by Alex Graham
As we are coming to find out, wounded Vets are big money. Considering I’m 146% disabled, I’m trying to figure out how to tap into this. The only thing I can see is to start my own 501(c)(3) and start cooking the books with a big $300 K a year salary for my work. Member and eagled-eyed scrutinizer Bruce spotted this heartbreaking article. Just when we thought it was safe to come out of the woods after the last news of the Big Six VSOs padding their bank accounts on the backs of all our disabled, along comes this article and investigation revealing nothing is sacred among thieves.
If you were thinking about donating to the Wounded Warrior Project, think twice. It would behoove you to get in your car and drive cross-country to deliver the funds to the charity you hope to help. More money would end up in their hands than entrusting it to the WWP for disbursement. The Beatles song Tax Man comes to mind- Here’s one for you, nineteen for me. Here’s what I received. It’s ugly.
I’m really sad to read this about the Wounded Warrior Project. I have definitely been a supporter up to now. The attached 2011 990 tax return is a real eye opener! For one, that’s a lot of BIG salaries they are paying at the first and apparently the second (outsourced) level for executive compensation! Obviously it’s not only corporations that can get greedy.
>Sad to say, the Wounded Warrior Project is bled dry by a top heavy, greedy executive structure and the remaining funds are disbursed to multi-tier distribution organizations with similar management structures. By the time the money actually goes to direct benefits for veterans, there is probably less than 10% that reaches them. Below are results of an investigation by a retired USMC Colonel.
At a recent meeting of a veterans association with which I am involved, a suggestion was made that we contribute to “The Wounded Warriors Project” (WWP). As an officer of the association, I was asked to do some research and make a recommendation regarding contributing to WWP. As one who fervently believes that our wounded warriors and their care-giving families deserve our unqualified support, I also believe that the public should be informed of the appropriateness and effectiveness of charitable organizations that support veterans.
The results of my research are disappointing, to say the least. To summarize, the WWP collects a fee in the form of generous compensation paid to WWP executives who outsource fund raising, collection and distribution of funds to other 501.c.3 organizations which provide services that directly benefit veterans. The WWP would make Bernie Madoff proud!
My actual report follows for your information.
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2013 8:01 PM
Subject: Wounded Warrior Project
Pursuant to your request, I have reviewed the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) FY 2011 Form 990 (copy attached). In addition, I have surveyed other available information pertaining to WWP.
I did note the pie chart percentages which you mention (Administrative Expense: 4.4%, Fundraising Exp.: 12.8%). Based on the WWP Form 990, these figures are misleading. Total 2011 revenues were $154.9 MM with total fundraising expenses of $20.5MM and total administrative expenses, including outsourced services, of $95.5MM. Note that the total administrative expense includes fund raising. Therefore, as a percentage of total revenue, administrative expenses amount to 61.63%, including fundraising expenses of 13.2%. This equates to 38.36% of revenues available to benefit wounded warriors.
As far as I can determine, WWP outsources all major functions, including fundraising, legal, donation processing, donation distribution, etc.
Compensation for the top ten WWP employees runs from $150K to $333K per officer annually.
As far as I can determine, WWP does little, if any, direct support of wounded warriors and wounded warrior programs. Rather, WWP makes grants and contributions to other 501.c.3 organizations which operate wounded warrior programs and/or serve veterans directly. Examples of 501.c.3 organizations receiving WWP funds include Fisher House, The American Red Cross, The VFW, Easter Seals, and numerous little known and unheard of local and national organizations. While many of these organizations provide valuable services to wounded warriors, many more are suspect. As an example, I question an expenditure of $300K for a parade. Some organizations are known to be inefficient and not the favorite of veterans (e.g. The American Red Cross). I also question the use of funds for lobbying activities. It would appear that HMM-265 Veterans Association would be eligible to receive WWP funds.
It is true that WWP was the center of controversy involving their anti-Second Amendment position, as mentioned during our general meeting.
There is no question that WWP does contribute substantial funds for the benefit of wounded warriors. Notwithstanding, it appears that a more effective use of Association funds would be to contribute directly to The Fisher House, Navy-Marine Corps Relief, The Salvation Army, and others.
Attached below is IRS Form 990 revealing the perfidy of their spending (or lack thereof). Please, sir. May I have another parade?