Merchandising isn’t big money-maker

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:

How much are merchandising programs worth to major animal
charities?
Surprisingly little, ANIMAL PEOPLE learned from checking recent
IRS Form 990 filings and annual reports of seven of the U.S. and British
animal charities with the most visible merchandising programs during the
2013 holiday season. Of the six whose investment in merchandising
could be ascertained, only the Royal SPCA merchandising campaign netted
more than it cost to operate. The rates of return on investment for the
American SPCA and the Best Friends Animal Society would probably not
have covered the cost of hiring staff to fill orders, had they been
for-profit businesses, unable to use volunteers.


Merchandising is often a significant revenue stream for shelters
that operate stores on the premises, selling pet paraphernalia and
supplies to adopters, but while the ASPCA, Best Friends, Dogs Trust,
and the RSPCA all have shelters, among them only Dogs Trust appears to
generate enough revenue from merchandising to keep a for-profit pet
supply store open.

Charity Merchandise Sales Net % of income
ASPCA $ 640,509 $ 690,869 $ 50,360 0.0004 %
Best Friends $ 1,563,826 $ 1,700,824 $ 136,998 0.03 %
Dogs Trust £ 1,248,000 £ 2,473,000 £ 1,225,000 1.7 %
HSUS [unavailable] $ 1,885,594 1.0 %
PETA $ 592,188 $ 1,032,139 $ 439,951 1.4 %
RSPCA £ 110,000 £ 290,000 £ 180,000 0.013 %
WSPA £ 10,000 £ 20,000 £ 10,000 0.0004 %

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