More on the Wounded Warrior Project

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.

8 responses

  1. Fake “charities”, which raise and consume funds but do no work that you or I would recognise as charitable, are a growing phenomenon. Particularly pernicious are those which primarily lobby government or “educate”, and take government funds to do so. Some such “charities” do nothing but lobby and are funded >95% by government, yet they are often wheeled out by news organisations to say their piece on a particular issue as if they represented a groundswell of opinion.

    There’s a site which analysed UK charities for this sort of behaviour, It’s seemingly abandoned now, unfortunately, and the database is down, but the individual blog entries for each charity are still there. Worth a look even in its present state and perhaps the American charitable sector could benefit from something similar (if there isn’t one already). There are still plenty of genuine charitable institutions out there, and it helps everyone to be able to tell the wheat from the chaff.


  2. As I said, I was considering making that “pledge” of $19/month their ads ask for..until I read your first piece on this bunch. I REFUSE to give a single dime to the American Red Cross…not after I discovered that their “representatives” in Vietnam were making a MINIMUM of $55K/year at a time when a PFC in the Army was paid about $120/month, and, despite being given responsibility for verifying requests for “compassionate leave” by servicemembers, those “representatives” were too busy screwing donut dollies on weekends to be bothered to help any GI’s. (I had some experience in this and the ARC rep wound up on his butt, as a result.) When I was a cop, our local ARC representative–again, making about $60K and driving a brand-new car every year I knew him–would, when someone from the police department ask him to, pay for a stranded traveler to say a couple of nights in a local flea-bag hotel, but only if they signed a paper promising to repay the loan…with interest.


    1. I have Red Cross stories from my deployment to Louisiana post-Katrina that would make your head spin! I did blog about them at some point, but it wasn’t on this blog, unfortunately. If I can locate it, I’ll post it here.


  3. My problems with the ARC began in the early 1950’s when I was a Boy Scout. our troop went down near Vincennes during the Wabash River flooding to fill sandbags. The ARC was there SELLING donuts for a nickel each and coffee for a dime per cup! In Vietnam, my CO’s wife, who lived in Honolulu, miscarried their first child. He tried to get the ARC rep to approve a compassionate leave, but on a Friday afternoon, the guy left early for a “date” in Saigon and didn’t return until Monday noon. By then, the CO’s wife had overdosed and died in a fit of depression. When I colnfronted the ARC guy about his absence, he ordered me out of his office. I knocked him over his desk and walked out. NOTHING was ever said further about it, so don’t you know the guy just didn’t want the truth to come out about his behavior or I’d have been standing before a courts martial? I have a fairly rare blood type (A-neg) and every once-in-a-while the ARC calls me to donate blood. I always tell them what I think of them and then give blood to the Oklahoma Blood Institute instead.


  4. pappad, look into the Heinlein Society page for blood donation:


    1. Thanks for the info, pavepusher. I’m a HUGE Heinlein fan and have read just about everything he (and his wife) have published. I grew up on his serialized stories in Boys Life, in fact. I am not a “Con” participant so probably couldn’t donate blood at any of them, but I will send them a contribution.


  5. […] interesting post on the Wounded Warrior Project by an Army veteran. WWP is a great organization. Let’s hope its just an […]


  6. I heard several months ago that the Wounded Warriors Group would not allow any activities involving guns–like groups wanting to take wounded warriors hunting. At that point, I smelled a rat and quit donating anything to them.


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