My Money Won’t Go to Wounded Warrior Project
UPDATED 11/26/2016: We re-visited the charity rankings from Charity Navigator, and updated them with current information that turns out to more strongly support the case against Wounded Warrior Project that we first wrote about in January, 2015.
Here’s some truthful, new information to challenge your perceptions about the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). We’ve all seen those James Gandolfini ads and those heart-rending ads showing our wounded veterans struggling through their daily lives now they’re back home after fighting for our freedom. Of course WWP is a great place to donate and help out, right?
Fisher House also operates the Hero Miles Program (donated frequent flyer miles for family members to travel to the bedside of injured service members), the Hotels for Heroes program (donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge), and a grant program supporting other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
Tom Gresham of Gun Talk Radio invited WWP, a “$185 million / year outfit,” to be a guest on his Veterans Day radio show last November but was turned down flat with this explanation from a WWP spokesperson:
“While we appreciate the interest in having a WWP representative on your show on Veterans Day we are not able to participate in interviews or activities with media/organizations that are related to firearms.”
Turns out the firearms industry is on the WWP’s list of prohibited industries for “co-branding” — it won’t allow the WWP logo to be used on guns (or knives). So there you have it: The Wounded Warrior Project is anti-gun.
Only 57.7% Spent on Helping Vets,
Over 35% Spent on Fundraising
Meanwhile, some veterans from those ads are expressing concerns about how the organization is spending all those donated funds:
“It’s more about the Wounded Warrior Project and less about the wounded warrior,” says one veterans’ advocate.
“They’re laser-focused on making money to help vets, but forgetting to help vets. It’s becoming one of the best known charities in America — and they’re not spending their money very well.”
We looked up WWP on CharityNavigator.com, a leading independent charity evaluator, who measures financial health, accountability, and transparency. Turns out WWP scores just 82.1 in November 2016 (down from 86.11 when this post was first published in January, 2015) (3 stars) against other well known groups doing similar work:
Wounded Warrior Project (FL) 82.1 3 stars
Fisher House 97.1 4 stars
National Military Family Association (VA) 09.81 4 stars
Operation Homefront (TX) 97.87 4 stars
Hope For The Warriors® (NC) 94.18 4 stars
When those commercials ask for my $19.99 a month, I want most of it to go to the cause, not just 57%. Now that I know, my money certainly won’t go to the Wounded Warrior Project!