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March 4, 2017

Where does $10 to Paws for Purple Hearts Go?

by Anne Paddock

Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH)  is a non-profit (501) (c) (3) that teaches veterans to train service dogs for their fellow veterans with combat related injuries. According to the organization’s website, PPH provides the guidance for this program but according to the IRS Form 990 (2014) submitted to the IRS, PPH raised $1,311,433 and spent just $150,661 on this program – less than 12% of the revenue raised went towards the organization’s program.

The remaining funds were spent primarily on fundraising – in fact, $805,930 was spent on mailing lists, printing and publications, postage and shipping, professional fundraising services, supplies, and related office expenses. $99,242 was spent on the management of the organization while $255,610 was retained by the organization in their fund balance although PPH did give $29,917 to Bergin University for Canine Studies, which is where the program is from.

In other words, a $10 donation to PPH was used as follows:

$10.00:  Donation

-$ 6.20:  Mailing lists, printing and publications, postage and shipping, fundraising services, supplies, etc.

-$ 0.76:  Management Costs (primarily compensation)

-$ 6.96:  Subtotal Expenses for Fundraising and Management

$ 3.04:  Amount Remaining

-$ 1.16: Program Expenses (primarily compensation and a fee to an unnamed affiliate)

$ 0.02: Distribution to Bergin University of Canine Studies (where the veterans and dogs receive training)

$ 1.86: Amount Remaining:  Retained by PPH in their fund balance

As illustrated above, 2 cents of a $10 donation was provided to Bergin University of Canine Studies and $1.16 was used for program expenses (which is primarily two costs: compensation and a fee to an affiliate which appears to be a licensing fee to an unnamed affiliate). PPH spent nearly $7 of every $10 donation on fundraising expenses and retained nearly $2 for their fund balance.  So, if you don’t want your donation to primarily go to fundraising costs, don’t make a charitable contribution to this organization. It seems that making a donation directly to Bergin University of Canine Studies would make donation dollars go further.

To review the IRS Form 990 (2014) click here.

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