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February 17, 2016

19

Where does $1 to the ASPCA go?

by Anne Paddock

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) works to ensure the safety and protection of animals through education, animal health services, anti-cruelty operations, community outreach, disaster/emergency services, and government relations. A 501 (c) (3), the ASPCA files an IRS Form 990 annually which provides financial information on the organization to the public.

The most recent IRS Form 990 (2014) reveals the following information:

The ASPCA raised $191 million of which $164 million (86%) came from contributions, grants, gifts, and campaigns while $15 million (8%) came from program service fees and $12 million (6%) from investment income, sale of assets, royalties, miscellaneous income, and fundraising events.

Functional expenses (net of depreciation) totaled $171.2 million (90% of revenue) spent as follows:

  • $62.5 million (33% of revenue) for salaries, pension, benefits, and payroll taxes;
  • $6 million (3% of revenue) for salaries, pension, benefits, payroll taxes, severance, and consulting to key employees
  • $26.9 million (14% of revenue) for advertising and promotion;
  • $22.2 million (12% of revenue) for office, IT, occupancy, insurance, repair and maintenance;
  • $15.1 million (8% of revenue) for operating supplies
  • $8.5 million (4% of revenue) for other expenses (no detail provided);
  • $5.9 million (3% of revenue) for legal, accounting, management, lobbying, professional fundraising, and investment fees;
  • $5.3 million (3% of revenue) for veterinary and medical services, and transport;
  • $4.6 million (2% of revenue) for travel, conferences, conventions, and meetings; and
  • $14.2 million (8% of revenue) for grants to other organizations. 1,288 grants were given to 844 organizations with 315 non-profits (501 (c) (3)’s)  receiving more than $5,000. These grants were primarily for spay/neuter, live release, anti-cruelty, intake reduction, relocation, and equine programs.

Details on the above include the following reported information:

The ASPCA has 953 employees. 128 staff receive in excess of $100,000 in compensation. 23 key executives were given $6 million in compensation (although $416,660 were severance payments to two former employees and $191,66 was for consulting services for the former President and CEO):

  1. Mathew Bershadker, President and CEO:  $538,057 (including a $100,000 bonus)
  2. Edwin Sayres, Former President and CEO:  $191,666 (for “consulting services” for 1 year; 5 equal payments)
  3. Steven Hansen, COO through 10/15/13:  $289,660 (severance package)
  4. Melissa Norden, Former SVP and Chief of Staff:  $127,000 (severance package)
  5. Elizabeth Estroff, SVP Communications:  $332,792
  6. Louise Murray, VP Animal Health:  $326,823
  7. Todd Hendricks, SVP Development and Marketing:  $321,236
  8. Jed Rogers, III DVM, SVP Animal Health Services:  $315,329
  9. Stephen Musso, EVP Capital Projects:  $313,501
  10. Julie Morris, SVP Community Outreach:  $307,542
  11. J’Mai Gayle, Director of Surgery:  $300,046
  12. Sarah Levin Goodstine, SVP Operations:  $280,207
  13. Nancy Perry, SVP Government Relations:  $269,238
  14. Arturo Rios, SVP HR through 10/31/14:  $268,133
  15. Randall Lockwood, SVP Forensic Sciences:  $263,293
  16. Stacy Wolf, SVP Cruelty:  $261,997
  17. Gail Buchwald, SVP Adoption Center:  $240,168
  18. Beverly Jones, SVP and CLO:  $229,207
  19. Wilhelmina Waldman, VP Philanthropy:  $222,368
  20. Elysia Howard, VP Marketing and Licensing:  $210,886
  21. Bert Troughton, SVP Strategy Management:  $210,129
  22. Mark Abrahams, SVP and CFO through 4/16/14:  $125,628
  23. Johanna Richman, SVP and CFO:  $91,081

If the above compensation packages totaling $6 million are deducted from the total amount spent on compensation for all employees ($68.5 million) then $62.5 million was spent on 930 employees which equates to an average of $67,204 per employee.

148 contractors were paid in excess of $100,000 with the five largest being:

  1. $15.6 million:  Eagle-Com, Inc.:  Media Broadcast
  2. $ 7.3 million:  True North, Inc.:  Media Placement
  3. $ 4.2 million:  Patton Kiehl:  Data Processing
  4. $ 2.7 million:  SMS Direct, Inc.:  Printing Services
  5. $ 2.1 million:  Forum Group Services, Inc.:  Staffing Agency

Three professional fundraisers were paid $2 million to raise $11.8 million through direct marketing, fundraising services, and membership appeals. In other words, for every dollar raised, 17 cents was paid to the fundraiser while 83 cents was given to the ASPCA.

The ASPCA reported $233 million in total assets at year-end, of which $149 million (64%) were in liquid investments (cash, securities), $44 million (19%) were in land, buildings, and equipment, $21 million (9%) in beneficial interests in perpetual trusts, $15.8 million (7%) in accounts receivable, and $3.7 (1%) million in prepaid expenses.

Liabilities totalled $26.5 million, $14.1 million of which is deterrent rent, annuity obligations, and unfunded pension obligations.  $9.5 million are account payable while $2.9 million are grants payable.

Net assets totaled $206.6 million at year-end – up $8.7 million from $197.9 million from the previous year primarily because the ASPCA did not spend as much as they collected (which was mitigated by about $6 million in investment losses).

In summary, $1 in revenue was spent as follows:

$1.00:  Revenue

-$0.33: Salaries, benefits, pension, and payroll taxes to employees

-$0.03: Salaries, benefits, pension, payroll taxes, severance, and consulting fees to 23 key employees

-$0.14:  Advertising and promotion

-$0.12:  Office, IT, occupancy, insurance, repair and maintenance

-$0.08: Operating supplies

-$0.04: Other expenses

-$0.03: Legal, accounting, mgmnt, lobbying, professional fundraising, and investment fees

-$0.03:  Veterinary and medical services, and transport

-$0.02:  Travel, conferences, conventions, and meetings

-$0.82:  Subtotal Functional Expenses

 $0.18:  Amount Remaining

-$0.08: Grants to other organizations for spay/neuter, anti-cruelty, live release, etc. programs

$0.10:  Amount Unspent

The bottom line is that the ASPCA raised nearly $200 million dollars in 2014 and spent 90%. The organization is staff intensive because of the services provided (i.e. spay/neuter, education, veterinary services, etc) and yet more donations were left unspent (nearly $17 million in 2014) than were delivered in grants to other organizations ($14 million) providing these services. Given that the ASPCA has more than $200 million in net assets, these funds could have been put to use in other programs instead of being added to the fund balance. The $6 million in compensation provided to 23 key employees (of which more than $600,000 was for severance packages to two former employees and “consulting” services from the past President) and more than $500,000 to the President and CEO is notable  (although one key staff person is a veterinarian). And, finally 14 cents of every dollar being spent on advertising and promotion is nearly twice as much as is spent on grants to other non-profits providing spay/neuter, live release, equine, and anti-cruelty programs.

To review the complete ASPCA 2014 IRS Form 990, click here.

Update:  To read the analysis based on the ASPCA 2015 IRS Form 990, click here.

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thomas Coffman
    Sep 1 2017

    This is absolutely terrible…. I am VERY MUCH AN ANIMAL PERSON…. AND NOT ENOUGH IS SPENT ON THE ANIMALS….. AND $500,000.00 IS Horrible….. Not ONE PERSON HERE IS WORTH THAT… THE EXPENDITURES
    ARE TO SAY THE LEAST IS ATROCIOUS…… THE ANIMALS ARE THE ONES DESERVING… NOT THE PEOPLE……….. PRAY FOR THE ANIMALS…….. STOP THE STUPID SPENDING,, WHY ADVERTISING…. WHY DO YOU NEED, ADVERTISING????? GOOD LORD…. RIDICULOUS…. STUPID,,,,,,!!!!!!!
    STOP IT, TAKE CARE OF THE ANIMALS.. PERIOD…… NOT THE PEOPLE………

  2. Gold Coast Equities Inc
    Dec 25 2017

    After all is said and done. What really goes to the Animals sure it’s much. Many other local Humain Societies that 85% plus really goes for help. I would never donate to a charity like this!

  3. Lloyd Dodson
    Dec 27 2017

    Liars

  4. Matthew Oflaherty
    Dec 31 2017

    Is there any places to donate for animals in the same situation where the money actually goes to the animals?

  5. Madi V
    Jan 1 2018

    I wish more and more people are aware of this abuse of people’s kindness… It’s a shame that these people collect funds in the name of animals.. Why would a charity organization pay a CEO $600,000?

  6. Jan 2 2018

    Yes,there are several sanctuaries around the country including Farm Sanctuary and Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. You can also google sanctuaries in your geographic area and then look at the 990’s. Note that donations to sanctuaries are generally used for vets, staff, meds, food, and the property that houses them.

  7. Jean Starnes
    Jan 6 2018

    I have never given to the ASPCA because I’ve always heard for every one dollar given , only one cent is spent on the animals. While this is not true, I find it disgraceful that less than 21 % is spent on the actual REASON FOR THE ASPCA- the innocent, helpless animals! Greedy people and lack of restraint of how the contributions should spent is the reason I contribute to my local SPCA.

  8. Pennie Molls
    Jan 25 2018

    I will not donate again. You don’t need to pay $600,000. There must be qualified people that would do it for much less!

  9. Carmen
    Feb 7 2018

    I was making out my yearly donations. ASPCA is one. I decided to look you up on line. You can imagine my disappointment when I saw the huge insentives that were paid and what small percentage actually goes to the animals.
    I will not be donating again.
    You should be ashamed of yourself🐷

  10. Debra & Nick
    Feb 14 2018

    The rooster of these employees reads like a pro sports team. One commenter wrote that they should be ashamed of themselves. I doubt it. Cold hearted personal who use television to pull heart strings is a crime..I pray God bless the animals harmed by their deception., they are just as guilty as the dog fighters and puppy mill operators.

  11. scott kimmel
    Feb 19 2018

    i have never seen the amount of money being paid to a so called non profit agency. I thought the money was for the well being of the animals.The ceo, mathew bershadlker making over $500,000 is repulsive. elizabeth estroff making close to 330,000. todd hendricks the same. Not to mention the high amount of money to other paid employees and severance packages of other multiple former employees. A well established veterinarian who dedicated his life on helping people and their pets (family members) do not come close to making your salary. You prey on the people to donate and help the abused and neglected animals but more than 99.99% goes to salaries and understandably some expenses. Its sad knowing that you can sleep knowing that only less than a quarter on 1% even goes to the cause.

  12. Feb 19 2018

    Scott Kimmel: The salaries are high but to be fair, more than a quarter of 1% goes to the cause. Your point that more revenue should go to the cause is spot on.

  13. Feb 20 2018

    their always saying they need 3000 new donors every few weeks or so. they try to make you feel bad by showing the animals in bad conditions but are they staged? they offer you a t-shirt for donating but why don’t they use the money to help the animals instead of giving you a free gift. i love animals and have given homes to strays that have no home and give them a nice home full of love. shame on those greedy ceo’s.

  14. H H
    Mar 12 2018

    I have seen those T V ads for a long time …I finally decided to consider donating . I already do a monthly check of $ 200 to the local animal shelter but thought this ASPCA deserved some help also . Glad I saw this website ! No way I will send money to them now .

  15. Do not donate and also check out PETA and HSUS. The 3 which has the most exposure and pull on people’s heartstrings are scam artists.

  16. Linda
    Apr 13 2018

    I will Never send money to you again

  17. E Koppenhaver
    Apr 15 2018

    Appalling. Never again.

  18. Anita Winer
    Apr 15 2018

    Reading this article is very depressing given the funding they receive for REALLY helping abused animals. So who will monitor the ASPCA? We need to speak out against this apparent abuse of top heavy executives taking the share of Money donated for the purpose it reports to do.

  19. Apr 15 2018

    I agree with you. Donors need to speak up to bring about change.

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