United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization

by Jeff M
(Wausau WI)

I recently got a telemarketer call looking for a donation to United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization. Is that a legitimate organization?

I asked what their administrative costs were and was told that they charged 10% of the money collected.

I did some checking and found a Milwaukee Sentinel article that stated that they only gave 10% of the money collected to the charity.

I could not find this organization rated on any web site.

Was the telemarketer lying to me?


Thank you for your question. I'm afraid we didn't have much better luck than you did in our attempts to research United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization.

UPPVets is not listed by Charity Watch, Guide Star, Charity Navigator, or the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. BBB sets 20 accountability standards for charities, including that they spend no more than 35% of revenue on fundraising activities.

Sometimes in the early days of an organization, a higher percentage may be justified, as it takes a while to raise public awareness that the organization exists. That isn't the case for UPPVets, which was founded in 1990.

The article you referenced, published by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Online in May of 2007, reported:

"Veterans groups make up four of the six charities based in Wisconsin that keep a small fraction of the money. Among them: the United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization, a Menomonee Falls charity that gets only 12 cents of every dollar raised through telemarketing."

The web site for United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization lists no financial information, so we have e-mailed their national director requesting a copy of their most recent IRS return for review. The IRS requires that tax-exempt organizations make these records available for public inspection upon request, so if you'd like to review the return yourself, just go to their "contact us" page and request a copy.

We will update this page once we receive their response. **See update in the comments below.**

Readers, does anyone have experience with or information about United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization?

Comments for United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 30, 2011
Disabled and Paralyzed Veterans Fund
by: Anonymous

My husband received a phone solicitation from the above organization.

Before mailing any money, I googled the address, only to find the comments listed here, relating to the same address.

Needless to say, I will not be sending a check, as I suspect this is possibly the same group, with a new name.

May 31, 2011
I will stay with other groups
by: Anonymous

After reading the comments posted I thank you all for the comments and will continue to support my local vet groups and national organizations I know.

May 31, 2011
12c of every dollar goes to charity
by: Ellen

I, too, automatically said yes to the request for donation.

Today I searched the internet and found this site with a comment re: 12c of every dollar going to charity and tax papers not being filed.

I called and asked if 12c of every dollar went to charity and the lady who answered the phone (with a company name without the word veterans in it) said yes. I canceled the pledge.

I am so glad that we are able to search the internet and find out this information plus provide it to others.

May 24, 2011
Donations from Phone solicitations
by: Anonymous

I'm a Vietnam veteran, and my NEW rule is to "never-never" give money to anyone calling my phone.

As a matter of fact - even if the call is from an "alleged" recipient of previous donations, I politely tell them that their phone call will dry up the donations, because they do not have my permission to call me.

That usually takes care of all of the phone calls.

May 22, 2011
united proud patriots veterans organization
by: Anonymous

I, too, am glad I found your website.

I became suspicious because it used to be called the United Paralysed Veterans. The name change seemed suspicious. The paperwork does not seem authentic either.

Apr 18, 2011
UPPVO are scam artists
by: A duped Michigander

Unfortunately, my husband and I did not have time to research this group before agreeing to send them money. We are senior citizens and believed they were associated with another vets group we've supported in the past.

My husband now knows it was a mistake to give them our credit card number for the donation.

They are now using that credit card number to pay themselves monthly.

We just realized it and have spoken to our credit card company and they are working with us. Unfortunately they said it's best if we just close the account since they can't really block them.

We've learned our lesson from this and will never give our credit card number again. And we'll also stick with giving only to those charities we've supported in the past.

Duped, we're so sorry to hear that UPPVets is taking advantage of your generosity.

Thank you for sharing your story and providing a very good lesson for our readers.

Instead of giving any of these groups your credit card number, ask them to mail you an invoice because you want to send a check. That will protect your credit card number AND give you time to go online and check out the organization.

One more hint for Duped: Just because you've supported a group in the past doesn't necessarily mean you should continue to support them. Be sure you check out each charity before giving them your hard-earned dollars, so you know where those dollars are going.

Mar 14, 2011
From a Menomonee Falls resident
by: pete

Am I glad I found your site. I also believe the UPP to be a big fraud.

Their "Freedom House" was denied the right to build a crisis center in a residential area. They went ahead and remodeled a house into their crisis center, but there is very little activity. (They do have someone living there but we don't know who). This goes back about five years, maybe longer.

There are no other buildings or parks or education centers in existence in the area. They used to advertise that they had plans for things in Appleton, WI. I contacted Appleton and they knew nothing of the organization. Shortly afterward, that disappeared from the web site.

They also claimed the first "freedom house" was built in Iron Ridge, WI. I contacted the town and county and nobody could find any records of it.

Need help, let me know. I will contact State Rep. from our area and State Sen. Darling and get them going.

Feb 04, 2011
Sherri from Michigan Duped
by: Anonymous

Sherri from michigan. I too have donated to this organization a couple of years now and was ready to donate again until I just happened to be looking for their address for my taxes.

How can this keep going on? Why can't some law stop them from taking $ we think is going to a good charity? What can we do to stop them?

I want my $ to go to a charity to help, not to line someone's pocket. Please advise!!

Sherri, the only way to stop this is to convince Congress to tighten up the regulations, and then convince the IRS and the various states' attorneys general to enforce them. Find the addresses for your Congressional representatives here.

Jan 13, 2011
Really strange
by: Beth

My 16-year old answered the phone when this "professional fundraiser" called.

When I wasn't home they told her I always donate $500 - I wish I had that to donate to a legitimate organization!

She kept telling them no and today I got a donation slip in the mail for $100 in her name.

Should I notify someone that they are contacting minors for donations?

Beth, thank you for sharing that information. Yes, they should be reported for soliciting from minors, and also for solicitation fraud if they told her you normally donate $500 and that is not true.

You didn't mention where you live, so I can't give you specific information, but your state's attorney general's office will be able to tell you who regulates charity solicitation in your state, and where to report them.

It's a sad commentary on our society when we can't even answer the phone in our own homes without someone trying to take advantage of us. And it's worse when they are trying to take advantage of us in the name of our veterans, and taking advantage of our veterans at the same time.

Jun 06, 2010
United Proud Patriots Veterans org
by: Anonymous

I did not receive a call, but did receive a postcard in the mail stating I had agreed to donate $25 and needed to submit it. One week later, June 5, 2010, I received a recorded phone message from them at 12:10 a.m.!!

Obviously thy are not legitimate. The address on the postcard asks for payments to be submitted to 1360 Regent St, #600, Madison, WI 53715-1255. I am saddened to read on your site that they are in fact not legit. What a shame.

Jun 03, 2010
UPPVOrg. - Madison, Wisconsin their return address.
by: Phil.

I also received my 'pledge' for 15. in the mail, after a phone call from them, and just have it ready to mail out tomorrow. But after reading this page, I will bring it back in from my mail box.

I received another a few days after the one from the Proud Vets, and they misspelled my first name just like the Proud Vets did on their mailing, making me think they have my name on a list like that.

The second one was from a place in Novi, Michigan, but I have already shredded that one, as it was so similar to the first one with my name misspelled.

The 888 number on mine is also x'd out and a new one on there of 888-276-2950, with a return address of 1360 Regent Street #600, Madison, Wisconsin.

They also asked if I could send an additional 3.00 to offset some expenses and allow more money for programs.

May 27, 2010
You saved me 20 bucks - thanks!
by: Tony Driscoll


I'm so glad I did a quick Google before sending in my "late" $20 to this organization.

I would be first in line to support any legitimate veterans fund-raising efforts, but it does not sound like this one fits the bill.

In fact, I hope that this "family business" gets a visit from some real vets who can nicely explain why people in this country don't sit well with people who rip off others under the guise of "helping the vets". Few things get under my skin like that one does.

Save your money people, and thanks for the red flags and facts already mentioned!

-Tony Driscoll

May 24, 2010
by: Tom

Here is another thing from the UPPvets.org website: http://www.uppvets.org/contact.htm

Guess how many "volunteers" they have with the surname of "WILER"? Four out of seven: Larry D., Jerry, Larry J. and Lanette.

What a "con-incident"!

Appleton, WI
Veteran (1967-1975)

P.S. I wrote them an email asking for a Form 990 and telling them that I will personally bring them a check for $15 (fifteen dollars) next month
and I will give it to them if they produce the Form 990. And while I am in Menomonee Falls, I will take my own pictures of Freedom House and will post them to this website.

Thanks, Tom. We'll look forward to your next report!

May 24, 2010
Literature not professional
by: Tom

Let me state first that I am not a politician so I will not say that I am a "Vietnam Veteran."

I was drafted on Dec. 24, 1966, while I was in my senior year of college, but I got a deferment until I graduated in June 1967. I entered the Navy on a 120-day delay program in September 1967.

What I saw about the literature is that they stated the donation was for: "...General Schwarzkopf and Powell Hall Of Honor Museum," when anyone with an eighth grade education would know it should be: Generals Schwarzkopf and Powell Hall Of Honor Museum.

US Navy Veteran (1967-75)
Appleton, WI

May 12, 2010
Something's fishy indeed
by: Sue

I also received a phone call from UPPVO requesting a donation, and said yes after being told there's only a 10% admin fee. I have now received a 2nd letter asking for my donation (didn't get around to sending it in the first, as I wanted to do my own research).

Also, one thing that made me suspicious was that the 800# at the top was x'd out, and another one was typed in. It just didn't seem right.

After reading this website, I'm not sending them any of my money! Thanks for the info!

Thanks, Sue. We attempted to call the 888 number listed on UPPVets web site, and it was answered by an answering machine indicating we'd reached "Five Star Flags." So they must have changed numbers at some point, and "forgot" to change the web site. I guess we should be happy they didn't waste the money to reprint the material they sent you!

We'll keep pressing them for their Form 990.

May 08, 2010
United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization not authorized to solicit
by: Janet, Editor

After a second request to UPP Vets for their IRS Form 990, reminding them there is a fine of up to $10,000 for failing to provide their three most recent IRS Forms 990 to members of the public upon request, we received a response from the national president. It did NOT include any Form 990, so we have now sent a THIRD request.

Interestingly, the president's response to our questions indicates there are no paid staff or employees; that everyone is a volunteer. We asked if that includes the staff at their "Freedom House" vet center, and will update this entry when we receive their response.

He also indicated they have no administrative expenses. We have yet to see a charitable organization (or any other type of organization) that does not have administrative expenses, so we can't wait to review their Form 990.

He also indicated they have no fundraising expenses, which seems a bit odd, given the telemarketer's response that they keep 10% of the donations they generate. Something's fishy in Denmark.

But here's the most interesting part: We spoke with the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing, which regulates charities in Wisconsin. They confirmed that UPP Vets' registration expired in 2006 and has not been renewed.

They also informed us that UPP Vets has not filed any financial records with their office since 2004, despite promising 2005 financials.

And here's the kicker:

With its registration expired, United Proud Patriots Veterans organization is NOT AUTHORIZED to solicit funds in Wisconsin in excess of $5,000.

Given the dearth of public financial information available, the misrepresentation on their receipt that they are registered with the Illinois Attorney General, the fact that despite being in existence for 20 years they are not listed on the IRS list of approved charitable organizations, the disconnect between the president's answers to us and the fundraiser's answers to you, and the fact that their registration is expired and they are not legally authorized to solicit donations in Wisconsin, we recommend that you not make donations to United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization.

There are plenty of veterans charities who are transparent in their operations, making their financial records public on their website or responding in a timely manner to requests for them, who will use your donations to assist veterans. We're not sure just what is going on with UPP Vets, but until we have the opportunity to review their Form 990, we would advise you to make your donations to some other veterans charity.

When we receive the Form 990, we will post an update.

May 03, 2010
Info RE United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization
by: Nancy

I received the same telemarketer call and thinking it was the Veterans charity that my Mom used to donate to, I said yes to a donation.

When I got the paper in the mail it has the following info:

Headquarters are P.O. Box 82 Menomonee Falls, WI 53502. Contracts and reports regarding the charity are on file with the Illinois Attorney General.

Statement at bottom of sheet says:

"The United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization is a registered federally recognized 501(c)(19) charitable organization. Your donation is fully tax-deductible."

There is a spelling error (you donation instead of "your") but I did locate them on the listing of registered organizations according to zip code, so they do seem to be a legitimate charity.

Hope this info helps.

Thank you, Nancy.

United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization has not responded to our request for information which they are required by law to provide to the public upon request.

A check of the Illinois Attorney General list of registered charities (which lists all charities ever registered in Illinois) returns "no matching records" for a search on "United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization," meaning the group has apparently never been registered in Illinois, despite the claim on their receipt.

But even more interesting:

The Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing (which includes charitable organizations) indicates that United Proud Patriots Vets Organization (also known as UPP Veterans Organization) registered with that agency in 2001, but their license expired in 2006.

We've placed a call to the Department of Regulation and Licensing (which regulates charities in Wisconsin) to verify that. We'll update this page when we get that answer. **See update below.**

One thing that throws up a major red flag for us, besides the fact that there is almost NO information available about this organization, is that of the 7 officers listed on the UPP Vets web site, four of them have the same last name (national president, national vice president, national director, and marketing/business development). So this looks like the family business, and we are curious to see the amounts paid to these family members as salary.

We have sent another request to United Proud Patriots for their tax returns.

If you'd prefer not to wait for them to provide copies to us, you might want to use their contact page to request copies of your own. Maybe if they get enough requests from our readers, they'll realize it would take up far less of their time to respond to us so that we can publish the information for you, than to respond to multiple requests for the same information. If you receive a response before we've posted one here, please let us know.

The IRS web site (www.irs.gov) provides a list of approved tax-exempt organizations. United Proud Patriots Veterans Organization is not listed.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Veterans Charities Questions.

If you didn't find what you're looking for, use the search bar below to search the site:

Connect With Us

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our e-mail updates Subscribe to our RSS feed

As Seen In

Newest Articles