Wounded Warriors Project is a Fraud – Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
The Wounded Warriors Project is a fraud and dedicates a small percentage of its proceeds to assisting veterans who were wounded in the line of duty and organizations that support them.
This claim is false.
In fiscal year 2013, the Wounded Warriors Foundation took in $234 million in donations and dedicated 80 percent of that amount to programs for wounded veterans, according to tax records.
The eRumor’s claim that the organization spends just 3.5% of its total income on grants for individuals and veteran organizations is misleading. The Wounded Warriors Foundation began awarding grants to veteran organizations with similar goals in 2012, the year cited by the eRumor, and the amount it awards in grants has increased dramatically since. The Wounded Warriors Foundation reports:
Since its inception in 2012, WWP Program Grants has held two grant cycles each year. WWP Program Grants are awarded in amounts up to 250,000 and last one full year from the date of award.
Our in-depth grant evaluation process ensures WWP provides financial support to groups espousing kindred priorities and policies, and with the same commitment to our mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Historically, WWP has supported organizations that seek to enhance the lives of wounded service members through programs aimed at improving mental health and wellness; exposing wounded service members to new opportunities for physical fitness and activity; connecting wounded service members with their peers and communities; and enhancing economic empowerment and independence.
In 2013, the Wounded Warriors Foundation reported that it paid $16.8 million in grants to other veteran organizations. And the claim that the group pays less than $1 million in grants to individual veterans is also false. Various organizations that receive grants from the Wounded Warriors Foundation use that money to provide direct assistance to disabled veterans, and those figures aren’t reflected in the eRumor’s claim.
In just one grant cycle in 2014, a number of grant recipients provided direct support to veterans, according to the Wounded Warriors Foundation:
2014 SECOND CYCLE GRANT RECIPIENTS
Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans – Homelessness Prevention:
MACV offers short-term assistance when payment or service will resolve the veteran’s current crisis. Assistance includes direct payments for rent/mortgage, security deposits, transportation, utilities, food, clothing, and more. This direct assistance helps veterans to continue concentrating on long-term stabilization goals to obtain secure housing and employment.
US Vets – Homelessness Prevention:
Wrap-Around Shelter and Support Services for Homeless Veterans provides housing, meals, mental health counseling, case management, and employment services to post 9/11 veterans and their families who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness.
Veterans One-stop Center of Western New York – Military to Civilian Transition:
The Warrior Transition & Integration Assistance Program assists warriors with their transition and integration to civilian life through the collaborative provision of integrated care management. Direct services focus on homelessness prevention, workforce readiness and development, family resiliency/reintegration, and other supportive services to help empower warriors to complete their transition and integration.
Variations of this eRumor also make claims about so-called excessive salaries that Wounded Warrior Foundation executives earn. Steven Nardizzi, the executive director of the group, earned $375,000 in 2013, according to the independent website Charity Navigator. That’s on par with the average salary of executives from other non-profits.
Overall, the Wounded Warriors Foundation receives high marks for its overall performance, financial efficiency and transparency. Charity Navigator rated its overall performance at 86.11 out of a possible 100 for fiscal year 2013.