American Veterans Foundation
by Donald Siefkin
(West Okoboji, Ia)
Can you tell me anything about American Veterans Foundation? I could not find anything about them on your site.
They are listed at 2815 100th street #384, Urbandale, Ia 50322. Telephone is 1-800-605-2372, and the telemarketer is Telequal.
Thank you for your question about the American Veterans Foundation. According to their web site (amvetsfoundation.org), the group is dedicated to "helping to prevent more homelessness among veterans and providing immediate support to veterans who are homeless, in jeopardy of becoming homeless or in desperate need of assistance. . . . The mission of American Veterans Foundation is to assist all honorably discharged veterans with financial support in their time of need."
They may provide food, shelter, clothing, medical supplies and any other reasonable request. Financial assistance is provided in the form of payments to the utility company, landlord, pharmacy, etc., rather than directly to the individual veteran. The web site states that they are also providing comfort and care packages to troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The address you listed is for a mail drop location, The UPS Store. The address listed on the AVF web site is 1025 Rose Creek Dr., Suite 620, Unit 328, Woodstock, Georgia 30189 (which is also a UPS Store location), with a telephone number of 888-556-8812. The address you found is probably their local Iowa fundraising address.
This organization is not listed by AIP (American Institute of Philanthropy), GuideStar or Charity Navigator.
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (BBB) lists the address and phone number you provided, with the exception that it gives 888 as the telephone prefix instead of 800. BBB states that it currently does not have sufficient information to provide a report on American Veterans Foundation.
Consequently, we have e-mailed American Veterans Foundation, requesting a copy of their most recent Form 990 for review, along with the answers to some questions about their total contributions and expenses, including program services, fundraising expenses, administrative expenses, and direct veterans assistance.
We will update this page once we receive their response, so please bookmark it and check back here in a few days for their answers.
Readers, if you have any information about this organization, please click below to add your comments.***Update:
Despite our request four months ago, we still have not received any response from American Veterans Foundation.
We checked GuideStar once again, and were able to find a listing for this group. The only tax return listed as provided to GuideStar by the IRS is for calendar year 2001. The tax return lists the address as 1211 Forest Avenue, Columbus, GA 31905, with a phone
number of 706-322-8817.Income:
The 2001 return shows $1,237,158
as income, from "indirect public support," defined by the IRS as "contributions received through federated fundraising campaigns such as the United Way or the Combined Federal Campaign. Also included here are monies received from affiliated organizations (parent, subordinate, or supporting organizations)."Expenses:
Program Services: $162,403 (wages paid to staff)
Management and General: $7,300 (Executive Director's salary)Fundraising: $993,450
Accounting fees: $7,698
Postage and shipping: $1,488
Equipment rental and maintenance: $199
Printing and publications: $35
Auto Expense: $7,456
Bank Service Charge: $3,176
Dues and subscriptions: $10
Licenses and permits: $443
Merchandise and supplies: $5,174
Office Supplies: $9,217 Professional Fees - Consulting: $64,922
Tax - Other: $141
It appears this Form 990 was prepared by someone unfamiliar with filing Form 990, as it does not allocate any of the "other expenses" to either program expenses, management & general, or fundraising, at it should.
So, out of total expenses of $1,239,788, they show the following breakdown:
Program services: $162,403 (13%)
Mgmt & General: $7,300 (1%)
Fundraising: $933,450 (75%)
Unallocated: $136,635 (11%)
We would guess that the $64,922 in consulting expenses is likely related to fundraising
as well, pushing that amount to $998,372, or 81%
. The rest of the "other" expenses are likely management and general expenses.
The "auto expenses" seem a bit high, at an average of $621.33 monthly. There is no way to know from this form what those expenses were for. And $9,217 ($768.08 per month) for office supplies seems a little high as well.
The form GuideStar posted online is unsigned, and the portion of the form that ordinarily shows the name and address of a paid preparer has been blacked out, which is very odd.
AVF reportedly paid $7,698 in accounting fees, and one would think this would include at least some assistance in the preparation of the Form 990.
The form indicates that the organization's books are in care of the executive director, George Webster, at the address listed above. When we looked up that address, we found it listed as the address for Creatively Yours, which "stocks over 1,000 rental costumes, hats, and accessories."
Obviously there's quite a time lapse in these records from 2001 to today, so it's possible that AmVets occupied the premises in 2001 that is today Creatively Yours. Otherwise, why did they have rent expenses of $15,900 ($1,325/month)?
Our review of this information leaves us more than a bit leery of this organization. We recommend you find a more reputable veterans charity for your donation.
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