|Kennedy the cat and Zazu, feathered head of the Holmer household.|
We recently viewed a heart-wrenching Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) ad that featured rescuers wearing HSUS t-shirts and jackets carrying shivering dogs and cats off to safety. We were moved by the images of helpless animals and were ready to pledge our financial support so that the organization might continue this type of work.
|Local organizations, like PAWS, offer you the opportunity to see your charity dollars at work.|
So the question is, when it comes to charities and donations, whom can you trust?
|The Anti-Cruelty Society was founded in Chicago in 1899 and it's first permanent building, pictured above, was on Grand Avenue.|
Financial transparency is another measuring stick one should consider when selecting a charity. Useful financial metrics include how much money goes to administration, fund-raising and most importantly, core operations. You should also try to find out where financial assets are being invested as they may provide insight into the management of the organization. For example, the Humane Society of the United States has sheltered over $43 million in financial assets in Central America and the Caribbean. That’s well over 22% of reported investments. (Source: 2017 HSUS Form 990 and related documents.) Some wonder why a US based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) is stashing money in off-shore investment “havens”? According to the Humane Society, its overseas investments are “Consistent with its responsibilities and its objectives as a social change organization, HSUS invests its funds wisely to get the best returns…” If this sounds like a reasonable answer, consider donating. If the HSUS answers give you pause for concern, there are other organizations that might be a better fit for your charitable donations.