I was seeing some red flags on the Facebook posts about expenses and that made me think that not all the expense were being used towards transports or for other rescues and some of that money was being used for personal use. I came to Guidestar to see if there were any reviews written about the organization and when I saw reviews where others had questioned the use of funds I wanted to find out myself. When I questioned Pennies-4-Paws on Facebook about her disclosing her 990 and expenses to me she deleted my comment and I never got an answer. I got an email though from Paypal that indicated my last donation from them was refunded. I never asked for a refund. I simply asked for a disclosure. To me that was an answer that she had something to hide. I usually check charities on here before I donate but I didn't this time. I will now only donate directly to animal rescues, not a middle man and to charities that make their 990 and expenses available.
Review from Guidestar
I, too, have some serious concerns about this charity and the way it spends and handles money. Thousands of dollars have been spent on improving the founder's home, barn, and personal vehicles. None of this money is accounted for on the charity's "awards" page. The awards page consists of a list of all the charities P4P has helped, along with the amount given to the charity. There are no listings for the significant amounts of money for the founder's pet projects - which are improvements to her pole barn, home, repairs on her personal vehicles, and fuel/travel costs for the transports that she so loves doing. Unlike other transporters, she expects her way to be paid every time, even down to hotel and food. Which brings my other question - are there no animals in her local area that need rescue or help? It seems she is always going on these transports down south, while ignoring the animals in shelters that are nearby. My guess is it's not as much fun to rescue those animals - because there's no road trip involved!! To me, this is a collossal waste of money - money that could be stretched and used to benefit FAR more animals than she is helping. but that's not the Pennies way. She buys the best of everything, and in bulk. There's no making do or being creative with resources, like every other rescue on the planet is forced to do. Don't like your current crates? Go out and buy different ones. And buy TONS of them. But them every week if it makes you happy. That's what seems to be happening at P4P. I would love to see an inventory of all the stuff that has been bought for P4P, which is not even a full-time rescue. I would also love to see the utilization rate of all these crates and kennels. I assure you, it would be very low. I believe the founder has some sort of shopping addiction, and the constant buying of new animal stuff somehow feeds her illness. The constant buying of goods to auction off, which are often sold at a loss, seems to be another indication of this. There are some very concerning things happening at P4P, and I ask others to beware. If you really want to help animals, give your money somewhere else, where it won't be wasted and frittered away. There are hard-working rescues out there that can squeeze amazing things out of a dollar. Please find one of them and support them instead of P4P
I have read all previous reviews and it's quite important that before anyone makes an informed decision that they also know the truth. First of all in regards to Cissy stating there is no substantiated evidence...this is an assumption of course and there is infact substantial public proof of any of the concerns brought forward. It's probably also important that the reviewers be forthright in their role in regards to this organization who gave it high scores because they too need to be transparent in their relationship with Pennies-4-Paws. Regarding the the review by Adam D. he is most certainly a huge donor however he is also a paid advertiser on the Pennies-4-Paws vehicle which is also mentioned as such on the public website of this organization along with a photograph of the vehicle showing his logo as sponsorship. It is perfectly fine that he take this opportunity to advertise her very reputable business however I think anyone who is looking for accurate information also know all of the information if they are relying on unbiased reviews. Cookie1 who listed herself as a donor is the founder of a rescue and this rescue has been the benefactor numerous times through fundraising from this organizaton both in large fundraising efforts as well as fulfilled Christmas wish equipment and smaller fundraising efforts. I have no doubt Cookie1 has personally donated numerous times to other causes via Pennies-4-Paws however she failed to also be transparent in her review by listing herself as also a "Client Served" or by mentioning this in her review. This is not questioning the reputableness of her rescue as she has done amazing things for animals and should be commended for her sacrafice it just needs to be kept real when recommending as an individual donor versus someone who actually has been helped. I was very active on this facebook wall and in fact don't argue the point that at one time the founder and the organization did some awesome things to help a lot of individual animals in need as well as many small rescues. I stepped away when I noticed that less and less the fundraising became about the rescues and other animals in need and more and more the focus was on the founder herself and raising money for her own requests which have been mentioned many times by others and I won't repeat. The "Scores" of cats that were supposedly TNR'D however I must dispute. Three attempts were done on TNR in the pole barn and by the founders own admission on a post on her page she could not continue to do so. She now fosters on occassion in that building that was set up for year around TNR operations. To define transparency in fundraising is the ability for all donors to see TO THE PENNY how much money is being raised at all times. I would suggest a chip-in form of fundraising so the total is visible. Transparency is listing the thousands of dollars that have now been raised for the founder on her "awards" wall however none of these are listed. Transerancy is NOT somebody throwing out a number from time to time. In regards to the comment of jealousy. I am or was just a donor who wants to help as many rescues and animals to find a loving home as I can and I am not jealous of the founder because I have nothing to gain from her organization I just decided that there were too many things that made me uncomfortable and I didn't want to finance the founders latest dream but rather help rescues and help animals in need wherever they are located. I don't feel I should warn anyone to not donate, I just feel it's really important that if people are to depend on these reviews to make good judgement on where to spend their hard earned dollars to make the MOST impact on helpling animals that they instead go directly to the rescues they trust and donate directly to them and I also feel they need to have the transperancy of those of us who review and entrust to help them make the best choice. Pennies-4-Paws does help animals but so many, many more could be helped and so many more rescues could stay in the business of saving animals if the founder would return the focus back to those who know what they are doing and how to best utilize funding rather than focus on her own personal needs. Animal rescue is a very important and needed service and every penny should be utilized to benefit the most animals as possible...that can't happen unless the fundraising focuses on the rescues more than the founder.
I have found Pennies-4-Paws to be an honest organization that does a very good job making a positive impact on the animal/rescue community with limited resources and manpower. It has been my experience that the President and founder, Sally Geiger, has been as upfront with her decisions and monies rec'd as she possibly can. She has been falsely attacked by a few people visiting her Facebook site and she withstood those attacks by continuing to perform her duties and help animals in need. She has a strong following of supporters who continue to help her fundraise for various causes. She is upfront with when and where monies are spent. Any remarks otherwise are unsubstantiated. It is has been my experience that when unsubstantiated remarks are made, it is a result of jealousy. Sally has in the past and continues to have a positive impact on the animal rescue community. I am proud to add Pennies-4-Paws among my supported organizations.
This is an excellent charity who works very hard to help animal non profit organizations all over the US. At the end of each fundraiser, the amount raised is posted on the website and the funds are transferred usually by the next day to the designated charity. IRS compliance and verification of funds received and funds transferred are documentable at the end of each year as with any non profit organization. In addition, each non profit who receives the funding raised for them by P4P has the option of requesting a report of donors. As a donor for the barn project for TNR on the owner's property, I was kept apprised of all aspects of the project progress and happily felt that if even a few animals were trapped, neutered and returned (TNR) that it would be funds well spent in rural WI where few options are available- but that has not been the case- scores of cats have been TNR'd, social cats adopted and many, many dogs have been helped when the TNR calendar is not full. As a donor to this specific project- I know it has been money well spent. Sadly, in the light of social media and instant communication, it only takes a few people to wreck havoc on an organization that in my view has done amazing work in the short year they have been in existance. Few organizations can say they have raised six figures- not for themselves- but for other groups within a short year.
I was met with open hostility when I questioned about upgrades to structures on the founder/President of the groups personal property. Since the upgrades were made, little use has been made for the purpose funds were solicited. Any attempts to mention cost conscious measures are ignored. There is distinct favoritism and frivolous use of solicited funds.
I donated to one of the events but walked away after researching the owner. Their home is up for sale and remained on the market while upgrades were openly happening on their site. Favoritism to certain groups, condescending comments and remarks posted on the site and all out misuse of funds as seen by the public. Many questionable acts.
This charity started out with the right intentions. However, it has grown to pay for improvements on the directors home and to pay for gas for this individual and so many questionable expenses. Paypals are set up but never shown the actual amount being collected. Huge concern with this organization.