Is the Wounded Warriors Project a Scam?Submitted by RobHino on Sun, 01/12/2014 - 15:49
by Alex Graham
...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.
Wounded Warriors Project earned our ire about a year ago when they made it clear they didn’t want to partner with gun owners to help them fundraise. Or Christians (read on).
More recently, they sued a tiny, all-volunteer “Help Indiana Veterans” group for calling them out on the tens of millions WWP spends on salaries and the paltry three or four pennies on the dollar they apparently spend on actual grants.
Word of Wounded Warriors Project and its shameful scam-like handling of monies is spreading, thanks in part to a report at the huge “Veterans Today” blogsite.
It seems a commenter with the name Wounded Warriors Project made a comment on the above article:
Wounded Warrior Project on January 2, 2014 at 11:57 am said:
While we normally wouldn’t respond to false claims from an offensive website like Veterans Today which posts anti-Semitic views and conspiracy theories, we feel it important to provide accurate information, since anyone can twist numbers. The claim that WWP does little, if any, direct support of wounded veterans and programs is false. WWP has 19 direct programs and services such as Family Support Programs, Combat Stress Recovery Program and Transition Training Academy that veterans and their families participate in every day. The article also makes claims that based on our 2011 990, we spent $95 million on administrative and fundraising costs and less than 10% of donations actually reached wounded veterans. That is absolutely incorrect. If you actually read our 990 here http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/media/477620/wwp-900-fy..., (page 10) you will see it reflects $95.5 million in TOTAL expenses including 69.5 million spent on our programs and services. Moreover, the IRS form 990 does not present a complete picture of donations and expenditures the way independently audited financials do, and it does nothing to measure impact. Based on Wounded Warrior Project’s fiscal year 2012 audited financial statements, 81.6 percent of total expenditures goes directly to our programs and services for wounded veterans and their families.
Have any DP Veterans had any interactions with the Wounded Warriors Project? Please share your experiences if so.