No Kill Pretenders: Maddie's Fund
Of all of the organizations I call "Pretenders" the people at Maddie's Fund that I knew were certainly the most kind. They were always polite, courteous during my interactions with them. The organization was also founded on an idea that I always found really exciting and, potentially, game-changing. Unfortunately, being nice and having one great idea are not are not enough to change the world. You also have to be able to connect ideas together, understand the broad picture and manage toward the vision you want to see come true.
It is hard to know where Maddie's ideas of collaboration came from. However, since its inception the organization was all about pushing the idea that organizations should collaborate. That is a nice, feel-good sentiment. Unfortunately, like nearly everything Maddie's Fund touches, it all fell apart in the management and implementation, resulting in the squandering of countless millions of dollars
being given to organizations that were little more than con artists. From Maricopa County, Arizona to New York, Los Angeles and others, Maddie's has had an uncanny knack for funding massively wasteful efforts that fail to achieve their stated goals. That is not just me saying so. In fact, when I have spoken privately with some of the leaders there, they have admitted this to be true themselves.
Failed Community Collaboration Grant Program
When Maddie's Fund first began doling out cash to animal shelters, it was done in a very specific way: They would give massive sums of money to coalitions of animal shelters that all worked together within a community to end killing in all of their shelters. It sounded really good on paper. Furthermore, had the granting program been managed differently, it could have been wildlife successful. Unfortunately, after more than a decade of grant-giving to these community grant efforts, Maddie's didn't have a single No Kill success story to its credit and it quietly killed this grant
program. By every objective measure, it was an utter failure.