Check Out Veterans Charities

by Frank
(Clermont, Fl)

Any veterans charity or other charitable organization that wants to solicit charity donations in Florida must be registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture.

That is where I go before I make any donation. It's a good source and you can check them out on the internet.


Thank you for calling that to the attention of our readers.

I believe every state requires charitable organizations to register with the state prior to soliciting charity donations from residents of that state.

In most states, the registry is administered by the Secretary of State corporations division, but in Florida, it is maintained by the state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Even if you don't live in Florida, the veterans charity soliciting from you may be registered in Florida, so as you research veterans charities, check the Florida Charities Gift Giver's Guide.

Comments for Check Out Veterans Charities

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Apr 25, 2014
Gulf War Veterans Coalition
by: Di and Joe

We haven't been able to find any ratings on the above charity that called for a donation - we do not wish to donate to an organization that has little of what it collects actually help veterans - do you have any rating information on this group? Thank you.

Di and Joe, I'm sorry I don't have any information about the Gulf War Veterans Coalition.

I would recommend that you go to our
Charities Ratings page and check the charity watchdog websites listed near the bottom of the page, to see if any of them have rated GWVC.

Apr 24, 2012
Vietnam Veterans of Mass, Inc. and Focus on Veterans
by: Anonymous

Hi, I'm trying to find some info on 2 charities that my business has received solicitations from.

The first is Vietnam Veterans of Mass, Inc. Are you familiar with them, or where can I find any info regarding how much of their solicited funds actally reach the veterans?

The other is Focus on Veterans, I'm looking for the same info on them as well. I appreciate any info you can give me. Thank you.

Anon, I don't have any information about either of those groups.

I would suggest you go to our Charities Ratings page and check the charity watchdog websites listed there.

You can also request that any charity provide you with copies of their tax returns and audited financial statement. The IRS requires charitable organizations to make their tax returns available to the public upon request. If they fail to provide them, you can report them to the IRS.

Jan 06, 2012
President Birchwd Vets Club Middle Isle, NY
by: Frank Dapolito

Do u have a rating for the Wounded Warrior Project?

And Jacob's Light Foundation?

We have quite a discussion about the Wounded Warrior Project.

We don't have any information about Jacob's Light Foundation, but you may find some by checking the charity watchdog websites linked at the bottom of our Charities Ratings page.

May 30, 2011
What Percentage is acceptable
by: Tracy

We just discovered our charity, Veterans Outreach in Bonita Springs, Fl, spends 29% on Administration Exp. & 71% on Program Service Exp.

What kind of rating would they get? The ones that work for them make minimum wage collecting donations like the Salvation Army. There's only 3 or 4 that make more (the founders).

There's no fund raising exp. because they hire people to collect donations & any token gifts to donors are donated from other orgs. & businesses.

We've received help as have a few vets we know, so we know they're legit. But we're just wondering on the scale where they would come in at.

Btw thanks for that link to Fl. I would have never known where to check otherwise. Bless you.

Tracy, thank you for those kind words.

The veterans charity ratings that we published were first published by the American Institute of Philanthropy in December 2007.

Their president, Daniel Borochoff, testified then before a Congressional oversight committee that was looking into fundraising practices by military and veterans charities. The transcript of his testimony explains AIP's ratings methodology and will help you understand that just accepting the charity's word for how their expenses are allocated will not be helpful.

IRS regulations permit what most of us would call "creative accounting" in that regard. You really need to examine the group's tax return (IRS From 990) to see where the money is actually going.

For example, many expenses that you and I would consider as fundraising expenses can legally be allocated to program expense, so that skews the numbers. When AIP does its ratings, it readjusts those numbers based on what the expense was actually used for. We believe that AIP's evaluation method is the most thorough and accurate one we've seen.

If you'd like to receive copies of AIP's future ratings, you must become a member with a minimum donation of $40. That entitles you to one year's ratings guides.

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