Friday, May 20, 2016

More Congressional Talk...awaiting some action

by Gary Snyder

To his credit, Senator Chuck Grassley has brought to the public’s attention many abuses in the charitable sector. 

But change, in the past, has not been readily forthcoming (ie, American Red Cross, Smithsonian)

Now, Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee have been looking into the spending at the Wounded Warrior Project, specifically trying to make sense of the proportion of spending on veterans programs against the total budget. 

The organization provided the committee with the requested financial documents around a month ago, and Grassley yesterday sent a follow-up letter requesting further clarification.

WWP’s claims that it spends 80 percent of its expenses on veterans’ services.  Charity watchdog groups, which have estimated the percentage as low as 43 percent excluding fundraising related costs.

The committee questioned even the services themselves: “It appears the vast majority of the 94 percent of program services provided to veterans consisted of tickets to sporting events,” Grassley said in the letter. Grassley further questioned the characterization of placing $37 million over 2013 and 2014 into a trust fund as a program expense.

The senator finally ventured that, “Of the $242 million WWP spent on program expenses in FY 2014, it appears that approximately $150 million of it was not actually spent on veterans by WWP and a large portion of it was in-kind donations.”

The Grassley letter concluded with a set of further questions to be completed by June 1st, including a request for the independent review of spending practices commissioned by the board and copies of the fundraising materials against which the joint cost allocations were made.

Lets hope that the WWP response fully addresses the questions and that the committee concerns don’t get lost in the daily Finance Committee charge.

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Charity Navigator, Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio (NPR), Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), “Betrayal”, (a movie), NBC (on Charity Fraud…TBD), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Marie Claire, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, Charity Navigator, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, Board Room Insider, USA Today Topics, Accountants News,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times, Portfolio Magazine, The Virgin Islands Daily News, NANKAI (China) BUSINESS REVIEW, National Religious Broadcasters newsletter, The Charity Governance Blog, American Chronicle, Palm Beach Post, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, Nonprofit World, Socially Responsible Business Forum, PNNOnline, Ohio Nonprofit Resources, Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, Nonprofit Startup Guide, Nonprofit Blog, National Coalition of Homeless Newsletter, Finance and Administration Roundtable Newsletter,, CORP! Magazine, Crain’s Michigan Nonprofit,, PhilanTopic, Nashville Free Press, Nonprofit Law Blog, Seniors World Chronicle, Carnegie Reporter, Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners Examiner,, Worchester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, Carnegie Corporation of America, EO Tax Journal, Wikipedia: Non-profit Organizations; Parent: Wise Austin, Accountants News, Veterans Today,, Far-roundtable, #Nonprofit Report, nonprofithelpnews, nonprofit news; National Enquirer, Northwest Herald, The HelpWise Daily, The #Nonprofit Report, Wikipedia (Nonprofit Organization),, Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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