A few months ago we posted a piece from our colleague Tony Oliva at Bullets First criticizing the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) for mishandling donations sent to them in order to help veterans. While WWP’s mission is honorable, the problem was simply that WWP was spending far too much money on administration, advertising and other ancillary issues and not enough of the donated money was going directly to help veterans. Many of you were not happy with that piece and we heard a lot of negative feedback from that article – we stand by Tony’s reporting and continue to argue that WWP should be spending more of their money directly on veterans. To that end, Tony has written a new piece proving that WWP only gives half of the money they take in to help veterans.
I wrote an article at the end of 2014 “Stop Donating To The Wounded Warrior Project – They’re a Fraud” discussing how little of the donations that the Wounded Warrior Project gets actually goes to helping veterans in need.
From the hundreds of comments that article received, a vase majority of people echoed their own personal frustration in dealing with the Wounded Warrior Project and how they were made to feel more like stage props for fundraising campaigns than actual human beings in need.
Of course, there were a few vehement, “head in the sand” supporters of the WWP who accused me of being anti veteran (even though I am a vet myself) and of anyone who said anything bad about the WWP as being ungrateful or having a nefarious ulterior motive.
Even when I engaged these blind followers and told them about how the breakdown of money is spent they turned a deaf ear or even worse, claimed that only spending 47-52% of donations to ACTUALLY use for the purported cause was GOOD, because other charities were worse.
Organizations, by the way, that I have no connection with whatsoever, save for my admiration on how much they are TRULY dedicated to helping vets.
But I digress. As they say, seeing is believing so I went to the Wounded Warrior Project website and took their tax return from 2013. The year I initially cited in my previous article and will show anyone who reads this where the money actually goes…and where it doesn’t.
As you can see at line 1b, total revenue, the money that the Wounded Warrior Project brings in is $234,682,943. Over 200 MILLION dollars in a year.
If you look at 4a thru 4d you will see what the Wounded Warrior Project does for vets and how much it spends on each program. Now, I have heard some complain that the alumni association is really just a fundraising booster program, which would explain why over $30 million dollars is directed towards that, but if someone would like to support or refute that claim in the comment section I’m sure everyone would like to hear about it.
But let’s look passed that for a moment and actually look at the numbers.
Combat Stress Recovery: $16,127,622
Soldier Ride: $8,824,978
Other Program Services: $60,780,024
Remember, the Wounded Warrior Project pulled in $234,682,943 in donations.
That means only 49.93% of money that the WWP raised actually went to helping wounded vets.
Where, pray tell, did the rest of the money go.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Compensation and benefits for WWP employees and directors: $26,182,966.
Employees and directors get MORE money than all of the services provided except for the alumni association. The program that people complain about is all about making money…ironic.
$15, 218,191 for office space?
Nearly $2 MILLION for I.T?
$6,377,443 in way of travel expenses? And those travel expenses are NOT for sending wounded vets around the country because that expense would be listed in the program expenses. No, these travel expenses are WWP employees jet setting around the country.
But now we get to the most egregious of the costs.
Consulting costs: $33,081,349
They spend more on consulting than they do on any one program service for vets.
Not to mention their meeting and events in which they blow through nearly $17 MILLION of your donated money to through themselves parties.
You can read the rest for yourself, but all in all the total expenses for “running” the Wounded Warrior Project total $158,073,943.
As you may recall, the WWP, by their own admission, spend less than $118,000,000 on the actual programs and services for vets that people donate money towards.
The following document gives a nice summation to the true intent of the Wounded Warrior Project as well as, in my eyes, giving a nice slap to the face, to all veterans they claim to support.
Here are the numbers that I broke down after going through the 79 pages of tax forms in a nice concise snippet.
The thing that gets me most about this page is the mission statement.
The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to Honor and Empower Wounded Warriors.
Is it now? Because according to the numbers, the mission of the Wounded Warrior Project would seem to be to use vets as props in order to continue taking money from patriotic Americans and spending the MAJORITY to keep your organization in the money making business.
The WWP seems less interested in helping vets than it is in helping their own bottom line.
Vets, especially wounded ones who gave so much for this country deserve better than to be a pawn in an organization that seeks to financially capitalize on their sacrifice.
For anyone who feels that I cherry picked the information (though how someone but the most pig headed, blind sheep WWP supporter could) can go here and read through the 79 pages of tax information for themselves.
If you’re like me, you’ll find a better place to send your support for the vets who have sacrificed so much.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com