Americans are charitable people. Despite our economic situation, donations to charities increased 4 percent from 2009 to 2010, to $291 billion. With that much money flying around, though, there’s plenty of room for waste. And that’s just what’s happening with some of America’s more well-known activist groups.

Our executive director writes at The Daily Caller about how some do-gooders don’t do so well when it comes to using their donors’ money efficiently. One notable example is the Humane Society of the United States:

The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), which runs the “Charity Watch” website, publishes a report on select charities three times a year, assigning each a letter grade. And too many times, activist groups posing as legitimate charities barely avoid flunking.

Take the HSUS. AIP gives this group a “D” rating, finding that as little as 49 percent of HSUS’s budget is actually spent on charitable programs, while it spends up to 49 cents to raise every dollar. …

Not much better are Greenpeace (see my last column), which gets a “C,” and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which gets a C-plus.

Read the full piece here.