Skip to content

September 28, 2017


Where Does $100 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 a variety of programs. With enormous public support – The ASPCA raises approximately $200 million annually – the ASPCA provides community outreach, public education, communication, and animal care services throughout the United States.

The ASPCA is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) which means the organization primarily relies on public financial support and therefore has to file and make publicly available an IRS Form 990 annually. This “form” is actually a tax return that provides detailed financial information on revenue, expenses, fundraising, executive compensation, assets, liabilities and more. In 2015, the 94-page ASPCA reported the following key pieces of information:

The organization has 1,053 employees of which 128 received more than $100,000 in compensation.

The ASPCA raised $207 million of which $183 million (88% of revenue) came from contributions, gifts, fundraising, and campaigns, $16 million (8% of revenue) from program service fees, and $8 million (4% of revenue) from investment income, royalties, sale of assets, and miscellaneous sources.

Expenses totaled $185 million (not including depreciation) and can be looked at two ways:  by four broad categories (program, management, fundraising, and grants) or by specific line item which provides more detail.

Expenses by Category (Program Management, Fundraising, Grants)

The $185 million in total expenses were categorized as follows:

  • $121 million (58% of revenue):  Program Services
  • $ 39 million (19% of revenue):  Fundraising
  • $ 10 million (5% of revenue):  Management
  • $ 15 million (7% of revenue):  Grants

As illustrated above, the ASPCA spent $185 million or 89% of the revenue raised.  Utilizing the above information, a $100 donation was spent as follows:

$100:  Revenue

-$ 58:  Program Services

-$ 19:  Fundraising

-$  5:  Management

-$ 82:  Subtotal of Program, Fundraising, and Management Expenses

$  18:  Amount Remaining

-$  7:  Grants

$ 11:  Amount Remaining – To Fund Balance

Expenses by Specific Line Item

The $185 million in expenses were categorized in the following specific line item categories:

  • $ 74 million (36% of revenue):  Salaries, Compensation, Benefits, Pension, Payroll Taxes
  • $ 32 million (15% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $ 28 million ($14% of revenue:  Operating Supplies, Vet and Medical Services, Repair and Maintenance, Transport
  • $ 20 million (10% of revenue):  Office, IT, Occupancy, Insurance
  • $  9 million (4% of revenue):  Other Expenses (no detail provided)
  • $  4 million (2% of revenue):  Travel, Meetings,and Conferences
  • $  3 million (1% of revenue):  Accounting, Lobbying, Legal, Fundraising, and Investment Fees
  • $ 15 million (7% of revenue):  Grants

Utilizing the above information, a $100 donation was spent as follows:

$100:  Revenue

-$ 36:  Salaries, Compensation, Benefits, Pension, Payroll Taxes

-$ 15:  Advertising and Promotion

-$ 14:  Operating Supplies, Vet and Medical Services, Repair and Maintenance, and Transport

-$ 10:  Office, IT, Occupancy, Insurance

-$   4:  Other Expenses (no detail provided)

-$  2:  Travel, Meetings, and Conferences

$  1:  Accounting, Lobbying, Legal, Fundraising, and Investment Fees

-$ 82: Subtotal of Expenses

$  18:  Amount Remaining

-$  7:  Grants

$ 11:  Amount Not Spent – To Fund Balance

More detailed information on executive compensation, fundraising, payments to outside contractors, grants, assets and liabilities are summarized as follows:

Executive Compensation

The 15 highest compensated employees are:

  • $542,411:  Mathew Berdshaker, President and CEO (includes  $100,000 bonus)
  • $345,520:  Elizabeth Estroff, SVP Communications
  • $344,382:  Todd Hendricks, SVP Development and Marketing
  • $324,464:  Jed Rogers, III, DVM, SVP Animal Health Services
  • $323,979:  Louise A Murray, VP ASPCA Animal Hospital
  • $315,778:  Julie Morries, SVP Community Outreach
  • $313,871:  J’Mai Gayle, Director of Surgery
  • $312,414:  Stephen J Musso, EVP Capital Projects
  • $305,746:  Sarah Levin Goodstine, SVP Operations
  • $275,656:  Nancy Perry, SVP Government Relations
  • $268,723:  Randall Lockwood, SVP Forensic Sciences
  • $264,950:  Stacy Wolf, SVP Anti-Cruelty
  • $254,325:  Beverly Jones, SVP and CLO
  • $251,197:  Johanna Richman, SVP and CFO
  • $236,917:  Bert Troughton, SVP Strategy Management

As listed above, a total of $4.7 million was given in compensation to the 15 employees listed.


The ASPCA utilizes a variety of fundraising methods including events, internet, mail, e-mail, phone, and in-person solicitations along with solicitation of grants. The three highest paid organizations used for fundraising were:

  • Donor Services Group:  raised $7.8 million, compensated $1.2 million (15%), netting the ASPCA $6.6 million
  • Telefund:  raised $7.4 million and compensated  $724,953 (10%) , netting the ASPCA $6.7 million.
  • Strategic Fundraising, Inc.:  raised $1.6 million and compensated $12,604 (1%), netting the ASPCA $1.6 million

The ASPCA also held 4 major fundraising events in which $2.6 million was raised of which $1.5 million were contributions. After deducting rental facility, food, beverage, entertainment, and other expenses (totaling nearly $900,000), the ASPCA netted about $200,000.

Payments to Outside Contractors

The five highest paid contractors were:

  • $18.6 million:  Eagle-Com, Inc. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada for media broadcast
  • $ 8.5 million:  True North, Inc. (New York, NY) for media placement
  • $ 7.8 million:  Cigna (Hartford, CT) for health insurance (an average of $7,400 per employee)
  • $ 3.8 million:  Patton Kiehl (Thornburg, VA) for data processing
  • $3.4 million:  SMS Direct, Inc. (Manassas, VA) for printing services


The ASPCA awarded 1,077 grants in 2015 to animal welfare organizations in the United States, of which 274 were cash grants greater than $5,000 that were primarily made to assist in spay/neuter, anti-cruelty, relocation, safety net-surrender, equine, and live release programs.


The ASPCA reports total assets of $247 million dollars comprised of:

  • $155 million:  Cash, Investments and Liquid Assets
  • $ 51 million:  Land, Buildings, Improvements, and Equipment
  • $ 20 million:  Pledges and Accounts Receivable
  • $ 19 million:  Beneficial Interest in Trust
  • $  2 million:  Prepaid Expenses


The ASPCA reports $33 million in total liabilities:

  • $16 million:  Accounts and Grants Payable
  • $17 million:  Deferred Rent, Annuity Obligations, Unfunded Pension Obligations, Loans Payable

Net Fund Assets

At the beginning of 2015, the ASPCA had $207 million in net fund assets. After raising $207 million in revenue and deducting $185 million in expenses, $8 million in unrealized losses on investments, and $7 million in other changes and depreciation, the organization had $214 million in net fund assets, most of which is highly liquid and unrestricted ($141 million).

To read the 2015 IRS Form 990, click here.

  1. Georgette
    Jun 28 2020

    I was JUST about to give, had my credit card out and everything……then I read this. You ASPCA are pathetic!

  2. viewsfromunderthebus
    Jun 18 2020

    Reblogged this on viewsfromunderthebus and commented:
    Bottom line: don’t give to the ASPCA.

  3. Patrick
    May 23 2020

    I’m pissed and your the only business I’m focused on the animals are still suffering your company to me is a fraud on the public and the animals need more than this you suck

  4. karen dowell keenan
    May 13 2020

    This is disgusting and their ads should be illegal

  5. Richard Huey
    Mar 31 2020

    I also was ready to make a contribution to ASPCA but checked them out a little deeper! The leaders should be put in jail……

  6. Cam
    Mar 26 2020

    Give your money to your local animal shelter. Much more of your money will go towards actual dogs and other pets than to the administration of a unthrifty organization.

  7. Rita Henry
    Jan 8 2020

    Why does the government continue to allow this as a non-profit????? And give taxpayers a tax break to donate to a company that is clearly not NON-PROFIT. Another waste of our taxpayer money going to people creating jobs for themselves.

  8. Larry
    Jan 4 2020

    Legal advisers should get involved and stop this organization from stealing most of the money
    sent to help animals.

  9. Dolly Fagin
    Jan 2 2020

    Shame on this organization for not practicing what the preach in the name of salvation to the care and love of animals.

  10. dinah young
    Dec 31 2019

    the aspca does not care about the animals, all it cares about is the money the sad ads make them. i and some of my friends will never give to them because we have seen how they use these animals to make money instead of helping them find homes much less helping with illness.

  11. I was about to make a donation to the ASPCA as a father of a wonderful Yellow Lab to help other animals. From this Paddock Post analysis, I will not be donating. ASPCA spends 36% of revenue on salaries with the CEO making 500K+. Spend more on the animals and maybe I will reconsider.

  12. Lynette Matthews
    Oct 18 2019

    That is why I do not give my money to these organizations !!!!

  13. Roy Staton
    Jul 14 2018

    The animals are the losers, the people involved should be ashamed of what they take from the animals to help them, and more people would adopt the animals if it did not cost so much to adopt them, the money put out to neuter or spade the animals by the ASPCA should cover these fees, which should help the adoption for the animals! HAPPIER ANIMALS, HAPPIER THE ADOPTERS

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: