|In November the Massachusetts attorney general’s office released a report of professional solicitation campaigns conducted in the state. Charitable solicitation has been in the news recently after a report last year fingering the 50 worst charities in America based on 10 years’ worth of telemarketing campaign data.
According to the report, telemarketers kept two-thirds of the money that Massachusetts residents gave, or $175.7 million out of $266.6 million. In other words, according to the report, a good deal of charity fundraising actually “benefits principally the owners and staff of for-profit professional solicitors.”
Where does the Humane Society of the United States fall? Exactly where we’d expect: With animal lovers’ dollars largely going into the pockets of for-profit solicitors. Here are the five firms that raised money on behalf of HSUS in 2012 in Massachusetts:
So of the $282,273 raised in the name of animals by HSUS’s solicitors, there was a net negative return of 26.4%—meaning HSUS will have to pay more than it raised. The animals won’t see a dime of that money.
On the other hand, HSUS’s lobbying arm, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, raised a whopping $410, but ended up with a net return of negative 21% after costs. Not exactly a powerhouse—but given HSUS’s solicitation campaigns, at least less money was wasted.
Filings with the Massachusetts attorney general show that the registration for at least two HSUS solicitors is handled by the Missouri law firm Copilevitz & Cantor. You can read more about Errol Copilevitz in this recent interview, titled, “Meet the lawyer who keeps some of America’s worst charities in business.” An apt headline.
If there’s one bit of good, it’s that the amount of money donated through solicitors by Bay State residents is the lowest it has been since at least 2005. But regardless, it’s another year of HSUS solicitation campaigns where a lot of money isn’t going to help animals.