Ever since I blogged the last piece on the Wounded Warrior Project, I got an uneasy feeling every time I heard one of their ads on the radio. I was struck at how ubiquitous they seem to be, all of a sudden. Well, now I received more information. And it isn’t good.
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!
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.
Read the rest at the link I provided above, and once again, make your own decisions.