$19 a Month to the ASPCA – How Much Goes to Vet Services?
If you donated $19 a month to the ASPCA in 2020 and want to know how your donation was spent, know that nearly half ($9) went to pay staff, office-related expenses, travel and conferences. $5 went to pay advertising and promotion and fees for outside services, including professional fundraisers, and miscellaneous expenses. $2 out of every $19 was spent on veterinary services, operating supplies, and grants to other non-profits whose mission is to help protect animals, leaving $3 unspent and allocated to the organization’s general fund.
The ASPCA is one of the most widely recognized non-profits focused on animal welfare in the country. Founded in 1866, the ASPCA has been around for more than 150 years. As is the case with most non-profits, the issue isn’t whether the ASPCA does good things (they do) but whether they could do more or better with the public support they receive (they could).
Expenses can be viewed two ways: by broad general category (i.e. grants, program services, management and general expenses, and fundraising) or by specific line item categories (i.e. compensation, office-related, travel and conferences, fees for services, grants, etc). Each is beneficial with the latter approach providing more detail on how revenue was spent.
Expenses By Broad General Category
Expenses (as a percentage of revenue) were categorized as follows:
- 57%: Program Services
- 17%: Fundraising
- 5% : Management and General Expenses
- 4%: Grants
As illustrated above, program services used 57% of revenue while fundraising, management, and general expenses used 22% of revenue. Grants – $13 million – were to domestic animal welfare organizations. Grants accounted for 4% of revenue. The ASPCA made 210 grants larger than $5,000, 207 to non-profit 501 (c) (3)’s and 3 to other organizations. In total, the ASPCA spent 83% of revenue on expenses with the remaining 17% allocated to the general fund.
Using the above categories, every $19 per month was spent as follows:
- $11: Program Services
- $ 1: Grants
- $ 1: Management and General Expenses
- $ 3: Fundraising
- $ 3: Allocated to the General Fund
Expenses by Specific Line Item Category
Specific expenses (as a percentage oof revenue) were categorized as follows:
- 32%: Compensation
- 15%: Office-Related Expenses
- 1%: Travel and Conferences
- 20%: Advertising/Promotion (does not include fundraiser fees)
- 5%: Fees for Services (non-employee)
- 2%: Miscellaneous and Other Expenses
- 4%: Grants
- 4%: Veterinary and Medical Services/Operating Supplies
As illustrated above, 83% of revenue was spent on expenses: 48% was spent on compensation, office-related expenses,, travel and conferences while 27% was spent on advertising and promotion, fees for services, and miscellaneous expenses, and 8% spent on grants and veterinary and medical/operating supplies, leaving 17% not spent and allocated to the general fund. So, every $19 per month was spent as follows:
- $9: Compensation, Office-Related Expenses, Travel and Conferences
- $5: Advertising, Promotion, Fees for Services, and Miscellaneous Expenses
- $2: Veterinary and Medical Services/Operating Supplies and Grants
- $3: Allocated to the General Fund
In short, the ASPCA allocated more funds to the general fund than spent on veterinary and medical services and operating supplies, and grants. In fact, the ASPCA spent as much on advertising and promotion and fees for services and miscellaneous expenses than they did on veterinary and medical services and operating supplies and grants.