participating in this contest. Most organizations participating aren’t 50 or 100 million dollar groups and don’t have the outreach potential that the larger groups have.

      2. I work for a nonprofit that has received grant money. The grantmakers we worked with are pretty darn anal-retentive about progress updates re fund usage. I can’t say that’s true for Pepsi, but HSUS is marketing it as restricted funds, which are easier to track than unrestricted general funds.

        You’d be hard-pressed to get a grant, misuse the funds, and then expect to ever get a grant again! Most reputable, large grantmakers all know each other, have meetings together, and absolutely do track the efficacy of their grant giving. We certainly wouldn’t dare try any funny business with the grants we’ve received. :)

      3. Marji, I’ve done accounting for several nonprofits who received grants and the tracking was as you described. However, I’ve communicated with several large donors to BFAS who made directed donations for certain purposes. While the money was used in those manners, it allowed other funding to be routed elsewhere. Further, a very large organization with accounting like HSUS or BFAS that receives a grant or award for a “general” purpose is often quite different from the specific grants and tracking you are speaking of.

  3. It’s unfortunate the the contest providers don’t see the opportunity to enhance visibility for a lesser-known organization. That could work for their own publicity just as well as hitching their wagons to HSUS and Best Friends.

    1. I seriously doubt that. :) But I do agree that groups with larger donation bases should not be allowed to compete with organizations with smaller donor bases in the same contest. It’s the same reason you don’t have “professional” athletes compete in the same competitions as “amateurs”. It really isn’t fair, in the truest sense.

  4. Marji, I don’t think I’m being inconsistent in the slightest. But then, I know what I think, which may not necessarily come across in what I write. If I failed to make a valid point, my apologies. But it sounds to me as if your ‘quibble” is very similar to mine so not sure if you are the one just taking a jab, as per usual.

    1. You stated you knew little about the details and didn’t care to. You went on to opine you didn’t care if they took money from one group or ten, implying that, hey, it’s HSUS, ’nuff said. Like would it have mattered if it was another 100 million dollar organization raising money for spina bifida or cancer therapy?

      That, to me, indicated you didn’t care whether HSUS was an appropriate charity for this particular contest or not…only that they make 100 million dollars and are possibly getting more in a corporate-funded contest and bad HSUS, bad!

      If that wasn’t your intent, my apologies. It’s how it came across to me.

      “just taking a jab, as per usual.”

      Ha! A jab at my jab! Kettle, meet the pot. We’re neighbors, I guess.

  5. I’m pretty sure that several smaller shelters applied and one that does TNR for feral cats in south florida.

  6. My local no-kill recently won $20,000 from Tom’s Of Maine. We’ll use it to help fund free and low-cost vet care. Great! Meanwhile the local shelter with the state contract got millions in grants and donations and funding and I still have no idea where it all goes since they can’t seem to fix facilities or make progress towards lowering the number of animals they kill. Would you be mad if they got this grant?

    If HSUS uses the money like they say they will (and we’ll be able to check, come next year), also great! I appreciate their efforts when they expend them. Maybe this money will benefit from being wielded by a large group with a lot of power.

  7. The HSUS used a video of a rescue operation in MS in their appeal for votes in the Pepsi Challenge. Tunica Humane Society and Animal Rescue Fund, both in MS, each applied for a $50,000 grant and neither won for November. Wouldn’t it be nice if the HSUS gave each of these groups $50,000 to save MS animals?
    If the HSUS supported the small no kill shelters that are fighting to remain open, maybe there would be no need for these companion animal rescue operations, and no need to appeal for $35,000 in rescuer travel expenses.

  8. While the light is shining on the HSUS for this discussion, it struck me that they started out at one time as a one man show and then grew to rich proportions. I have not read a critical history which would be interesting, but it makes me think of the parallels to individuals that become weathly. It seems that after a while for most of them, the wealthier they get, the more they worry about loosing or having a a decrease in their wealth to the exclusion of a lot of other things that used to matter to them. Some people manage and do great and others are destroyed by some greed like drive.

  9. I’m totally sick over this. Over 100 million dollars in assets & HSUS has the gall to participate in this. Words fail me to describe the type of greed this takes. Sadly, it proves that we need to continue to spread the truth about HSUS even harded than before.

    And please before somebody accuses me of being a HumaneWatch pawn, I’ve been doing rescue for about 13 years & I’ve known HSUS for what they were long before I ever heard of HW. The truth does not become a lie just because you don’t like the source.

  10. So I read that your shelter needs dog and cat food. Try contacting your local Walmart. Any food that is damaged is donated to a non-profit organization.

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