Foundation for American Veterans
(West Allis, WI)
A reader asks:
I didn't see a rating for 'Foundation for American Veterans' in Michigan. Are they a good organization or another bad money handling outfit?
Thank you for your question.
The Foundation for American Veterans does not publish financial information on its web site.
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance reports that the organization failed to provide the requested information, so BBB cannot determine whether it meets their 20 standards for charity accountability.
According to a Charity Navigator report
in 2005, the Foundation for American Veterans used just 6 cents of every dollar raised for services for veterans.
Despite this lack of transparency with regard to their financial information, we were able to locate a form filed by the Foundation for American Veterans, Inc. with the Secretary of State for the State of Washington (charities must register in each state in which they intend to solicit donations). According to the information filed with Washington State, for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, the organization had revenue of $5,263,927, and spent $528,196 on program services out of total expenses of $5,118,508.
In other words, for FY 2007, the Foundation for American Veterans devoted 11% of its total expenses to program services for veterans
The form did not break down those expenses, but we think it would be safe to say that a large percentage went to professional fund raisers. It did list Associated Community Services as a paid fundraiser organization.
When we checked that organization's Commercial Fundraiser Profile Report with the Washington Secretary of State, we learned that in the fiscal year ending December 31, 2008, Associated Community Services
(ACS) reported that it raised $1,264,583 in contributions, and of that amount, only $480,465 went to the charity client for whom the funds were raised. In other words, the charity got 38% of the money raised, and the fundraising organization kept the other 62% as its fee.
The Fundraiser Profile indicates that ACS also solicited contributions on behalf of Disabled Veterans Services, Inc. and the Washington chapter of the United States Navy Veterans Association.
An article in the Portland Observer
in December, 2009, indicated that FAV used 8.67 percent of funds raised for its cause, landing Foundation for American Veterans on the Oregon Attorney General's list of the 20 worst charities soliciting in the state, based on how much of its contributions actually go to the stated cause.
Wikipedia reports that the Foundation for American Veterans "makes far too many calls to people who are not veterans. The reps hang up before one can get to the telephone and they call up to 8 times in a single day. This practice is not only excessive, but counterproductive in obtaining donations because they are such a nuisance. When calling back their number, there is no option for removing one's phone number from their database."
If you would like to contact FAV to ask more specific questions, you may e-mail them at fav (at) fav (dot) org. Charitable organizations that are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) are required to allow public inspection of or provide copies of their annual returns (From 990). If you would like to review FAV's most recent Form 990, request a copy directly from them at the above e-mail address.
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