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Wounded Warriors Legit or Not?

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  • Wounded Warriors Legit or Not?

    In the past three years I have run across more that few accuzations of the Wounded Warriors Project being variously a scam, or badly managed. Locally most of the veterans organizations will not contribute money to it (some may still be doing so), and quite a few leaders or members express doubts about it. In the media there are several organizations I am not familar with which accuse the WW managment of diverting a large part of the donated income to unecessaary overhead and oversized salaries.

    Whats the opinion of the members here?

    The latest accusation tossed my way comes from the 'Veterans Today' publication.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/12...-a-legal-scam/

    Bottom line is the author claims less than 10% of the WW income is dispersed directly to veterans for assistance. The rest goes to management salaries, or contracted organizations with "similar" bloated salary/overhead structures. This is harsh stuff, but not unbelievable as there have been more than a few cons like this in the past.

    So whats up with this

  • #2
    Score on Charity Navigator
    http://www.charitynavigator.org/inde...2#.VMQbFjX0DbU
    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

    Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GCoyote View Post
      First thing that jumped out at me on Charity Navigator was Fundraising expenses is 36% of gross revenue. Have compared that to Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army... The non profits I work with are all one million or less. Their fundraising cash expense is not remotely close to 25% of gross revenue. Maybe 2% or 3% in one case., less in the others.

      Program costs in not broken down. The charitable financial reports I'm used to looking at have two or three dozen catagories for program & operating expenses. Salaries for caseworkers are clearly seperated from salaries for administrative personel. Disbursements to individual clients/veterans are seperated from costs for services for them. Without that sort of break down or itemization it is difficult to judge if the program costs are legit or not. Along the same line, the "administrative" percent of 5.6% looks a bit low. It is possible, I've seen organizations with a lot less, but they were heavily dependant on unpaid volunteers, who often settled admin costs out of their own pockets.

      Last item for now is the $375,000 compensation for the executive director. One argument is this is justified as a competitive wage for the responsibility of managing 225 million annually. Again comparison with others would be in order. Specifically the Disabled America Veterans, which is a very similar service to Wounded Warriors. I am aware of one non profit charity service (Lafayette Urban Ministry) whos Executive director receives a salary of $68,000 a year, plus family medical insurance. The other salaried program administrators and case managers are compensated from around $5000 to $37,000 per year for part time & full time work.

      Maybe I'll have time to dig further this evening.
      Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 25 Jan 15, 07:08.

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      • #4
        Here is the DAV info.

        http://www.charitynavigator.org/inde...9#.VMQnhih3_6g

        Couple points. DAV is largely volunteer. Most workers are unpaid, or receive small stipends. The lack of a reported CEO is part of that.

        The info on Charity Navigator is for the DAV Foundation, a national organization. The organization is fragmented into state and local chapters which in my understanding are separate entities chartered by the national DAV, but with separate finances. So, the financial info on Charity Navigator probably does not represent the total 'DAV' cash flow.

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        • #5
          I use to donate to the Disabled American Veterans, but since 60 Minutes(?) exposed their CEO I gave up on my contributions. I don't know much about the WWP but I have a friend that is a big supporter and is active in the project. I have never asked him about it, I will the next time I see him.
          My worst jump story:
          My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
          As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
          No lie.

          ~
          "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
          -2 Commando Jumpmaster

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          • #6
            Problem with a CEO could be why there is none identified.

            Local DAV has put a lot of cash to emergency assistance for veterans the past four years. The state org provides vans to the county Vet Service Officers to transport vets to appointments in the VA hospitals. Beyond that I'm not very familiar with what they do. Not familiar with what the WW have done locally.

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            • #7
              I had my wife, who works for an international nonprofit and knows what the norm is, to look at their scores. She says that while not great, it's quite a bit better than average. For an org of that size, she also said that CEO compensation isn't out of line. Remember, NP status is a tax status, not a way of doing business.

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              • #8
                Thanks for that. Hopefully we will have comments from others with some experience in this.

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                • #9
                  Here is Snopes take on executive salaries for charities. WWP is not mentioned specifically, but it is not difficult to compare with those mentioned.

                  http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/charities.asp

                  Skimming over salary claims & info from assorted locations it appears CEO salary correlates little with the gross cash flow of the charity or non profit. Some billion dollar or multi million organizations are run by marginaly compensated or uncompensated managers. Also the CEO thing is just a single sample of a organizations fiances. Like I wrote earlier a much more detailed breakout of the expenses is usefull for analysis.

                  Mulling over all this I'm reminded there are several dozen veterans relief or assistance charities. Several of which aim at the same or similar goals as WWP. ie: the DAV. Without judging the relative effectiveness of either program I do wonder why the WWP organizers created a somewhat redundant organization vs working with the existing group. There are some legitimate reasons such things happen, and illegit. What the rational behind the WWP and a seperate or new organization was I'm unaware of.
                  Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 25 Jan 15, 07:11.

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                  • #10
                    I do hear a lot of radio commercials for Wounded Warrior. A zillion times more than any other organization. All that airtime can't possibly be for free.
                    Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                    Prayers.

                    BoRG

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                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                      Without judging the relative effectiveness of either program I do wonder why the WWP organizers created a somewhat redundant organization vs working with the existing group. There are some legitimate reasons such things happen, and illegit. What the rational behind the WWP and a seperate or new organization was I'm unaware of.
                      There could be a few reasons. I don't know if these apply, but here goes...
                      Maybe they saw a perceived lack of support from older .orgs. Something like the VVA was formed because the older vets in the other orgs weren't as welcoming as some thought they should be.
                      Maybe someone just wanted to be the king of their own org. Even nonprofits have people who are in it for themselves. They aren't all altruistic. Most are, but not all. Just like in the military, some just worry about their promotions and don't care who gets killed or hurt by their actions.

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                      • #12
                        The first reason is worth discussing for a variety of factors. Ironic how several of the organizations formed by the Viet Nam vets as substitutes for the older veterans groups who rejected them, are now often rejected by the Iraq/Afgani veterans. In some cases it is their own fault. I clearly remember a former Navy Seal baldly stating Desert Storm vets had no combat time & had not been in a war. I do see a lot of younger men join or attend meetings with veterans organizations, but family and work intereferes. I can recal a dozen locally who had to cease participation when they went to second shift or something similar. A couple more were told by their wives they were not participating in a veterans org.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                          The first reason is worth discussing for a variety of factors. Ironic how several of the organizations formed by the Viet Nam vets as substitutes for the older veterans groups who rejected them, are now often rejected by the Iraq/Afgani veterans. In some cases it is their own fault. I clearly remember a former Navy Seal baldly stating Desert Storm vets had no combat time & had not been in a war. I do see a lot of younger men join or attend meetings with veterans organizations, but family and work intereferes. I can recal a dozen locally who had to cease participation when they went to second shift or something similar. A couple more were told by their wives they were not participating in a veterans org.
                          Common among many many vets to say these things. Best example was a DS/Iraq vet that told me that Desert Storm wasn't **** compared to Iraq. He is probably right on all counts.
                          My worst jump story:
                          My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                          As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                          No lie.

                          ~
                          "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                          -2 Commando Jumpmaster

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post
                            Common among many many vets to say these things. Best example was a DS/Iraq vet that told me that Desert Storm wasn't **** compared to Iraq. He is probably right on all counts.
                            Technically yes he is correct, tho not right. For the 120+ dead & the several hundred wounded/maimed DS was as real as it gets. Beyond that there is another problem. None of the problems or issues concerning vets get solved by a divided 'Mines Bigger Than Yours' attitude. That was one of the several things that screwed the Viet Nam vets coming out of the gate. I can clearly remember as a teenager hearing WWII vets claim the new kids did not have the same status as they because of a short two year draft service, or that their war was not a real war. If the Iraqi vets have anything now its because some vets of multiple wars or the 20th Century & earlier cut the BS & banded together and held the politicians to keep the promises made.

                            One of the most emotional scenes I witniessed in my life was seeing two sixty plus year old Viet Nam vets take charge of a Iraqi vet who was having a public break down. A life time of dealing with their PSTD enabled them to get the younger vet calmed down and safe. So many ways that could have gone wrong had they not intervened to help a complete stranger.

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                            • #15
                              Thought I'd kick this one to the top & see if theres any fresh opinions.

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